Towards Better Democracy

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Where we stand: Precursors to Black Empowerment


Where we stand: Precursors to Black Empowerment

When we are displaced either through force, circumstance or choice from our homes to another country we are separated from our cultural roots. Such a loss is great and impairs the ability of the immigrant to function is the adopted country, the host society.  Depending on the economic circumstances of the individual or family a generation may pass before the cultural barriers are overcome. Naturalization is a difficult often brutal process. The country now home to those who come here do not make it is and in some countries make it very difficult indeed. You decide for yourself where the US fits in this spectrum.

The long struggle and fight, still going on in the US, for Black People to be recognized as people and to be treated as equals by what have been their oppressors, White Americans, has precursors. By that I mean those who have been a part of this battle lie deep in the history of this mighty fight. For this battle has taken place in other places where, maybe, just maybe, it has been won.

Blacks in America have a steep hill, if not a mountain, to climb to achieve what is already theirs; their Rights due to them as Human Beings. Those rights are due equally everywhere by every human being on this planet. Those rights are denied Blacks. Blacks are not seen as equals, are not treated with respect, are not offered the full spectrum of opportunities that are available to others.

True progress has been made but it is far form me to say how much progress has been made. Far less to say how far Blacks have to go to feel and be treated fully as equals. It is true that black people are far more visible in public life. But to what extent. Barack Obama is a case in point.

But let it be said that doors should not opened such that positions are held by those who are not qualified nor competent to perform in those positions. The occupation of such positions needs be colour blind but there need be no requirement to accept to truly incompent. Should this occur we approach the situation of those countries where majority ruled governments give jobs to all their cronies. The effect of this on those countries is severe to the point of the country being reduced to sheer poverty, held hostage by a few kleptomaniacs.

But the doors of educations must be open and offer opportunities to the disadvantaged. Again these opportunities need to be colour blind. The disadvanted come from all walks of life and all communities. But again standards must not be lowered. Should they be the country suffers and a loss of prosperity results along with a loss of vigour. Worse still, a loss of competitiveness also results.

That is what the struggle is about, is it not? The right of at the very least equality with those who set themselves up as being superior to others, and who deny that right to those whom they see as different. And, through the adoption of this attitude, better known as prejudice, kill, massacre, suppress and colonize others for their own gain and pleasure.

In the case of this country, among other such acts, has been the enslavement of others, namely Blacks. Who were captured and dragged here in chains, and were forced to work in appalling conditions. The fight to set the negro free was a long one and not easily got.

The Civil War is still going on. The fight is still going on.

This is silly, ludicrous. Insane even. The colour that Blacks bring to American life lightens the life of us all. Blacks are unfailing cheerful. They seldom complain. And perform many jobs which whites refuse to do. OK, Blacks are not driven in the way that Anglo Saxons are. Theirs is a different view of life. They are not compelled to excel as Anglos are. Whatever excel means.. Blacks add immeasurably the vitality of the cultural mix. One or two or a tiny number of whites may misbehave, or act in some way that is out of line with cultural or legal norms. No harm comes to whites by way of disapproval, castigation, out-casting. But let a tiny minority of Blacks behave in this way, down to the tiny minor of infractions, and the whole of the Black community in America is put into disrepute. Blacks accrue a reputation which they do not deserve and none of whom did anything to cause this disapprobation. The black sheep in the flock damns the whole flock.

At root is a fear of assimilation. Of marriage across the colour line with a dilution of the community of white skinned people. Are there other causes? I don’t doubt there are.

What whites did historically to blacks was no less than a Crime against Humanity. In other places where such attitudes and conditions existed and some, still exist, there is, in some cases, a deep felt anger, resentment, bitterness which is carried over from generations. This is not the case with American Blacks. Little or no resentments exists over that population as a whole. In ghettos, this may be not true.

But in ghettos all over the world, there is anger and resentment at the conditions that the inhabitants find themselves in. Opportunities for such residents are far fewer than in other neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods and often civic authorities are negligent to the point of delinquent over their responsibility to the people who live in them.

What is required is nothing less than a recognition, an acknowledgement by the Government of these United States, speaking on behalf of the whole of the people of the US who are not black, that what was done in the past was wrong. Those who offer this need not and should not apologize but admit that what was done, either by the Original Colonies or within the contiguous 50 States. Actually both.

Until this day comes, America, however fine and special it thinks it is, will never be a country which is endowed with full dignity. When that day comes America will regain a dignity that the Founders Fathers had, and who wished all their hearts for every American have.

The Struggle will continue and must never be relinquished until such times as that admission is achieved. The presense of KKK and the NRA, and trigger happy Police who shoot to kill for whatever reason, or for no reason at, blacks, are indications of how far away is that day.

America has drifted a long, long way from those ideals, quite the finest the world has ever seen: exemplary and rightly lauded ideals. Who can say, here and in the rest of the world, that America, in 2018, is a fine country deserving of respect and good will.

Will the United States ever return to re-embrace those value? We’ll see.

   ***  

Aimé Césaire was just one such person who deserves to be remembers and celebrated as a Brother who shared the Cause, that of Black Recognition and Empowerment. His place in that still ongoing struggle is no less than better known figures, better only in the sense that those who fought in the past get forgotten. And the Movement forgets and is not aware, as a result, of how deep those roots go.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family, by Alex Haley is one of few who have sought keep alive that Tradition.

Malcolm D B Munro
Tuesday 29 May, 2018

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