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Obama’s America: Why Black Grievance Will Never End – OpEd


When I was 12 years old, I played tennis at a certain public park in the Bronx. One day it got back to me that a black fellow at the courts, whose name I forget, said “Selwyn doesn’t like black people.” This raised my eyebrows. You see, I had never really thought about the man one way or the other. And what occupied my mind were forehands, backhands, topspin and volleys, not race. So the only thing I could figure was that I was probably in a funk one day and didn’t hear and acknowledge a greeting he might have extended.

Whatever the perceived slight, race was a factor. After all, imagine the reaction if he had been white. At worst he might have thought, “Selwyn is a self-absorbed brat,” which would have been closer to the truth. Or he might just have concluded that I was having a bad day (I was an aspiring player at the time, but, lamentably, had a lot of bad days). Instead, he saw bad intentions where none existed.

Of course, any time someone noticeably different from us appears to slight us, it’s natural to wonder if it may be because of those differences. But when you consider what many black Americans believe, it’s clear something else is afoot. Just consider, for instance, that when Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright accused white people of “inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color,” he was not expressing a new belief in the black community. After Hurricane Katrina, Louis Farrakhan claimed that the breached levees had been blown-up by the government; Spike Lee said that his theory wasn’t “far-fetched”; and even before Looney Louie had weighed in, black residents on the street stated that the flooding was part of a conspiracy to rid New Orleans of black people. On a more frivolous but equally ridiculous note, I’ve heard black golf fans claim that the late-1990s equipment revolution that enabled players to hit the ball further, and the subsequent lengthening of golf courses, were engineered for the purposes of undermining Tiger Woods, a black man dominating a white game. Of course, given what we now know about Woods’ extra-curricular activities, targeting him with HIV might have been easier.

To illustrate the phenomenon causing people to believe such inanity, consider a woman in a bad marriage who hates her husband. She may see him through colored glasses, and then his trespasses are never just innocent mistakes, are they? Instead, much that he does will displease her – and all of it is part of an effort to upset her. “Why, that’s just the kind of thing he would do!” thinks she. Now, don’t get me wrong. He may be lacking or even a cad, and he may sometimes actually try to get her goat. But that isn’t the point. It is, rather, that whatever he is or isn’t, she won’t perceive it clearly through those colored glasses. Hatred is like darkness: the more there is, the less you can see.

And this is precisely the issue in the black community. Black minister and head of the Brotherhood Organization for a New Destiny Jesse Lee Peterson alluded to this when he said that the goal of racial hustlers such as Jesse Jackson is to keep black people angry so that they won’t be able to think clearly. Yet this “Jacksonizing” of youth is now endemic in the black community. Too many black children are weaned on ideas such as “The white man is keeping you down,” “The white man has oppressed you” and “A black man has no place in America.” They may hear such sentiments from their parents, from Reverend Wrights in churches, from friends, from music and popular culture – and even in school (read here). The result is that they view whites through colored glasses, seeing bad intentions and Caucasian conspiracies where none exist. Hey, that’s just the way white people are.

Of course, this phenomenon isn’t unique to black/white relations. It’s evident in Palestinian/Jewish ones, Hutu/Tutsi ones, Turkish/Armenian ones and many others as well; it’s something that has ever plagued man. And because it has such a long history and can be easily understood, something can be said with confidence: black grievance will never end.

Oh, “never” is a long time?

I’ll be more precise: the American republic will end before black grievance will.

To place this in further perspective, consider jihadist teaching. Would you expect the next generation of Muslims to relinquish their grievances against Jews when anti-Semitism is taught in tens of thousands of madrassahs worldwide and presented as part of Islamic religion? Well, consider that anti-white teaching is rife in the black community and has been molded into a religion; it’s called Black Liberation Theology (BLT) and teaches that God must assist in eradicating “the white enemy.” Then there is Critical Race Theory (CRT) – an offshoot of Marxist critical theory – which states that “the [American] system must be made unequal in order to compensate for the innate racism of the white majority,” writes Ben Shapiro. And don’t argue about it, either. Many BLT and CRT adherents will aver that white people are blind to their inherent bigotry and that “white privilege” renders them oblivious to their “undeserved” benefits. So, you see, only non-whites can grasp their dysfunction.

To make matters worse, in the way that Islam is on the march as radicalism imbues ever more mosques, black grievance only worsens, ironically, as we move further from the antebellum period. Why? Well, just as 18th-century Muslims knew nothing of the Crusades (which were a response to Islamic aggression) until taught about them in 19th-century English and French colonial schools, the teaching of black children is not what it was back when the three Rs weren’t racism, radicalism and revenge. Note that BLT was only originated in 1966 and CRT in the late 1970s.

And this again speaks to the intractability of black grievance. “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree,” the saying goes; it’s hard to overcome what is instilled during formative years. And anger has its appeal. As a black woman caller emphatically stated on a radio talk show I listened to some years ago, “My hate keeps me going!” Yes, passion is energizing and can be born of hate as well as love. And in keeping with Ben Franklin’s saying, “You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into,” problems of misguided emotion cannot be remedied with intellectual appeals. Whatever whites are or are not, it won’t be perceived clearly until the colored glasses come off.

And how are they removed? Whether you’re black, white, a Palestinian or that hypothetical wife, the answer is always the same: forgiveness. When we forgive, the blinding anger dissipates and we finally see the object of our wrath clearly. Then we often learn that he isn’t quite the monster we once imagined.

Unless this were to happen, we shouldn’t expect anything but what we have already witnessed: Attorney General Eric Holder’s refusal to prosecute the Philadelphia Black Panthers, Barack Obama’s stoking of racial anger, blacks’ assumption that every Trayvon Martin is an innocent victim, and increasing “retaliatory” attacks on whites by the children of BLT and CRT. And we shouldn’t be naïve enough to think that pandering helps. You’re not going to prove your good will to Jackson, Holder, Al Sharpton and their fellow travelers by offering handouts, government programs and quotas. You won’t prove it by voting for a (half) black president, which – especially when he is a BLT Marxist radical – is seen just as

license to extract more pounds of flesh. You won’t soothe their savage breasts by taking it on the chin and then saying, “Thank you, sir; may I have another?” For the Jeremiah Wrights of the world are much like the Independence Day alien who was asked by the American president, “What is it you want us to do?”

His answer: “die.” Only, because BLT babies can’t yet access the firepower of Louis Farrakhan’s earth-orbiting mother ship, “which will reign down destruction on white America,” they’re not quite so forthcoming.

As for whites, if our concessions won’t help, what should we do? Well, while we shouldn’t respond to hate with hate or think being on its receiving end absolves us of the obligation to act morally, we could be more forthcoming ourselves and let the Truth set us free. And we can start by following Eric Holder’s words, as opposed to his deeds, and cease being cowards on race. This would mean telling black Americans the truth: their problems lie not in their stars – white or otherwise – but in themselves.

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Selywn Duke

Selywn Duke is a columnist and author.

One thought on “Obama’s America: Why Black Grievance Will Never End – OpEd

  • April 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Here’s what is completely missing from this analysis: the fact that black Americans DO experience real, sometimes life-changing racism regularly. Yes, the frequency and effect of these experiences can be amplified in an environment where racial grievances and conspiracies are taught. But even those teachings come out of real experiences.
    I am a white, conservative mid-westerner and my husband is black. Frankly, if I hadn’t witnessed things with my own eyes, I would never have believed the racist crap he has had to deal with. He once brought me an extremely racist cartoon that was left on his desk. He had brought it to his supervisor and said it made him uncomfortable. The next day he was told that his services were no longer needed. He once had a woman who upon finding that he had been promoted to be her supervisor declared loudly, “I’m not reporting to that ni**er” and stormed out. She was never reprimanded, never apologized and was a pain in his behind everyday that he worked there. As a child of about 6 a white neighbor spit on him because he had been playing with her child. She spit ON him! Told him she didn’t want any coloreds playing with her kids. A 6 year old. You don’t have to teach people to hate when they experience these sorts of things regularly.
    I totally understand that accusations of racism can be made unfairly. I almost lost my job in college because of false accusations of racism. Not only that, but the accusations were made in front of about 150 people including people very high up in the college administration. But often people assume racism because they encounter it often enough and it’s hard to parse out who is having a bad day and who is a potential danger due to bigotry. After a while, defaulting to “racist” is just easier.
    I get where you are coming from and agree that the race-baiting is unhelpful. But to assume that racial grievences are the result of being taught hatred and not one’s own experiences is both erroneous and disrespectful. IMO, the only way that things will get better is if people learn to be more empathetic towards each other. And that means listening to their stories rather than assuming people are just dumb and hateful.


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