The Editorial on Race
The Habari Network is pleased to bring you a three part series on race and race relations. This will be written from an activist perspective; but will, especially, attempt to provide an apparent causal model for why Blacks are the way they are in the United States. Importantly, the focus will not just be on the world hegemony; but the US will be looked at as the exemplar in this matter considering the fact that African Americans are, unlike the other races, institutionalized in a great many ways. This will be discussed further in Part II of the Series.
Thus, let’s put a few things into context: First, while it would be ‘nice’ to discuss the shenanigans around Herman Cain, we shall only refer to him in passing. Secondly, we shall also refer to Barack Obama in passing – but more importantly, this reference will be from the standpoint of Obama as the Race Relations historian; in the vein of Martin Luther King jr and Marcus Garvey. The third context is that we should have written a proper expose into race [the essence of blackness] at the very beginning. However, that is water under the bridge. Besides, race has been with all people of color since they were born and won’t go away.
Perhaps what is most interesting about living in these United States is how different being Black is from being Chinese or Vietnamese for instance. On the other hand, when someone called Juan Lopez applies for a position right next to another called Des’ree Washington, the connotation is that while Ms. Washington and Mr. Lopez are coterminous in all sorts of ways [each is capable, both exist alongside each other in their home state and are probably neighbors], the juxtaposition is penultimately in terms of their skin color: Ms. Washington should be ‘the black candidate’ and Mr. Lopez ‘the Latino candidate.’ What research shows is that many times, the black candidate may not get the same passes as their fellow minority.
That America has a colorful history of race relations is not in doubt. What’s most remarkable about these days gone by stems from how blacks have been treated vis-a-vis other immigrants. The Japanese were subjected to all kinds of suffering after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; but all that seems to be a thing of the past. The Irish, who were basically the ‘White Niggers’ are now basically considered mainstream Americans. Asians, especially Indians and Chinese, easily integrate into American society and one would not be surprised to find Polish, Russian, Brazilian and Ukrainian illegal immigrants going about their business of striving for the American dream. African immigrants do the same and many of them succeed in more ways than one.
However, there is still the burden of being black. Sometimes, its implied and other times, there is no doubt that one is considered inferior to the other races. Little children in kindergarten tease the child whose hair is not straight. This, of course, might seem cruel – but it is the fact. There are not enough people of color out there. On the other hand, Chinese and Indian kids have straight hair while Russians and Ukrainians are blue eyed blondes. Conversely, this is just conjecture. But it also forms the bulwark from which the articles will be written. Part 1 will be titled ‘The Wretched of the Earth’, Part II goes under the heading ‘The Institution’ and Part III is aptly titled ‘The Last Drop.’
See you on the other side of Part I which will appear online this weekend.