I feel lonely as a "black" non-victim in American society.
I put quotes around black because I have always asked the question, what exactly is black? What does it mean? Logically, someone with darker skin tones around the world aren't the same. I am not the same as someone from Nigeria for example. We live in 2 different societies, have different living standards and different cultural norms. Just like White-Germans are different from White-Russians.
When people are talking about victimhood culture with college students, feminists etc., trust me, Blacks were all about it before it became the trend. Was there a period of time where there was racism or laws that were against black people in America? Yes. Were people able to still thrive in those bad situations? Yes. Are things significantly better? I say of course but I have asked this question to people and read all types of comments that vast majority of black people see no difference between now and slavery days.
I grew up around white people and at times black people. I was told by my mother at a young age that I can't trust white people but I quickly saw the hypocrisy when own one of my black family members would do fucked up shit or that I had really good and kind people in my life who were white. I have faced way more hatred and criticism from people who look like me. Terms like "Being White" or "Barely Black" come to mind.
One thing that has really helped to open my eyes has been when I started traveling and meeting people from different parts of the world. I would be in Europe, surrounded by Europeans and they would talk to me about being American and not being black. If I met Americans abroad, we would get on the topic of being black. This doesn't mean that they were blind to me having a darker skin tone but they are not race obsessed. Culturally, I am American. I have certain American ideals that are different. It was one of my favorite things about being abroad, I was an American, not a Black American or African American. This isn't about disavowing my skin tone or any internal hatred, this is about saying my skin tone doesn't dictate my personality or beliefs.
I have discovered that being Black in America is not a culture, it's an ideology. Race is first, no matter what. Majority of my life I identified as a Democrat almost as a default. I am proud to say that I am an Independent but I'm open to different ideas, even conservative ideas. I purposely went to Black Conservative and Republican facebook groups to see if there are other people who look like me but don't focus on it. Am I alone? Yes. They are PRO-BLACK, meaning, Black first over anything else. They could be hardcore conservatives but they still held ideology of being a victim inherently because they are black. There was no difference between being in an Left Leaning Black group vs Right leaning. Black first, no matter what.
I became a travel blogger and surely people who have seen the world and met people of different cultures like I have must think somewhat differently, right? Nope. Posts like "Which country likes black people?" and "What is the least or most racist country that you've been to?" were common place. The comments to them and the reasons for how they determined that they were racist were even more astounding. The constant statements like "When are you going to Africa?" or "Why haven't you gone to Africa?". Even better, you tell them you've been to Egypt (I haven't but giving an example) and they say "No, REAL Africa" meaning where dark skinned black people live as a majority. The questions directed at me asking "Where are the black people?" when I take photos with other people like there is a black quota. To even put more into the point, with COVID-19 it has stopped all traveling, so these black travel facebook groups have fallen into nothing but black victimology and of course anti-Trump rhetoric.
We have a legit plague within the American black community. I know that there are people of other races who suspect it and kind of know it but no one says it out-loud from the black perspective enough. The ones that do get defamed. This isn't even a rich or poor issue anymore, it is how a huge majority of people feel and they all eat it up for breakfast on a daily basis. They turn on social media to look at something that happened to someone, somewhere else that they don't know but happens to look like them as validation that they are victims but NEVER experience any outright racial problems. What makes it worse is that progessives feed into this by saying that we are all marginalized and could never be in a position of power because as a group we are powerless. Lebron James has more net worth than the vast majority of Americans yet he is marginalized? How about Oprah? It's insulting to insinuate that we could NEVER become powerful or successful. The bigotry of low expectations.
I started this by saying I feel lonely but I am not completely alone. I have a wonderful Black girlfriend who feels very similarly to how I do but even if she disagrees on some points, she respects my opinion and doesn't judge me.
I don't know if this is fixable. Being a victim feels good because it absolves you of any responsibility and you can blame everyone else for your misfortunes. If you're black and you're an asshole but a white person calls you on it, boom! Racist! It's the black ideological version of a baptism. Racism wipes all your sins away.
The real issue that people have is really about class, not race. Poor people in societies get treated like shit no matter where you live. Majority of black neighborhoods are poor. If they were wealthy, they wouldn't have as much crime and the police wouldn't patrol them. In poor white communities, they experience the same issues. Everything comes back to ecnomics.
BlackoutNJ Thank you. You are clear headed and your words come from rational thinking. I think everyone has an emotional tipping point where rational thought goes out the window. Adrenaline and anger seem to take over and everything escalates.
As a white male, I don't get any victim points so when I post anything on facebook my opinion not only has no value, it is attacked because I couldn't possibly have an opinion that has any validity.
I see a lot of people nowadays (I think more white liberals fall into the category I'm about to comment on) that want to help. They truly want to make things better . . . For black people. I have friends who are consumed with it right now. . . And they believe that their motives are all good. From my perspective, what they are completely unable to realize is how racist they have become. They don't see themselves as such because...."how can they be racist if they are trying to help the "plight" of the black people".
I do my best to point out that ANY time someone talks about skin color as a means of grouping people, whether intentions are good or bad, they are dividing them into a group. Dividing is dividing. Separating people by skin color is divisive, period. When someone is consumed with issues and continue to talk about those separations by skin color, that is practicing R A C I S M, well intentioned or not, it's wrong.
Thanks again for your post - love it.
Stop the fight and just unite.... should be on a shirt.
Thank you for speaking your mind openly! I'm white and I've had thoughts parallel to yours. It's a relief to hear your opinion.
I am a transgender person (female to male) and I have noticed a similar "victim" ideology among parts of the trans community and the LGBT community. It isn't EVERYONE, thank goodness, but large parts of the community are obsessed with trying to make themselves out as the Biggest Victim. I used to get drawn into arguments about who was the most oppressed all the time.
I could write my own little essay about the stupid arguments I got myself into and the stupid people who I eventually had to stop talking to for my own sanity. (Maybe I will, but not as a reply to your post.) But the point I'm making here is that I can relate to what you're saying. And if you ever question any of the ideals of these people, they automatically call you a villain. I was called Nazi, fascist, gatekeeper, transphobe, racist, sexist, etc, often just for questioning their rhetoric, not even backing an opposing viewpoint.
Thank you again for your honest opinion. I just feel like the world is a little bit saner when I get to hear from people like you.
Yes! All of my yes! I've found this myself in my own research into both sides. I get a similar treatment as a white goth/alternative person. Because I look like one of them, whenever I go onto the main social media outlets, everyone I meet there expects me to already fully agree with them. And, when I don't, they start trying to bully me into it. And the more I show I don't the more they try and bully me until I eventually leave. And somehow this is progress to them. I really don't get it. How is silencing people progress? I can see the right wing swing of the political pendulum coming and, while deserved, it is going to be ROUGH. No lube, just straight up forced insertion.
I'm so sick and tired of this left/right civil war. When will we just go back to learning to leave one another be and let go of the hatred?
Adam, I'm white but you got it so right. I'm already a fan of yours and after reading this I can Honestly say, you are a friend of mine as well. This was the most intelligent post I have ever read. Like you I am afraid that our great american culture is on its death bed. At 75 years old I most likely will not witness the civil war but my grandchildren will. I wish your family the best.
Can the news be trusted? We get news from the left and news from the right and the same story can be unrecognizable from one perspective to the other. It is our responsibility as citizens to filter out the thick BS from both sides and determine what is really going on. It is irresponsible to accept what is satisfying and look no further.
Discrimination happens to everybody sometimes in their lives. A Poindexter walks into a bar and experiences discrimination. A white woman applies for a job and gets rejected because the interviewer thinks a man could do a better job. Someone looking for a job in the 19th century sees a sign "No Irish need apply". A Jewish person applies for membership in a club but the club rejects based on ethnicity. There is no one who is discriminated against all the time.
Every community has its good and its bad. The black community has its share. There is no excuse for crime and violence but there are reasons for it. Black people are actively discriminated against. Black people are discriminated against much more often than white people. They are much more likely to be viewed with suspicion, much more likely to be profiled, much more likely to be discouraged from living where they like and can afford. If you are white, how would you feel if you were dropped in and all black area. Would you feel fearful, uncomfortable, unwelcome? Most black people feel this every day of their lives and it takes a serious toll. Change in the black community has to largely come from within, but easing of systemic discrimination would go a long way to a good start.
You are using YOUR subjective understanding of this phenomena not a systematic understanding of what has happened "in general". Have you ever been around rap inspired youth? I have and have spoken to many. Many of them will admit the negative effects of Rap and Hip Hop. Many do get inspired by the criminal music and culture. In fact many will get hoped up on the music as a prelude to crime. Think about that.
Why are there so few middle class blacks that will not speak negative about Gangster Rap Black Culture? How come the poverty pimps like Sharpton and Jackson do not. Americas Dad, Bill Cosby did and went to jail for 30-40 year old me-too accusations all of a sudden. Class? People come here from the 3rd world so poor that it makes the most poor American Blacks look rich and yet make it without much problem by working hard and keeping their nose clean. This is real politics and fact.
I have talked at some length on these forums about the connection between racism and class. I will briefly go over it for anyone who hasn't seen my comments before.
Racism is connected to colonialism. This is especially true in the new world. Unsurprisingly when the Americas were settled by Europeans they brought their system of landed aristocracy with them. Where vast estates were less profitable as in the Northern U.S. trade and manufacturing tended to be more profitable and the system of "serfdom" inconvenient. In Europe where all the land was already owned it was easy to tie workers to the land. In a frontier society if you abused workers they could simply move to unoccupied land and be self sufficient. Racial slavery was the "perfect" solution to this problem. It provided a work force that couldn't escape the serf status.
There are other cultures that have made dirty jobs a matter of genetics in Japan and India for example. Severe discrimination is not always a matter of race.
There is of course a good deal of racism not tied to economics or class but the discrimination that follows from that is more akin to discrimination that unattractive or odd people face. Racism for profit however once established reinforced "real" racism because it had to be justified.
It is no coincidence that people compare the capture of the black vote by democrats to a plantation. It has proven to be highly profitable for politicians. You can even get the overseers to be black. It may be a case of indifference more than the racism of low expectations that keeps that system going. The history of socialism certainly is at odds with the expressed ideals of concern for human life.
Racism in conservatives is probably tied more to disgust sensitivity which the recent pandemic illustrates the evolutionary roots of. Certainly that is central to understanding Hitler's racism. I will not make a moral equivalence argument because the left doesn't believe in group selection anyway.
The ironic thing is that "emotional intelligence" is a barrier to solving the race problem. Our instincts strongly support a fast lifestyle for a easy but unstable environment. It sets the left up for the internal contradiction of promoting a highly organized slow life strategy while simultaneously promoting instincts that favor strong group identity. In the past religion resolved this contradiction but the new religion of equity, diversity and inclusion has schizophrenicly embraced it.
The reader should be warned that the technical language I use as it relates to group selection was developed by people that could be considered racist themselves. I personally don't care because of my own personality in which I'm highly critical of my own ethnic background. I have German and Irish parents and find the stereo types about both ethnicities fairly accurate. In evolution there is no good or bad just what is. Whatever the genetic heritage may be Civilization relies primarily on the abstract that is often in conflict with the "natural". That is the only way to understand religion which is the ultimate abstraction.