Thursday, November 22, 2007


Though this subject has been beaten about on many blogs, I naturally cannot miss out writing about it.
It appears that there is growing tensions among blacks based on geographic origins, Africans, Caribbeans and African Americans. Each group accuses the other of assumed superiority. African Americans (AAs) in particular are agitated by the attitude displayed by the foreign blacks who they believe treat them no differently than the other races that historically discriminated against AAs.
The other blacks too are accused of buying into the stereotypes of AAs and using those to "look down" on them.

Rightly, AAs believe that these other blacks should not forget that the way has been paved for them by the sacrifices they have made through history. So the debate or argument, if you please, is raging with both sides telling the other how they should behave.
Popular sentiment among black immigrants is that AAs don't have any more excuses not to own part of the American dream, since themselves come to America with little and manage to "make it".

Personally I go against this popular immigrant sentiment, firstly because immigrants don't seem to put into proper perspective the contributions of AAs to America and the world at large. If they did, they would simply join the struggle.
The person usually talking is one that has come form either, a well to do family whereby their way has been carefully paved for them or they come from abject poverty, the kind that makes the ghetto look like the hills and are therefore ultra motivated to 'make it'. All these advantages are subsidized by a healthy psychological state of mind, which for the black person means simply a lack of knowledge of racism. With which comes the benefit of never 'seeing' another race as better than them.

A first time traditionally bred African traveller to the West will always be shocked that the color of their skin can be a problem. It takes one a very long time to get the reality. That is why some Africans tend to be naive on matters regarding racism. They don't understand it to the extent the AAs do and so don't see why that can be a hindrance to progress.
On the other hand you have people like me that were too quick to grasp the dynamics. Why do you wonder, do some immigrants see it while others don't?
I would guess it has to do with one's own indigenous culture and personality i.e. the ability not to shy away from confrontation.

As far as cultures are concerned, there are many African cultures that tend to be conformist. Same way you have, for example Asians in the US or other groups that don't appear to be overtly vocal on Civil rights issues. These types of Africans will not rock the boat, they will simply work around the system and always appear agreeable making them popular with employers. You then have others that are more confrontational. I happen to belong to one. To the American employer, I am a nightmare, because I am hired on the premise that I am African and therefore 'docile' not like the AA. Problem is my culture being quite the dominant type, I can spot the dynamics of discrimination pretty quick and I am on top of them.

My experience with employers has been simply this, I am hired as an African and favored over the AA, however, the moment I am in, they want to treat me the same way they treated the AA pre civil rights and I am supposed to accept it. Many Africans go through this and some don't even see it.

As far as the debates on which cultures are more superior, it is laughable. No one knows exactly how many ethnic groups exist among blacks. In Africa, they are estimated to be around 4000. Some are probably not known yet, and they are full fledged cultures with languages , traditions and philosophies. So who is better than who?

Simply put in my humble opinion, blacks in the world are so interdependent. There would be no AAs without Africa and there would be no progress for Africans or Caribbeans with out AAs.
And unfortunately for all of us we will always be bound by racism despite our "superior differences".