Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.
It is Time for Black Americans to Cease Acting Like Victims- The Game Has Been Played Out
It is a cry of many Black Americans that ,"We have not yet reached the Promised Land." and "When will we reach our Promised Land." Guess what? This is the 21st century and those mantras are tired and worn out. We Black Americans must create our Promised Land through high intellectual and academic achievement in addition to a prodigious work ethic.
Sadly, many Black Americans believe that they need a savior to help them to achieve educational and socioeconomic parity. I heard that many Black Americans state that they voted for Barack Obama to be President of the United States solely because he is Black. A lot of Black Americans pinned all of their hopes and dreams on President Obama, praying and hoping that he would get them out of a hopelessly dire socioeconomic situation and into a more affluent lifestyle. Now many Black Americans are displeased with President Obama because they believed that he did not create for them the housing and jobs that he promised that he would create.
Many Black Americans contend that they are blameless for the educational and socioeconomic morass they are in. This belief and ideology are not only prevalent among lower socioeconomic classes of Black Americans but also among a few middle and upper middle socioeconomic classes of Black Americans. For example, one maternal cousin once removed, who has a Master's Degree in Psychology and is in a high-level administrative position, steadfastly maintain that "the man" is holding "us brother/sisters back".
Every Saturday morning in my area(Harlem) without fail, in a park opposite that of my apartment complex, there are a group of Black Americans led by the Reverend Al Sharpton shouting repeatedly, " No justice, no peace!" as if only doing this will obtain them quality education, housing, and job equality. Many Black Americans want to be rescued. It seems that they are waiting for a Great Savior to come to Earth and make everything copacetic.
Each time I go into the African-American section of Barnes & Nobles and any other book store, 75% of the books regarding the Black American cultural experience are about Black victimology and 25% of the books are about Black achievement, excellence, and self-empowerment. Many of the subjects pertaining to Black American culture on some Black-made DVDs and CDs stress Black victimology and how we are oppressed by the enemy. Seldom do I find any Black-made DVDs and CDs stressing Black education, achievement, empowerment and how to be socioeconomically successful. Finding a book on Black American culture that is not imbued with the victimization mentality is analogous to finding a needle in a haystack.
Yes, there are books by noted authors Thomas Sowell and Larry Elders, J.D.; the esteemed Dr. John WcWhorter who wrote two outstanding books addressing and confronting Black American Victimology, LOSING THE RACE and WINNING THE RACE; Ron Christie, J.D. , author of ACTING WHITE, THE CURIOUS HISTORY OF A RACIAL SLUR among several Black American authors who decide to address the truth about the Black American culture of victimology. Even Black American comedians are getting on the bandwagon of "poor, downtrodden me!" A seasoned veteran Black American comedian and writer is known to be very vitriolic towards Caucasians, incessantly blaming them for the oppression of Black people. This comedian always says that Black people do not have a chance in America, adding that successful Blacks are not true Blacks!
Yes, there is racism in America against all people of color(Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Pacific peoples. That is a given. However, there are people of color who have attained immense academic and socioeconomic success in spite of American racism. They refuse to permit racism to deter them from achieving academic and socioeconomic success.
Many Black American parents, especially in the lower socioeconomic classes, inculcate their children to not to dream too big, not to have high goals, to generally be content with mediocrity and/or just getting by. Many Black American children in the school system deride Black American children who are smart as nerds and unpopular. Oftentimes these smart and intelligent Black American children are bullied by the less smart Black American children who believe that education and school is uncool and that the street life is cooler. These underachieving Black American students are the same students who glorify the hip hop and thug culture.
There is an underlying anti-intellectualism in the Black American community. I remembered in my elementary school, all of the honor students were derided by the less achieving students. I further recalled that when a teacher stated that I was a borderline genius, the classmate afterwards approached me, stating that I was a borderline nut.
I have heard Black American parents, who are seemingly well educated, assert that socialization is the most important thing in their children's lives. These parents placed intellectual and academic achievement second and third in their children's lives. There is one mother of two daughters, who was my mother's acquaintance, bragging about her oldest daughter's popularity in school although her daughter was a C student and deriding her youngest daughter, an A student, for being an egghead and a deadhead with no outside interests. This mother lamented that all her youngest daughter wanted to do was to study and read. The mother asserted that her daughter was "withdrawn". A renowned actress/singer also emphasized that her children knew how to socialize and make friends , never once did she mention their academic achievements.
Tom Burrell, Black American author of BRAINWASHED: CHALLENGING THE MYTH OF BLACK INFERIORITY asserted that Black American students are the worst students in the country. Many Black American leaders cited institutional racism and poor socioeconomic living conditions. According to the Education Trust, only a minute 12% of Black American fourth graders were reading at their grade level and beyond; however, an abysmal 61% of Black American fourth graders lacked rudimentary reading skills.
Now let us look at the racism factor. To reiterate, yes there is institutionalized racism in this society not only against Blacks but all people of color. However, studies authenticate that Black students in Caribbean and African families outachieve Black American students in the academic arena. A second study showed that middle and upper middle class Black American high school students had similar SAT scores to lower socioeconomic class Caucasians. Regarding socioeconomic class, it has been substantiated that Asians in poor neighborhoods are high academic achievers and score high on SAT tests. So the variables of race and socioeconomic classes are declared invalid. Now, what is the underlying factor which is a determinant of the academic underachievement of the Black American student?
Many Black students are told by their parents, relatives, and peers that they are performing well "as long as they pass the course." In the Black American student milieu, they are told that education is for nerds and to "stay real/Black" and "not to act white" i.e. being a high academic achiever. In the Black American student milieu, the high achieving Black American student is often stigmatized, ostracized, and/or worse by the lower achieving Black American student. In many Black American families, intellectualism and academic achievement is not highly prized.
A noted talk show host stated that during her childhood her mother would force her to go outside to play because she was reading too much. The same thing happened to me. During my summers spent with my maternal grandmother in Wellford, South Carolina, two of my maternal aunts tried to snatch books from me and trying to force me to play outside, stating that I was an abnormal child. While I was in high school, a third maternal aunt laughed at and derided me for reading a complex, linguistics book for pure pleasure. Those three maternal aunts have never read a book in their lives and detested reading. Their main passion was mindless gossip and reading trashy magazines.
Many people in the Black American culture value being "real" over intellectual acumen. As one famous comedian stated that many Black Americans value being "real", yes real stupid. Black Americans who adopt "the culture of stupidity" are only doing themselves a severe disservice. Many Black Americans view Black Americans who speak correct English as acting white. Some Black Americans consider Ebonics a certified language which it is not. I remember that one of the disciplines at my college was Black English. Yes, Black English! The majority of the students who studied this baseless and inane subject were Black American students from the lower socioeconomic classes who were given special admission to the college.
Many Black Americans have the culture of poverty mentality. They believe in living totally in the present and do not believe in planning for their future. I remember when I first started work after college, there were clerks who played the numbers and spent almost all of their paychecks on payday. By the beginning of the next week, they asked people to loan them money. This was beyond ridiculous. They spent money as if there was no tomorrow and they never financially planned for their futures. They constantly complained about making ends meet yet none of them wanted to pursue any further education and career advancement.
The vast majority of the clerks were Black Americans who either had a high school education or who did not finish high school. When I asked them,"Why don't you finish high school and/or start attending college?.", they just looked at me nonplussed and began laughing at me. They continued to be miserable regarding their educational, job, and socioeconomic situation; however, they elected to remain passive regarding their lifestyles.
They believed that they were not in charge of their destiny and accepted what life generally meted out to them. However, these were the same clerks who become vehemently jealous when another clerk of Black Trinidadian descent took several civil service tests, passed, and become a very highly placed administrator. This Black Trinidadian clerk also attended college at night, subsequently obtaining a Masters Degree in Human Services.
When I was a supervisor at another civil service agency, there was a Black American clerk who took several civil service tests and passed. The other clerks, also Black Americans, were envious of her and started to cause her grief. They sabotaged her work, often discarding it or placing it in another area. This caused her to be written up by the Head Supervisor who was Irish American. These clerks also lied on this ambitious clerk but nevertheless, she eventually obtained a higher job at another agency and is currently a top level administrator. Many Black Americans believe that they are victims deserving of nothing so much that they believe that every Black person should be in the same boat as they are. Any Black person who dares to succeed is viewed as a threat to Black American victimology collective consensus.
Many Black Americans are victims of passive breeding. This means that some Black American couples have more children than they can possibly care for psychological and emotionally, especially socioeconomically. There is a higher percentage of Black impoverished families with four or more children than the national average. Studies have confirmed that children born into large families receive less individualized care from their parents, receive worse nutrition, medical, and dental care, are not as exposed to cultural and intellectual activities, and receive less education than children born into small families. Studies further show that large families are more likely to be subsidized from outside sources than small families. One Black American woman whose husband has a menial job making in the very low five figures stated to a friend on the bus," So what if she could not afford to adequate care for her nine children. We are used to being poor and besides the government will take care of us."
The schools in many Black American communities are often of poor academic quality because many lower socioeconomic class Black American parents are passive regarding interfacing with teachers. In many Black American communities, especially lower socioeconomic ones, many parents believe that they are not responsible for their children's education, asserting that it is the teacher's job to educate and to teach them. One teacher friend reported to me that in many schools in the inner city, many Black American parents do not participate in PTA meetings and related academic meetings regarding how to improve their schools. He added that these parents seldom, if ever, help their children with their homework.
He related an example to me, " One first grader was a C- minus student. I wanted to have a meeting with the parents as the first grader was only able to read and write at a very rudimentary level." He added that the first grader's parents stated that they did not care and it was his job as a teacher to improve their child's grades, not them. Dr. Cosby was correct in stating that the Black American culture is a culture of victimology that has to stop if Black Americans want to academically and economically succeed.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: This is a wonderful article that was very well written and portrayed exactly how it is. Where did you, this article's writer, grow up? At what age did you realize the claims in this article?
Answer: I grew up in a middle-class home in Harlem. From childhood, I have observed that many Black Americans have a victim mentality. They aren't proactive enough. If more Black Americans were proactive, the status of Blacks would be much better.
© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on February 01, 2020:
Thank you for your eloquent response.
Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on January 31, 2020:
Good article. It's just the same if you're a studious girl in Pakistan (speaking from experience) - parents keep telling you to get out and socialize and that reading books won't get 'you' anywhere. Which is patently absurd, since women can achieve anything in Pakistan. We have women fighter pilots, we've had a woman governor of State Bank of Pakistan, we've had a woman prime minister, we have women soldiers and policewomen, women cricketers, women footballers . . . seriously, the sky is the limit!
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 04, 2019:
You are correct in your premise. There are some who thrive & become successful despite a negative, even hellish environment while there are some who are mediocre, even meandering in the best environments.
Tessa Schlesinger on October 03, 2019:
I'm not sure how to respond. Some people are just stronger (in terms of character) than others. DNA. It's also true that growing up in a negative environment affects one, but I get your point. We should first try our best to fight against the situation before blaming the situation. Sometimes, the situation can be overcome.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 15, 2018:
Thank you for your eloquent response.
James Harvey on September 15, 2018:
The article above was well-written and everything that was mentioned is sadly true.
There are those who will not agree, of course, and as one can imagine, most of the naysayers are mostly angry, monolithic cop-out blacks who just will not, for once in their miserable, self-inflicted lives, face up to their problems.
To such persons ignorance is bliss and poverty have become a way of life. They have been so brain-washed by "black culture" (i.e., self-induced poverty, willful ignorance and a glorification of a low-life criminal subculture, such as exemplified by "Gangstarap", which has accelerated the breakdown of the Black Community), that talking sensibly to such persons is like trying to reason with a Stop Sign.
Poverty is not just a condition, it's also a state of mind.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 07, 2018:
Social Economist on April 16, 2018:
I can't believe I made an account to actually address this article but allow me to offer you a rebuttal from an actual person who studies economics particularly social economics. I honestly do not even know where to begin. There are so many fallacies in your article. Let's start with your fallacy that bother me the most "Black American communities are often of poor academic quality because many lower socioeconomic class Black American parents are passive regarding interfacing with teachers." Schools in black communities are not of poor academically quality simply because parents do not take a role in their children education. The American public school system is primarily funded by the property taxes of the district the school serves, meaning that a city/town that have lower property taxes will not have the same amount of funding than a city/town with higher property taxes. This practice of using property taxes to fund schools is a holdover from segregation and is not practice in many other western countries were public schools are funded equally at a federal level. This practice of using property taxes to fund schools means that schools in lower income neighborhoods usually can not afford to hire enough teachers, buy enough textbooks, or equipment necessary for the students to achieve. There have been many studies that have shown facilities with adequate funding produce students with high academic performance. Yes a parent who takes a more active role in their child’s academic life will have a child who is more productive but that usually requires additional funding from the parent, this is additional to the property taxes they are already paying to the school.
Your second fallacy that “Black Americans have the culture of poverty mentality. They believe in living totally in the present and do not believe in planning for their future.” Congratulations you just describe most of the people living in the U.S. A 2017 study found that 57% of Americans have less than $1000 in their savings. What you just described is the mentality of the average American consumer.
Your third fallacy “Yes, there is racism in America against all people of color(Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Pacific peoples.” I can only assume you are making the argument that all peoples of color experience the same form of racism. If that is in fact your argument than it is an incorrect one, Yes all peoples of color face some kind of prejudice but these forms of discrimination vary from group to group. Africans Americans face discrimination that are complete different than the discrimination face by Asians.
“studies authenticate that Black students in Caribbean and African families out achieve Black American students in the academic arena.” As a haitian American I often wonder why Caribbean and African students performed better. There is no simple answer but one answer I can offer from my research is that the haitians and African people that make it to U.S. and establish a new life in American are usually the best their country have to offer. These are usually people who are risk takers, and or people that were not in absolute poverty relative to those that are unable to make it to the U.S.
“Each time I go into the African-American section of Barnes & Nobles and any other book store, 75% of the books regarding the Black American cultural experience are about Black victimology.” The reason why barnes and noble’s African-American section if filled with so many books detailing African Americans and institutionalized racism is because people like you refuse to do objective research of the plight of Africans Americans. Don’t worry I used to be like you until I began doing painstaking critical research. All I can say is if you tried to put your article in a peered review journal it would be rejected due to lack of accurate research in your article.
Ms Williams I employ you to do more research on this topic it is clear you have not taken in to the account actually socioeconomic statics, models or history of institutionalized racism instead you choose to go for common fallacy repeated by those usually on the right. Many of the issues you ascribe to Africans Americans are common amongst all Americans.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on February 20, 2018:
B on February 20, 2018:
I posted this on Tumblr on a post that said white people are evil in the comments and I got so many hate messages from people who said I should "go die, you white devil! You're not black, but you're racist!"
Sheesh the self victimization is getting tiresome. Thank you for this article.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on January 02, 2018:
Quite welcome indeed. We can choose to be victims or owners in our lives.
Leo Finnigan on January 02, 2018:
I am a 52 year old white man. My dad was an irresponsible bum who created 8 children. (10 if you count miscarriage). He left when I was 5 on a business trip that lasted a lifetime. He never supported us and my mom ended up raising us. I was number 7. By the time I was 10, my mother was tired. She worked two low paying jobs and prayed a lot. She did the best she could but by the time I was a teenager she was getting tired. I ran the streets but managed to graduate high school. Senior year, I went to career day with no idea what to do or ask? I looked around the room and saw the military recruiters at the table. I thought maybe I should talk to them. I looked them over closely. Army guy looked ok. Navy, Air Force, and Coast Gaurd all didn’t jump out. Then I saw the Marine. Wow! This guy was sharp. The uniform maybe? The main thing was his arms were big(tattooed) and he was in shape. That was the guy I wanted to be. I sat down and talked for 20 minutes or so and I was sold. I wanted in. He came to my house to meet my mom at 9:30 at nite because she worked so much. Sgt. Sullivan still to this day was one of the most influential people of my life. I signed up after my mom signed a release(I was 17 and needed parental release). I broke my leg in a motorcycle accident a month before I had to leave. Sgt Sullivan worked out with me (and other recruits). for two months to get me in shape after I got my cast off. I went to public school in a large city and lived in a lower class neighborhood so I had been around blacks my whole life. Sgt Sullivan was black and was 5x the man of my own father. He commanded respect and deserved it. He was a Marine. I went in to learn how to be a man. Simple things like teamwork, respect, how to be where your supposed to be on time.
It’s difficult for a single mom to get that thru a young boys head. I needed the Corps and Sgt Sullivan to help me get there. I owe him gratitude. My point is this-I have slot of things in common with a lot of young black men. I could of gone either way. Criminal life was close. I was involved in it but got out somehow. Maybe my moms prayers combined with an example of how to live by my first Marine contact. My mom always said you don’t always get what u want. She never told me we were poor(I didn’t know we were poor until I was in high school). I’m grateful to my mom and Sgt Sullivan for keeping me from thinking life’s not fair. I know it’s not. I only served four years. I was honorably discharged and came home and went to work. I worked my first job Post military for 16 years. I was promoted to the top of our company before I quit and started my own business. I’m no millionaire but I do ok and live by my means. Lessons taught by my mother. I’ve crossed paths with many people that went the “victim” route and most are miserable. I thank my mom and the men like Sgt Sullivan (and many other Marines) for shaping a man who justifies his existence in this world. My life is not easy but rewarding. I expect nothing to be given to me and that is a good feeling. Thank you for your article.
Perry Widhalm on November 19, 2017:
Grace ~ After reading your essay entitled "The Victim Mentality of Black Americans" plus your descriptor "from the Greatest City In The World - New York City, New York" it makes me wonder if your views are the result of living in a mega-city all your life? Yes? No? For instance, highly urbanized people (usually those on the far Left) often make outrageous claims about "institutionalized racism" without offering any convincing evidence of actual institutional racism. Instead, they tend to describe a scene or anecdote from their own lives then extend that case to the entire nation. The only institutionalized racism that I am aware of in the United States is Affirmative Action. Perhaps you might broaden your knowledge base, life experiences and wisdom by venturing outside of highly urbanized areas of the country especially New York City.
Lisa on November 10, 2017:
To add to my previous suggestion on Black progression which was an external remedy, there also needs to be some internal restructuring. As a result of slavery and colonization, Blacks in the diaspora and Africans respectively have developed an inferiority complex and a slavery mentality, and if both aspects are dealt with, there will be change in our position in society and the world. We would become producers of goods/services rather than consumers; we would plan for the future (saving and investing) rather than living for the present (spending more than we earn or saving little); we would leave an inheritance for our children rather than live for ourselves; we would automatically get the respect we so desire from other races/ethnicities rather than the disrespect because of our low position in society and the world. The government in the U.S. enables Black dysfunction just described and would be more helpful to us (I believe we should not depend on the government except in extreme cases and only for a temporary period) by providing self- empowerment programs to overcome the internal chaos than welfare. Too much foreign aid enables Black-governed countries. For African-Americans, maybe the Black church and other helping organizations could aid in the process. African countries could simply follow the successful model of the West and East adapted to their culture, because clearly what they are doing is not sufficient. I don’t know the answer, but Blacks have to come up with a solution to overcome this dysfunction. I am sure I have offended many Blacks, but just take an unbiased look at Blacks globally compared to other races/ethnicities and decide and please stop blaming White people. I am tired of this excuse. This is what I did, and found great disparities. I will not elaborate, but as an example, there are no successfully Black-governed countries; none of them are developed or first world countries.
Let's look within, instead of blaming others for our ills, to change our position. Take advantage of others progress and use it to our benefit. Don't reject it because it is White, accept it because it is beneficial. Let us think with our heads rather than our emotions so that we can see things more rationally.
One of my missions is to help my race become more progressive. I hope more enlightened Blacks will take on this position and not just live for themselves.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 09, 2017:
Comment is fine as is. Don't worry.
Lisa on November 09, 2017:
I want to edit my comment if possible. I see some grammatical errors I want to fix. Or could you delete it and let me add it back.
The comment by Lisa 2 hrs ago
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 09, 2017:
Exactly, Blacks, on average, don't value intellectualism & education. They give more credence to so-called street culture & socializing.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 26, 2017:
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 13, 2017:
Your response is eloquent. Thank you for your response, it is needed.
Tinashe Chikwanda on October 13, 2017:
Thank you for the article. Quite enlightening. I want to highlight that Blacks in the mother land Africa have the same complaints of victimization though they own the land they still play the blame game. How do i know this? Because I am writing to you from Zimbabwe.
Although a school education is important we should understand that those who control what is being learned are those in power. School system rarely educate people they just teach them to be literate and to be obedient to teachers, bosses and accept decisions made by their superiors.
Another problem with education (though i am studying towards management and entrepreneurship degree) is that it doesn't teach you how to be rich. It doesn't teach you how to handle money eg How to invest. It's always get your education so you get a good job.
Yes get a good education and get a good job but use it to fund your life.
I'm not a victim. I am the master of my own destiny though the destination was determined by God.
Bjaalexan on August 20, 2017:
While I would agree with the article on the surface, there are still some underlying issues that still exists in this country. Playing the victim and having limited knowledge are two completely different things. When working with students I have encountered many of them wanting to change but didn't know how to go about changing. This was due to them growing up in an environment that praised bad behavior. Many of my former students broke the chain poverty and neglectful behavior because they wanted to.
Playing victim is not doing anything to better your life while blaming others for your position in life. I have seen the victim playing mentality in some black Americans, black Caribbeans and black Africans. Countries in the Caribbean as well as Africa have the same complaints as we do about their youth, education and social injustice.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 05, 2017:
Fin from Barstow on July 05, 2017:
You have quite some emotional sentiments in your essay and make some good points. I like Larry Elder too, but when you try and discuss him with blacks, you are shut down.
I think you should focus on a couple of subjects in your essay - the marginalization based on the failure to set high standards and perhaps another topic you touch on and expound on those. You have your writing quite packed and at times it borders on diatribe. Some of the things you say are a bit inflamatory...i think you said something about "passive breeding" which if it were said by a non-black would get them in trouble.
i think you make some good observations and probably reiterate what some people are afraid to speak out about. I think everyone though plays the victim card and not just African Americans. Everyone this day seems to believe the world owes them and there is so much conflict.
good points though and good use of language. A few times i saw tense slips and there were other times when it seemed your emotions stood out over your intellect but overall nice job.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on February 25, 2017:
Couldn't agree with you more, Veronica. There are Black Americans who simply love this victim justification. They have been in America for generations & there are more opportunities than ever before. Yet, they continue to think, act, & function as victims. Black Africans & Caribbeans, born in worst circumstances, outshine them in education & earning power. For example, my maternal extended family-Black Americans. They haven't progressed beyond the victim mentality. The young people have factory or menial jobs, they complain about being poor & struggling, expecting to be rescued. My paternal extended family-Black Caribbeans now have people who are entrepreneurs, high level professionals, doctors, lawyers, & millionaires. My maternal extended family were enabled by my great aunt & then my late mother. My paternal family was never enabled-they ENABLED themselves. No one supported anyone other than parents. They pulled themselves by their bootstraps, including my father. My maternal family are a bunch of victims-they want nothing & yet complain.
Saelius on February 16, 2017:
I love inteligent people be the race they be, keep the good work bro
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on February 09, 2017:
Thank you for your response.
htuna2 on February 09, 2017:
I totally agree with this article.
I work for a school district and we have many successful black administrators (including the superintendent) and I am thankful for the friendships I have with my black colleagues and enjoy their company.
However, on one occasion, I was setting up a meeting and one of the principles entered the room and took a seat at the front. She said, "I'm not sitting in the back of the bus after all the civil rights protesters fought for" (paraphrased). I was floored and speechless. No one was asking her to sit in the back of the room. It was her choice where she sat.
However, my biggest issue is this.
When we go to lunch, a group of mainly black woman (support staff) sit together every day. We have asked this group on numerous occasions to join us at our table. They always refuse. But, I am free to go and sit at their table and eat with them. I work (or have worked) directly with these women and still the white group is ostracized. The education of this group is varied with 1 bachelor's and 2 master's degrees, the others have a high school education. However, one very nice black woman that used to work in our building but is now the Office Manager at one of the schools always used to eat with us everyday. This is very demeaning so we finally stopped inviting them.
Can anyone explain why this is?
I used to work with one of the women and we ate lunch together frequently but when our supervisor (black man) retired and the new supervisor (black woman) started, she would not longer eat with me and the supervisor proceeded to remove most of us in various ways in order to have a "black" office.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on January 23, 2017:
Yes, Black Americans must go beyond the victim mentality to become.....PROACTIVE. Thank you for responding.
White Guy on January 23, 2017:
A most excellent article. In college I took multiple sociology courses to broaden my view outside of my upbringing. I grew up ignorant like most children, and often thought that my black peers prioritized meaningless ideals in their life, such as expensive material possessions. I grew up in a working class family (one of two children); I was academically talented, yet I lacked in socializing.
Through my sociology courses I developed a deeper understanding of black American culture. From your article, it sounds like most of these examples exhibit an external locus of control. I do see several black American high school students in my community and beyond trying. I like proffer compliments on their efforts such as, "You're very well spoken and attentive, maintain that attitude for life and you're going to go far."
I've socialized with those of other races, befriended them. They've taught me invaluable lessons in socializing. These people are the same people that I've brought into my company, and assisted them in acquiring higher job titles, with or without formal education.
I too used to have an external locus of control. It took considerable unfortunate circumstances to enable me to reverse that and take control of my life. It happens to many bright young minds, but those with commitment can make success out of any situation. I only wish that such a sub-culture could be changed overnight. There is some truth to the idea that those with the victim mentality really are waiting on a strong leader to "save" them; perhaps that's just a portion of the solution. To quote a rapper, "Don't drown in the sound of a certain demise, just be a different person if you're hurting inside." All changes in our lives must start with ourselves.
Mel on January 07, 2017:
You continue to say, "many blacks people," but cite no sources which causes this piece to lack credibility. "Many blacks" according to whom? The many interviewed for this piece, the many who make their stories known in mainstream media, the many you know? I feel like this is just a blanket statement.
Mr Nobody on January 01, 2017:
They will not listen. They will call you a coon and a sell out because the brainwash runs too deep in too many of them........ They will continue to march and protest with empty pockets. They are doomed to self destruct and continue to blame white people.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 08, 2016:
KING on December 08, 2016:
I LOVE IT,VERY INFORMATONAL
Kim on December 04, 2016:
You are mistaken, slavery IS the problem, has always been the problem. If you think the 13th Amendment abolished slavery, then, you might want to brush up on your history, and I don't mean read books. Since 4,000,000 slaves were freed, they were faced with the loophole written into the Amendment. Free, unless Criminal. The South, especially, suffered a great economic downturn, can you imagine? The free labor they lost? Now, no free labor. So? Arrest blacks for loitering. vagracy. Now we have a chain gang. Free labor. Criminilization in America is a business. Born out of racism, evolving into a money making machine. Blacks are not free. 69 people have been shot and killed since the election. Have you heard a thing about it? Yeah, me either. Target. Stop and Frisk. Law and Order. There is no vicimization as the commenter above me suggests, there is suppresion. Black Lives Matter. I know what that means now. You should too.
UnionGuy on November 30, 2016:
Slavery is a terrible, evil, part of American history and we all must recognize and reflect on what people of color had to endure during slavery and never make light of it. However, slavery is not the cause of the many many problems holding back the black community. For the millions and millions of blacks stuck in the cycle of poverty, underachievement, incarnation, ect...there needs to be a cultural change in the mindset of the black community, which can only come from within. The out of wedlock birth rate in the black community needs to be recognized and addressed. It's staggering. Low estimates put it around 75% , which means the actual figure is more accurately around 80%-85%. The result is single mothers relying on all sorts of government assistance from welfare to foodstamps to subsidized housing, trying to raise multiple kids often in the inner city. Young black girls as early as 7th idolize teenage pregnancy. This mindset has to change. Otherwise the cycle of poverty can never be broken. The result is black youths being raised in poverty by single mothers who not only lack the financial resources to provide for their children but also lack education and parenting skills themselves. These youths whose mothers do not instill in them the value of education, which was never instilled in them, turn to the streets, commit crimes, and often become involved in drug and gang activity. Many are murdered by other blacks in senseless acts of violence like what is occurring in the city of Chicago, or become incarcerated, or simply lack the education or job skills necessary to succeed. It's a reality blacks must admit. It is not the result of slavery or white privilege. Rather a mindset in the black community. Leaders of the black community like President Obama need to stand up and address this issue. However, many black leaders would rather play the victim card because many blacks do not want to admit responsibility. The vast majority of blacks stuck in this cycle do not want to face the hard truth that they are holding themselves back. However, the longer the real cause of the cycle of poverty is ignored, and blamed is placed on such things as slavery or white privilege, and the victim card is played, the longer this cycle will continue. The mindset of the black community which contributes to the failure of millions and millions of blacks has many facets. All of which can only be addressed from within the black community by its leaders. For example, the unbelievably stupid idea that speaking even somewhat proper English is not cool. The idea that learning to speak proper English is "acting white" and they are not a "real black person" is unbelievably ignorant. It has real life employment ramifications. No employer worth working for is going to pay a decent wage to someone who speaks Ebonics. However, instead of facing the truth, many blacks would rather take the easy way out and use the excuse of victimization. Look also at the music black culture celebrates. It glorifies crime, drugs, violence, gang activity, and degrades black women as Bs and Hs, used for sex. What message does this send to both young impressionable black boys and girls? Yet it is produced by black rappers who get rich from it. This also ties back into a lack of parenting in the black community by single black mothers and in some instances when present black fathers, who allow their children to be exposed to such influences. Another key component of black culture which must be changed before the cycle of poverty can even begin to break is the disregard for education. Federal and state funding has thrown tax payer money at the problem. However, once again the problem lies with black culture. To put it simply, no value is being put on education. Blacks students must meet lower requirements to be accepted into many higher education institutions. This is a great advantage set in place for black youths to take advantage of, and it's often wasted. Its sad, so many black youths aspire to be nothing other than rappers or basketball players when asked what they want to be when they grow up. Once again this can be directly tied to a lack of parental influence. But also a lack of direction of leaders of the black community to start instilling in black youths the idea of practing law or medicine. I could go on and on with additional aspects of black culture which only hold the black community back. This begs the question when will enough be enough? At what point will the black community take a long hard look at itself? There is also a cultural divide in this country that is only growing deeper. The practice of self victimization and the growing grievance industry is only making it worse. The overwhelming vast majority of whites in this country want blacks to succeed. It moves the nation forward as a whole. Financial success for blacks increases tax revenue, lowers crime, reduces the strain on the entitlement system. However, the course for success the black community has taken so far, guided by its leadership, has been that of victimization, grievances, and white privilege. It has been and will continue to be an uphill battle. Blacks will not find success through these measures. In fact they will fall further behind as sympathy from whites fades along with the concept of white privilege. Hopefully for the sake of many innocent black youths born into the cycle of poverty, the black community can come to accept the truth about what is holding them back.... themselves
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 29, 2016:
Thank you for stopping by and for your eloquent response.
All For Change on October 29, 2016:
I happened to come across this page....What i read so far was defintely an eye opener....I'm 37 years old and I have been going through the motions of life....Very recently I started looking at myself and saying that there is so much more in me....My next moment of change was talking to family and reading and watching movies about slavery....There are some many forms of racism that exist today....self hate, hate amongst each other, jealously, envy, separation....etc....some that i found in myself.....so where do i start? I started in one day by becoming more aware of the injustice that has gone on for centuries...realizing that people of color are valuable and have made a tremendous contribution to this world....from the blood, sweat, and tears of our ancestors was the driving force that held and substained life....I'm proud to be a women of color....I have realized that slavery in 2016 still exist..it just has be packaged differently....In spite of these obstacles....I have been giving opportunties to succeed....I have to admit that I did not take advantage of the opportunties and seek knowledge...."If there is a will there is a way" So in spite of the challenges I face....I have to take responsbility for myself....seek knowlege.....look for opportunties to be a part of building up first the community in which i reside and those around me. My heart was troubled to realize how myself and others have gone so far away from the mark....Images have re-framed a false preception of true beauty...After reading some articles today I realize that one race of women does not represent the end all be all...true beauty is the unqiness that we all possess to make a contribution to this world...there is no one made just like us....we all have been "beautifully and wonderfully" made.....to the young people that read this embrace who you are!
junko on October 14, 2016:
courtellis are you well educated and not government dependent??? You write like you are envious and wish you were more like black people . I know this is a cowardly post from most likely a HP writer. So are you ever going to write something that makes sense under the name courtellis, I doubt it, you just wanted to throw these drive by insult, now retire the name of a coward.
courtellis on October 14, 2016:
Now there is truth in words and power in them as well, so will I wont sit here and try to come up with a reason or excuse; what I will do is this:
1. Now many Black Americans are displeased with President Obama because they believed that he did not create for them the housing and jobs that he promised that he would create.
Never vote for someone simply because of the melanin in their skin or lack thereof, it shows your baseline ignorance and instead of research you fail to elect the best person for the job. It says you have no idea what the view are and where they stand on the issues. By the why how’s that Dream Act working out for you in particular?
2. Many Black Americans contend that they are blameless for the educational and socioeconomic morass they are in. This belief and ideology are not only prevalent among lower socioeconomic classes of Black Americans but also among a few middle and upper middle socioeconomic classes of Black Americans.
As long as you tell yourself you can’t you simply won’t be able to do well, you’ve already defeated yourself, and you’re a quitter plain and simple. You have to believe at some point that you and you alone are responsible for your own situation here in 2016. Oh but there was a time when that was so, but people stood up and marched for you, so now you can either poop or get of the pot!
3. Each time I go into the African-American section of Barnes & Nobles and any other book store, 75% of the books regarding the Black American cultural experience are about Black victimology and 25% of the books are about Black achievement, excellence, and self-empowerment.
This one is too easy. There are tons of books about famous and successful blacks; you can request those books fill the shelves and not that book that represent victimology. You can also not purchase that is your right, you don’t have to buy in to it.
4. Many times smart Black students are often derided by other Black students. They are seen as nerds and considered not to be cool. Some are thought to be acting Caucasian because of their high academic achievement.
Just because the kid in front of you is quite a genius and gets all the answers right, doesn’t mean you get to put that child down, you need to get off your ass and do the same. It is sad that we even allow our children to think that way. So one parent says: My son attends University of Texas, my daughter attended Texas State, why because I was afforded that opportunity and they shall be as well. Your answer should be well my children will either attend college or enter directly into the workforce, not “what you think the man gon’ give yo children a pass?” You’re the only one holding you and your children back…remember what I said about the pot? Poop or get off!!
5. Many Blacks such as author/talk show host Larry Elder, J.D., believe despite racism, Blacks can achieve anything that they set their minds to-if they desire to do so. He equates victimology with the blame game and wanting to be rescued by others. Black people are only harming themselves & their communities by subscribing to the victimology construct. If Blacks are going to progress as a people, they must stop acting like victims and adopt a more proactive approach to their lives.
I have to honestly say to this one that for years we as a people have been listening to all the wrong people to honest. It is not coonery or selling out to simply want a better life for you and your children, it’s not. You’re not an Uncle Tom because you speak a truth that Ray-Ray and Faheem (hahaha) don’t want to hear. However I would like for you to consider this last statement and think real hard about who the coon is and who isn’t:
There are Black leaders who use victim methodology to appease many Blacks. They are of the school that Blacks are powerless to improve &change their lives on their own. They assert that things will improve only if "the system" changes.
You don’t change the system you learn to work with it and add your own ideologies to it and stand where everyone can see what you have done. From Larry Elders to Dr. Ben Carson, Gen Colin Powell to Sec Condoleezza Rice, there is a telling of a story here, and it is not in our big named celebrities, but those leaders of our community we forgot about. So when you are worried about your Jordan’s, the Kardashians, Jay Z and Beyoncé; remember that those aforementioned Americans are doing everything every day in every way to command that respect you continue to seek via the Sharpton-Jackson method. Time to wake up Black America…..time to wake up!!
RandomWhiteGuy on September 23, 2016:
This article describes perfectly what I have been thinking lately. It's a cultural issue. I don't care about people's skin color in the least. It's how you act as an individual that matters. The culture that American black people inbrace is posion. I think I can speak for a lot of white people when I say "We will embrace any black person who cares about growing intellectually, works hard, and shows ambition to to make something out of themselves." Black people are just hurting themselves seemingly just to spite white America. It's ridiculous. It's not your skin color that makes white people hate you, it's the the culture you embrace. A cultue ignorance, victimization, and violence. As white people, we see the culture, and its insane to us...but can never say anything about it for fear of being called out as a racist, and like a lot of white people, we do feel a sense of guilt over what our ancestors did, so we tolerate it the best we can, in hopes that future generations will change the culture.... To me there are two kinds of black people in America, those that embrace the poisonous culture of ignorance, and those that have risen above it.... and I can't help but think, that when a white cop pulls over a black person, somewhere in his subconscious mind, he's thinking about it in the same way...i.e. "Is this a black person one who embraces the culture of ignorance? Or just is this black person a reasonable member of the greater American society?" By no means am I trying to make excuses for cops shooting black men. I'm upset about all the shootings too, and am trying to understand it all. It's such a complicated issue and I'm really trying to understand the black perspective of it... but the more I read about it, and try to make some since of the black perspective, it really seems like it's black it's the people who need to help themselves by Elevating their cultural mind set... white American has little to do with it anymore. You culture keeps you down, not the white man.
Becky on September 03, 2016:
I found this article after an incident online where I wanted to present another perspective, but of course, being white, I felt i "wasn't allowed to" say the things you have said or I'd just be called ignorant and racist. So thought it better to link an article saying these things written by a black person. Unfortunately the exchange got too out-of-hand too fast and I just left the thread instead. The issue was an article saying a teacher used the term "jigaboo" in school and got in big trouble. She claimed she didn't know it was a derogatory word, but ALL the comments said that was ridiculous, that's like claiming she didn't know the N word. I live in Wisconsin, have all my life. There are not a whole lot of black people here, although the population is always increasing, we are still seen as a predominantly white area (except maybe Milwaukee). I like to discuss things online, and that has opened my mind a lot, but I have also noticed many people (usually liberals/feminist/ humanist types) accuse me of being racist simply because I live here and don't personally know a lot of black people, so don't have much experience with them (although I don't see why it has to even be seen as anything but experience with another human). In this instance, I simply replied to the comments on that article saying I had never heard that word in my life and would have had no idea what it meant if the article hadn't just told me. I said it sounds to me like a word a mother might create to call her baby...it sounds cutesy......I was attacked by the other commenters. So bad I had to just leave. I was accused to defending a racist, although, the way I see it, I was just suggesting that she may NOT be racist. This has happened before and I've learned I can't say things like that, even though I think this black victim issue is hurting more than just blacks and needs to stop. I am called racist if I say I refuse to judge guilt of a white person who harmed a black person until the trial is over, instead of believing what's reported in the media, which is just trying to get ratings. Apparently when it's white on black, the right to a fair trial doesn't apply anymore. I am called racist because I simply don't know what's going on in inner city black neighborhoods...cause I've never lived there or really even visited (big cities aren't my idea of fun). I am told to "check my white privilege", which I'm not sure I understand...how do you do that? It seems, in essence, I am being told that when achieve something, like a promotion or whatever, I shouldn't feel 100% happy? I should stop and feel bad for non-whites who didn't get the job? (Even though there's no black people at my job) in reality, I've experienced the opposite of white privilege many times. We have a lot of Hmong here, which are Asians from Laos...refugees in the past, but still being treated that way. They can sit in groups at work and do nothing, hanging out in the bathroom talking, reading magazines (not even allowed on the floor), and I've witnessed several pretending they couldn't speak English well enough to follow directions, then speak it perfectly at lunch complaining about it. One white woman got written up for being racist when she dared to point out how they refused to work, and then ended up stuck doing the work of 4 people because the other three were Hmongs who wouldn't do anything. When I was in college, I didn't have money for books and looked up how to get help. Found there was a "multicultural" building that helps minorities pay for books...in other words, not whites. It actually said you have to be a minority to get help. My husband, in high school, was told he qualified for a grant, but then didn't get it. He asked his counselor why, and his counselor said, "to be honest, cause you're white. There is only a certain number available and we aren't allowed to give them all to white people, so we had to overlook a few white students even though they did better than the minorities who got them". So when black people claim whites have no idea what it feels like to be at a disadvantage because of skin color, that just isn't true anymore. I wish I wasn't seen as racist for simply pointing out that these kinds of things happen...or just for living here. The thing that really perplexes me is that all of these accusations of being racist and favoritism of minirities at work and school is done by white people! I've never had a minority tell me I was racist. I get along with them as long as they are nice people, it's the scorn of white liberals that I truly have to look out for...the accusation of racism from them can be brutal, they will spread it everywhere and destroy you. the few black people I have known around here, though, were fine people I felt good around. As with modern feminism, I don't see us moving towards equality at all, I see a future world where men and white people are the lower class. Why can't we see each other as individuals here and now and judge each other by our individual deeds instead of lumping everyone together based on sex, color, etc? I know there are racist white people, but I see them as screwed up individuals, just like any other jerk I encounter, I don't give them much thought. I certainly don't lump them with every other white person and myself and hate my own race, but there are many who think I should.
Brian on September 01, 2016:
I think black people would work much harder for a black boss. And I think black people would respect the police more if they were black.
I also think most white women prefer black men.
Jessica Ralphie on September 01, 2016:
Yep! Roadblocks to your success come in every race, gender, religion, and size. That's why is useless to fixate on all white people. Yes, I had to deal with racist, lonely, and miserable old white ladies who mistaken the office for a plantation and I also had to deal with privileged, pretentious, and incompetent young white kids making double my salary with less experience. But they are no less of a headache or deterant to my success than the envious back stabbing Latino coworker or the ambitious black woman who thinks it's only room for one of us at the top and will push me out if necessary. People are people, some good and some bad. There is no system that's against us in 2016 and no one race that will protect us or entrap us (not now at least). We have to build our resilience and strength as individuals to fight against what ever comes our way. It's unnecessary to fixate on the issues and the causes of the issues. It's best to focus all your energy on creating a path to get us around those issues. The black community needs to let go of our pain and become more solution oriented. That's what I focus on and I am more successful, happy, and content because of it.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 01, 2016:
I totally agree with your premise. I, too, am a Black woman. One has to work harder & be smarter just to get noticed. One not only has to confront racist Caucasians but also the Black negaters & haters who don't want to see you succeed. I have experienced both at work. I had Caucasian supervisors who weren't as qualified or educated as I was & they considered me to be a threat. They preferred Blacks who they could easily step on & control & I was NONE of those.
Jessica Ralphie on September 01, 2016:
It's so hard being an African American who actually agrees with you. I realize that I wanted a better life for myself at a young age and obtaining that better life meant that I had to defy all odds and I had to believe in myself. Believing in my own ability to get to the top taught me that this fictious world of white people stopping me from getting ahead did not exist, in fact, it was the opposite. I had people (white men mostly) helping me succeed, introducing me to important social networks, giving me promotions, etc. Did I encounter a few racist? Absolutely! But could they stop me? Absolutely not! Just like anything else in life you have to fight through those people. You have to outwork, outsmart, and outperform the jealous, the envious, the haters, and the racist. Unfortunately my story is not uncommon. I began to distance myself from the black community the more successful I became because I could no longer relate to the mentality. This mentality that somehow the white man is holding me down when in fact this white man just helped get me my promotion. How can I relate to that mentality anymore when I'm doing all the things that my community said I couldn't do? It's so painful and hurtful when people start to question your blackness. Now I have to get labeled as a self-hating Uncle Tom uppity negro because I don't subscribe to the "I'm being oppressed" narrative. Again, I would never deny racism or institutional racism, this country was built on it and it does exist. But it is not an excuse. We just have to work twice as hard as everyone else until we are in a position to make decisions. It saddens me that it's so difficult to connect with my black community now. Many of them can not be pursuaded to think otherwise. It's crazy how you start to feel guilty about it like you did something wrong when you didn't. What makes matters worse is that my fiancé is a white man. So now black people really label me as someone who hates their blackness. It's confusing because I'm trying to figure out exactly how we define blackness. It's not about the color of your skin apparently, it's all about how oppressed you feel and how much you struggle and how loyal you are to those things. And apparently falling in love with a man of another race somehow means you hate yourself. The black community is so broken and it hurts me deeply that I no longer relate to my own people.
fran on August 20, 2016:
nothing changes butthe faces and the names. this has been the way since the start. all the noise just feeds the system. wake the f up people , the poor feed the rich.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 15, 2016:
Thank you August, the commentary was brilliant on your part. Again thank you for adding to the discussion.
August on August 15, 2016:
Great article! The problem is that MOST intellectual black Americans will agree with you online but around others keep quiet due to fear of being labeled an Uncle Tom and House Kneegrow. What you have STATED is the ONLY WAY black America will achieve anything.
Sun on August 08, 2016:
i stumbled upon this website after having a not so good experience shopping at Toys R Us in Dublin, CA where I live. I am from India and fairly new to the US. While standing at the checkout line, I realised that there was an African American lady ahead of me and I by mistake didn't see her and cut the line. I apologized to her profusely but she was extremely angry. I felt a little guilty. I stood there at the checkout line holding my baby. I was carrying my baby in my hand as I didn't have a stroller for baby and my he is quite heavy. I also was not carrying a cart with me and was holding about a dozen pacifiers in my hand and stood there in the checkout line. I politely asked the dear African American lady if she could move her cart just a little bit so I can put the pacifiers down on the checkout counter as I was afraid I might drop all of them and break the brittle plastic boxes they were in. She got even more upset at me. Eventually she gave me a tiny bit of space by moving her cart 1mm to do so and one of the pacifier boxes fell from my hand. I tried to pick it up but she shoved her cart in my way. And the way she did it, I couldn't pick it up. Looking at this, the cashier got a bit frustrated and asked the African American lady herself to pick it up since she wouldn't move her cart to allow me to pick it up myself. That angered the African American lady so much that she picked up the box and smashed it on the counter. I felt really infuriated by her rudeness and I spoke up. As soon as I said that it was very rude, she started playing the victim card. I kept trying to be on topic but she tried behaving like I was being a racist. I was being really nice to her and was almost going to congratulate her for her new baby, but she refused to understand that I just stood up for myself and spoke up and wasn't trying to be mean to her at all. I felt she was really rude. And her playing the victim card was so confusing to me. Now that I read this, I understand why she had that mentality. I will be very careful next time I interact with an African American. I myself am a minority but have never even thought of playing a victim card and never will. I will impart the same education to my children. That is not a right way to progress in this world.
Philabustah on July 30, 2016:
Sometimes I see this implied notion that only white people are racist or prejudiced. Let's grow up, shall we? We know that's really dung poo.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 17, 2016:
THANK YOU for your response. It is greatly appreciated.
Yuko on May 17, 2016:
Just had this conversation with some black ladies about some race issues. I'm an Asian and to be specific I'm an immigrant too. What I realized from talking to them was that they all mentioned how bad they're treated as a dark skinned women and they call theirselves ugly, scary and criminals image.
I have been enjoying jazz, blues, hiphop or some so called black cultured art since I was in my home country. I have never had any images of them as criminal or scary.
As an Asian woman, I have experienced some racial incidents where I was chased to danger or hated bc of my heritage. Because of that incidents, I was scared of or disliked some races for a while.
But I realized that - that would not take me nowhere.
I can't label all the races or groups from one or two idiots have don't to me.
So I shared my thought and those black women I was talking to got really offended and upset. Even called me a color blind.
Started telling me I would never understand bc in a light skinned. And my pain is nothing compared from their pain.
And they just kept pointing out how victims they are and worse than other races.
I was speechless.
When I came to the US, I was cleaning toilets.
That's the only job I could get back then.
Now I have a career, and I'm trying to achieve something more.
I literally had nothing at beginning.
But I have never blamed on blacks or whites or Anericans!
I just did what I could do then and moved up.
Blaming is easy but it will not take you nowhere. When I see black women, I see the beauty. I always admire that artistic beauty.
That conversation made me very very sad.
Who are downgrading theirselves?
Definitely not me, but them.
And I feel like they are carrying over the sorrow and hate to next generation too.
When they said
"Whites are ~" they are labeling them too.
Because, um, avbiously not every person are same. My white friend is dating dark skinned black lady, my husband who is Mexican has a black best friend, it's 2016 and we have more positive things around us - but some people just focused on negatives only and move on with that sad mentality.
In this society, I feel like you can't even opinion about race if you're not black.
But I think we all should discuss about this uncomfortable subjects more.
From those ladies I talked to, I felt pains.
But at the same time they are feeling the pain when they don't have to, too.
After reading this article and comments, I joined a volunteering group to support single mother in my area. (Some ladie above mentioned that lots of black ladies struggle from raising kids alone with no make help at all)
So thank you for the inspiration
I will continue finding and doing what I can do to make this world a little better
And hopefully those who suffer from victimize mentality will find something to make that better too.
Very great post
SBOC on April 27, 2015:
I enjoyed your article. I have a question: considering the recent string of police deadly encounters on blacks, what is your opinion of "white privilege" that is currently being touted around on blogs and such? I keep going back and forth and believing that it rings true in that whites by default are looked upon by society and establishment in a more preferential treatment than blacks but at the time when blacks and whites are trying to come together to curb police brutality and killing, whites are also being told "don't call us, we'll call you" as a we'll let you know when we need you VERSUS I'm sorry but this meeting is only for black members of the community.
It seems counter-productive in a way for REAL change. I have inter-racial family members. Would they be excluded from that change for being born of a white mother or would they be included for being born of a black father. There is also another call going around that basically says "we'll share the lead with you (whites) but don't ever take the lead." The impression in the community seems to be that whites NEVER listen, they only want to hear themselves talk. I'm not sure if that is true (your experience with this?) or if it is just based on an individual's experiences with whites. Its kind of hard to help a movement when one is being constantly reminded of their "whiteness" or "white privilege"
but then told when, how, and to what capacity they can or cannot get involved. Thanks in advance for your insight on this matter.
big daddy oreo on January 19, 2015:
I am going undercover as a black man. I am going to try to use my black charm to get more productivity out of black employees. I will make a career as a oreo assistant manager. I bought the bought black like me. And I watched the movies lean on me and coach carter.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 25, 2014:
What a profoundly analytical synopsis of the situation at hand.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 26, 2014:
What you have stated in your commentary is so true. I have a hub regarding how Caribbean Blacks do so much better than American Blacks. Many American Blacks have a slavery and poverty mindset and consciousness which I will delve into detail later in another hub. Some seem so content with being marginal instead of being the best they can be. Sadly enough, they inculcate their children in this negative philosophy thus passing on the pathology to succeeding generations.
Leslie Trotter from New Orleans, La on November 26, 2014:
You're right on so many levels. However, black people don't stick together as a race. There is so much black on black crime that it makes me wonder, "where did this come from?" There is a core to everything...even the earth has a core. Caribbean blacks and others from abroad do much better in school, I suppose it's because they never had to go through the same as blacks in America...everyone has had a different experience in this life. I believe that if blacks would have been treated right during slavery... allowed to be educated and not killed for picking up a book, Perhaps they would have passed it down to the 21th century blacks. My now deceased grandfather's grandfather was a slave and my grandfather told me some horrific stories about how his grandfather had to deal with slavery. I don't call that a victim mentality, I call it...you have the chances to be educated and live a much better life than what your ancestors had to endure. Victim mentality can be found in just about everyone regardless of race or gender, depending on the situation. Let's say a person who served in Vietnam years ago who witnessed all sorts of atrocities. Many of those people are alive today suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and they tell war stories like it's going out of style. And then you have a woman who was molested years ago when she was a child...now a grown woman who suffers from PTS. I had a neighbor once, she was a Jew and she had numbers branded into her arm. She went through the holocaust and she had some stories... I wouldn't dare tell her to get over it. She was hurt a long time ago and it effected her. I don't make light of anyone's misfortune or tragedy. Even watching the movies "12 years a slave" or "Rosewood" makes me cringe and cry as we all know they are true stories. I was born during the Jim Crow Era, when blacks had to ride in the back of the bus or could not drink out of the same water fountain as whites. They were treated like animals as it still is today...How I know this is because a white friend of mine wanted to go and purchase a trailer from Vidor, Texas but this friend told me It would be safer for me if I stayed home. Vidor is known for not welcoming blacks in their town and there are plenty of places in the U.S that doesn't welcome blacks. Blacks are still being lynched today or dragged behind trucks. The KKK just had a rally in a park within walking distance from my home, so no one can tell me that it is completely better for blacks and It is true that blacks are long awaiting a savior...but as for me my Savior can only be Jesus Christ.
Kofi Newton on November 25, 2014:
FOr all those blacks and whites who want us all to intergrate will tell another highly intelligent black person to stop questioning your current system and follow it by suggesting that your playing into the victim mentallity. I dont want to intigrate into this unfair system by sucking up to white folks. Haven't you noticed that all the good parts of America is filled with white folks and sprinkles of blacks. What messages are these scenes sending. History is key in this because it tells you exactly why we are trying to clang onto the white nipples of the elite and the majority. We should continue to play the victim card and use it as fuel to go back to Africa to be amongst people who resemble us. If we integrate here in the states we do it in vain. America is going to fall anyway. China imports everything to us. What do we have. America only has stupid Americans who claim to fight for democracy around the world. BS!!!!!!! Im proud to be black and alive and freedom to travel and make a new home for myself. I will not turn my head once I leave this police state.
Gregory on February 08, 2014:
This is getting old. when are people going to grow up and get on with their Lives ? We hear equal rights, how many years we gonna hear this ? Plus if you want equal rights then don't say the N word, if blacks can say it, I can say it. Equal rights, if blacks can call each other the N word and joke about it, Then so can I . We all know what went on many years ago was wrong but remember how it got stopped ?? Alot of whites stood up and helped to defend equal rights, but Most blacks forget or don't care about that. Blacks get so many jobs now over white employees that are more qualified, Equal Rights need to work both ways or its not equal rights !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on August 10, 2013:
mosaicman and sanxuary,
You speak with great understanding.
I hear Whites say, "I had not one thing to do with slavery. Why are Blacks blaming us for what happened over a hundred years ago? Anyway, they were freed in the 1860's. Why are they still whining."
I can understand and even agree with this. I did not have anything to do with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and do not want to be blamed for it. Who would not understand that?
There is so much that many Whites and even many Blacks do not understand. Listen to the little that I have to share. Complete freedom for Blacks did not come in the 1860’s, over 150 years ago. That may be called the first phase of freedom for many Black slaves.
When MLK bellowed out in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, he was dreaming of freedom for Blacks in modern America. If Blacks had been free when he was alive in the 1960’s, why would he preach and teach freedom and lose his life for it? He died because many opposed his nonviolent battle to help free Black people. If you would Google the Jim Crow Laws, you would discover laws that covered the heads of Blacks from the time of the first phase of freedom in the 1860’s to the second phase in the 1960’s. If you had been forced under those laws permitted by the government and enforced by law enforcement authorities, how much freedom would you have had?
So, what many do not want you to know about Black history is that Blacks have only been free in America for less than 50 years. The second phase began in the 1960’s, and the oppression caused by these laws that were diehards began to taper and has not yet come to a complete vanishing point. Some say that Black Americans affected by such oppression have been dead for a hundred years. Wrong! I am very much alive. I was born under Jim Crow and so were millions others like me, male and female, and we are survivors.
My mother who was born in 1930 is still alive. My grandfather who was born in 1889 died when I was 31 years old. We had many years to talk of his experiences. My great aunt who was born in 1871 died when I was 26 years old. She lived to be 106 and died in 1977. The roots that I connected with for many years were not far from original slavery.
In the 60’s I participated in a march for the rights for blacks to vote in my area. I was a teen and was very fearful of losing my life. I remember some Klansman threatening people in my neighborhood and leaving bloody messages in their driveways. I remember some Black community activists getting gang beaten for marching for civil rights for our race. I remember a preacher getting a fork rammed up his nostrils. I remember many hangings of men who desired only simple rights. I remember staying up at night with my mom because we were afraid that our house would be burned while we slept. I remember some Whites coming by on a truck and throwing large rocks at Blacks’ mailboxes. They dented our new box. I remember two half-White boys whose separate White fathers lived in the same community. One boy disappeared, and the other was mysteriously murdered around the same time. The missing one dared to attend his father’s funeral and made it the talk of the town. Shortly after, he was never seen again.
I remember hearing about my Dad’s car accident that occurred on a highway while he was going to work. He lay in a nearby field where the car landed after being hit by an 18-wheeler. It was reported that he lay there for several hours before an ambulance finally came. The Ambulatory service in the nearby town refused to take him to a hospital because they did not serve Blacks. When he finally arrived, he was dead. One other man with my father died upon arrival, and two others died at the scene. One was the trucker. All were Black.
Should I have forgotten all of these? I do not know how to forget. Perhaps some experienced person can teach me to forget. I have forgiven all of these offenses, and I feel mightily good and clean because of it. Forgiveness gave me a peace that I do not know how to describe. I will call it “serenity.”
What I have shared is very little compared to all that I experienced and witnessed during my early years. Those things still affect me, but I have no anger. Ask any White person who lost a loved one to the hands of a killer. Ask anyone who lost a child to the carelessness of a drunk driver. I doubt if any would say, “I don’t remember.” If they have forgiven, they have been very kind to themselves, although it is not easy.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 10, 2013:
Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion and commentary, it is greatly appreciated in kind.
Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on August 10, 2013:
This is certainly a thought-provoking hub, and I really do agree with many of your points. I even agree that Blacks need to move on from the victim stage. When people stand for what they believe in with desire, dedication, and determination, no man can hinder them if they are right. What is right and good always prevails, even if the going is tough and it takes some time to get it. That is why I agree that Blacks or any race of people who feel victimized should move on past the pity party and aspire for their goals. Others who try to stop them will be ashamed and look on with awe and disbelief. No man owns your tomorrow, and no man can take it away or give it to another because it is not his to will. TOMORROW is always new, and every man has access to one of his own. His name will be stamped on it only if he claims it.
Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on August 10, 2013:
sentence than White men for the same crimes. One only has to view the records. The statistics have reported it. Should Blacks stop playing victims there? Should they pretend that it is not happening?
Zimmerman’s famous statement, “They get away with everything!” How can that be when an alarming number of Black men are behind bars and incarcerated longer than any race in the country (USA)? We are accused of coddling Black men who commit crimes against Whites. That is a lie. If we did that, we would never leave the streets to stop protesting. Thousands of Black men were jailed today! Who is marching and calling in the media?
The truth is that Whites are victimized. Many racist acts are committed against them. Blacks are victimized. Many racist acts are committed against them. Other races are victimized and suffer many racist acts. People, in general, are hellish.
I strongly believe in family unity, education, independence, helping others, forgiveness, love, etc., but I cannot pretend that something does not exist when it does. We live in a world where women and children are forced to be sex slaves, and it is happening all around us. Many are carted like animals. They are victims.
We live in a world where the Black community is riddled with drugs that is causing destruction of communities and lives. Children suffer the most. Do we pretend that they are not victims? Yes, Blacks are to Blame for allowing this to happen to them and their families, but how many Blacks own a piece of the drug industry? How many are letting drugs cross the borders or flying planes filled with drugs? How many are directing loads of drugs from country to country? How many are drug kingpins compared to Caucasians?
Who cooks up crystal meth and distributes it right here in our own country? How many Blacks use it? How much money is used to help meth addicts each year? Is it a problem? Why do we not hear much about it? It does more damage to the body than many other drugs that get a lot of attention. Compare the crystal meth addicts with the number of arrests. We mainly hear about crystal meth when a lab blows up. I wonder why Black drug involvement is so loud when others’ is so quiet? Who is arrested more for drugs? A child could answer all of these questions with accuracy.
Black children are led to believe that they are the worst at everything. They are always compared to White children. Why? We know that Japanese children make higher scores on tests than American White children, but are White children downgraded because of it? No! We know that Japanese children study harder and longer hours than White children, but White children are not called dumb because of it. Japanese are strict educators, and that is impressive, but what is the point in downgrading others. We could use some of their teaching and learning strategies, revamp our educational programs, or be satisfied at the status quo. But, what is the point of insulting children? I would never use this to insult White children. Such criticism is cruel and inhuman. I say, do something about it, or zip the lips. As someone said, “If we cannot be part of the solution, we should be quiet.” Sounding bells without a purpose is like building houses on clouds.
Caucasian gangsters and other notorious criminals in this country have always been made to look like heroes, but black gangsters are despicable thugs worthy of a life in prison. Now, I do not approve of black or any gangsters, but I want to draw an analogy. Black gangs are smaller and less organized than Caucasian gangs. The most dangerous gangs are non-black. That does not give Black gangs any Brownie points. Why then do Blacks get the biggest rap for ganging?
Consider Jessie and Frank James and other real western outlaw gangs. Consider the famous Italian crime families (Scar Face, for example), Bonnie and Clyde, and many more. Consider The Fonz was a thug, but who hated him? I did like him. Nearly every boy’s, and some girl’s, hero was a gangster, mobster, or other similar character. Even I played Jessie James with my brothers, and I am a female. I shot ‘em dead and took their money every time! I played White outlaws because I did not want to be a “stinking, mangy, “injun.” I played a White cowboy because they almost always won and was always right. They were always the heroes. They saved the innocent blonde ladies and killed the injuns. I did not save any ladies, but I “killed” many injuns with my stick guns. I must apologize for that. I didn’t think very much of Indians as a child, but when I learned better, I thought better.
I did not realize that my reaction was so lengthy. Sorry.
Birdie on June 20, 2013:
This is a logical response http://youtu.be/DVhTvABkkxM
kxwaal on May 12, 2013:
You ignore entirely the exploitation of black people by the prison industrial complex, and by capitalism in general. There is plenty for black people to be angry about - There is plenty for all poor people to be angry about (of which the black population unfortunately makes up a disproportionate part of). Nothing will change until the contradictory capitalist system is finally torn down.
junko on May 05, 2013:
Jobs would solve all the problems that all jobless Americans are having now. Racism has nothing to do with the jobs problems all Americans are having at the grass roots, but it may have something to do with the President's race, despite the fact he is not a Negro. Classism and the victimization of the 47%er's (Takers) are the new conservative targets, the underclass is under control. This jobless problem at one time was just mainly an African American problem. As all unjust practiced against the underclass, after study and perfection, the injustice moves up from the underclass slowly. Most underclass jobs were moved to China's underclass.
platinumOwl4 on May 05, 2013:
This is a genuine article, however, there are some glaring holes in it. Yet, the main subject is concrete. There is a need for Blacks to stop buying into the victimization continually. and discover how to overcome the circumstances. The number one resource is to read more and not that trash and filth, that keeps on the low vibrations.
Leslie Trotter from New Orleans, La on February 24, 2013:
I agree with the majority of what you say... you hit the nail on the head about victim mentality. However, I want to state one point. I notice when you bring up blacks and their lack of interest of wanting to get a proper education or at least try, they show no interest. Black people from Africa or other areas of the world have higher standards and strive for higher education. It seems to me that during slavery, blacks were killed, beaten or sold away from their families if they were caught learning how to read or write, so education is too much of a challenge and it is much easier for them to remain in a stuper and to continue to have the master take care of them. Blacks from other parts of the world who wasn't affected by slavery and who wasn't kept from learning knows the value of a good education. I will not take away the fact that there are some very smart Black Americans in our country who are highly educated.
Sanxuary on January 05, 2013:
Anyone who has endured a period of discrimination is not going to forget about being a victim. If you have never been a victim you would not understand. You would assume that it could never happen to you. Its the anger afterwards that causes the victim to assume that others are not likely to be on your side. Building trust and understanding that discrimination is a two way street is how you overcome it. All those books on the shelf is proof that discrimination has been and is probably still a big issue. Many however write their stories long after the facts. I am not a victim of discrimination but a victim for reporting it and opposing it. It was an eye opener and I remain quite angry at those who attempted to silence me. Maybe I will put a book on that shelf some day. No one wakes up and decides to be a victim today. Choice never decided my sex or the colour of my skin. There are always victims but all victims should know that anyone can be one and to never make them.
B-Dawg on October 15, 2012:
I see black skin in society for what it truly is. Protection. Black skin in america is like a shield. Most people don't realize it. I can't think of anyone who would benefit anymore from this shield then today's white man. Black skin would get the white man some respect. People look at a white boss and think he got power. I look at a white boss and think he would be more powerful with a black face. That is my take peace.
mosaicman from Tampa Bay, Fl on July 27, 2012:
This article brings up many points and issues, some I agree with, some I do not. Cheri brought up a very important point. I work in the school system and most of the African American students come from a single parent household . It is hard (but not impossible) for the parent to come to meetings and conferences when they are working two jobs. It is true that we must shoulder some of the burden for not doing right by our women and families but there is so much more to it.
I see white students pulling up in the parking lot with a Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, etc. Their parents have money and are financial literate (and smart). They pass this knowledge down to their children. This is invaluable as their children can bypass many certain financial pitfalls. There are parents that own their own businesses. This is important for two reasons whereas they can pass this entrepreneurial spirit down to their children. They also have a little bit to pass down to their children (e.g. house, land, business).
Man I can go on, I haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg, yet this is a hub that should not only think and decipher the problems but look towards coming up with better solutions as we are scratching are head for some at the momen.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 26, 2011:
To MadBlackHatter: Thank you so much for stopping by and for your enlightening and intelligent response. We Black Americans must evolve, became self-starters and not continuously blame "the man". This "bleme the man" philosophy is becoming a dead issue. Many Black Americans perform self-destructive acts and wonder why they are in such dire predictament. Many Black Americans need to wake up and go beyond the victim mentality. Thank you for your response and I, for one, would continue this conversation!
MadBlackHatter on November 26, 2011:
Hey "GM", I didn't know you had this hub. It ties so well with my hub on Black Psychosis. We need our views heard and the black community needs to snap out of its self sabotaging beliefs. Structural racism exists but we are not doing everything we can do. We are not realizing our potential even within the confines of institutional racism. Honestly, with the digital age rapidly leaving the under-educated and the poor behind, black americans are drifting further back at an exponential pace. Extinction may be too strong a word but my hopes for black progress are diminishing.
In short, we NEED to take a long hard look at ourselves. Thanks for keeping the conversation going.
Cheri123 from Michigan on March 20, 2011:
I'd like to add that as a Black, divorced, single working professional mother, (with friends in the same boat)...I try hard to help my children focus on getting a good education. But I would be lying if I didn't say that it is a struggle. Many of my children's white counterparts have father's as the head of the household, and stay at home moms who have time to make sure that their children are putting in enough time and effort into their schooling. I wish I had the opportunity to stay at home, still be able to keep the house clean, cook healthy meals, pay the bills, take out the trash,etc....i.e. Only 30% of Black families are married and 1 out of every three households are ran by a single black woman...and she is more likely to be poor and struggling...and believe me statistics show that not all of us have 5 and 10 kids...many of us have only one or two because we thought we married or found the right man to start a family with....but he left us high and dry...where is he? In prison, gay, on drugs, dealing with a white woman...I agree wholeheartedly with your article. If we had more strong blacks who didn't fall into victimization more of our families would be together to raise our children to be strong capable, loving, supportive individuals.
Nan Mynatt from Illinois on February 12, 2011:
You have through a lot of hurt and pain. To overcome you are going to have to forget what other people think and do. It is sad to be ignorant, and not know it. Many black don't think that they can compete with their white counterparts and won't try. Whites are not going to train you to take their jobs, nor will you train other blacks to take your job. It's all about money, they want to keep all the money to themselves and not share. You goal should be to be the best you can be and forget other people. I think that the under priviledge are jealous and can't help themselves. GOOD LUCK.