By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
Inevitably, in my writings the discussion of some topics will recur. By their very nature, some issues are always ‘ripe’ for discussion. One such issue is that of what Dr. Carter G. Woodson called “The Miseducation of the Negro.”
Like most discussions involving race, this issue is subjective in nature and its ‘reality’ is shaped by perspective. Perspective is, too often, shaped by circumstance, condition, or opportunity.
Recently, I was disturbed by an email I received suggesting that “Black people are taught to hate America and see themselves as victims.” Since I choose not to bring additional notoriety to the originator or origins of the email, I will only provide its gist.
The main talking points offered by this email were:
- Hatred is taught – Black people are taught to hate America and see themselves as victims.
- Black students are educated to see themselves as oppressed.
- Radical professors and the media want us divided.
- CRT teaches us to divide the world by skin color.
- Racial division in this country is just a figment of someone’s sick imagination.
Since I am, and always have been, an aggressive proponent for the advancement of and equitable treatment of people of color, I found these assertions insulting. Frankly, reading this brought to mind the caricature of the happy (house-nigger) slave portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in the movie “Django Unchained” whose well-being and prosperity was intrinsically connected to that of his Massa!
For the sake of discussion and minds weak enough to fall for this pro-racist pablum, I offer rebuttal:
Hatred is taught – I agree completely. In my experience, Black people and people of color have learned to hate the actions and symbols which represent the hatred which white people have been taught to direct toward them. Should we be forced, or biblically choose, to ignore the former and current brutalities suffered by people of color? Or can we acknowledge the reasons for reaction against inhumane treatment?
- Blacks believe themselves oppressed – The recognition and acknowledgement of oppression does not equate to the acceptance of oppression or victimhood. However, the denial of an obvious circumstance/condition is ignorance! Challenge, whether adversarial or conditional, is a part of life which must be met and overcome, and only shapes one’s character, not one’s self-esteem.
- Radical professors and the media want us divided – Admittedly, there are elements of society that promote racial hatred and division, but ‘real’ educators and legitimate media outlets provide unfiltered information and allow their audiences to reach their own independent conclusions. Can the same be said for Fox “News” or its imitators?
- CRT teaches us to divide – CRT is history. It challenges us to analyze and evaluate the structural and systemic limitations imposed by institutional racism. Can the purpose or impact of slavery, Jim-Crowism, school and cultural segregation, neighborhood red-lining, or Trumpism be denied? The rejection of CRT requires historic revisionism of the greatest proportion. The TRUTH of history is undeniable and cannot be imagined, legislated, or regulated out of existence.
- Racial division in this country is just a figment of someone’s sick imagination – Let the evidence prevail! Denying the realities of racial division in this country is antithetical to the realities identified by the aforementioned Dr. Woodson and the recorded experiences of America. Denial is tantamount to proclaiming an individual with a temperature of 104 degrees cured or disease-free.
The referenced email is represented as sent from a person of color. There have always been opportunists who seek acceptance from whites to the detriment of those with whom they are most closely identified. While racism persists, there is no glory in assuaging the guilt and shame of an oppressor.
The final appeal of the referenced email was a request for money – the real motive behind this inflammatory garbage.