New Year Blues
I have mentioned my immigrant status in several blog entries, I have taken the African American identity as my own even though I am very proud of my Caribbean roots. Recently I came across an article that stated that %17 of African Americans are people like me, immigrants or the children of immigrants. Since the population of African Americans has dropped due to the mixed race census category in 2001 and estimates do not expect the African American population to grow significantly in next fifty years, one fact is becoming increasingly clear. The population of native born African Americans is shrinking and I am pissed about it. How can people with such a grand history of fighting for rights that most whites take for granted get into this position? Will we wake up or will we go the way of our Native American brethern? I have been kicking around a few radical ideas that could shake things up a bit. I know that the current apathy exhibited by a proportion of my native born brothers and sisiters will make actions like this highly impossible but one can only dream….
African American should stop paying taxes. Our taxes go to system that funds white school systems at a greater rate than black and Hispanic school systems. Our taxes have funded a war on drugs that disproportionately a racist war on drugs that imprisons black crack cocaine users but gives a free pass to white powdered cocaine users. Although this is beginning to bite rural and working class whites due to the growing meth epidemic, it does not change the fact that we pay to be undereducated and overjailed.
Start massive protests at business who hire undocumented workers. As an immigrant I get a lot of stupid comments about immigrants, but the fact remains that it easier to hire these workers and pay them less than hire black Americans who know their rights under employment law. There are areas where up to %50 of black men are unemployed, get on the picket line and make life miserable for those who will not employ you.
Start EEOC sting with like minded white friends. If two people go into a job interview with equal employment histories and blacks are consistently turned away it is time to put that company on blast. The EEOC and Civil Rights Commissions are no longer fill with conservatives who want to impair their function. It is time to strike while the iron is hot!
Black parents should start attending school with their children as much as possible. The majority of our schools are not working and we need to be in the classrooms assisting teachers and making sure that the educational system stops taking our children for granted. Do you remember how well you acted when your mom came to school? Imagine how seriously kids would take school if someone’s mama was there everyday and were quite willing to call parents in if the one child gets in the way of learning?
We need to see the fact that our communities have been made into war zones. The enemy is not only the police who contain and police the borders so it does not spill into “good neighborhoods” but the children who decide to fall into this lifestyle and make it unsafe for their own brothers and sisters to go school safely. We need to press our mayors and Governors to declare states of emergencies and get the National Guard to police our streets.
Lastly we need to attack the idea of what has become “black culture.” Being uneducated and fodder for the prison industry is not “black” for centuries African Americans have fought against the racist practices of this country and the recent internalization of this age old ideology in black youth culture has to stop. Studies done on black and Hispanic drug indicated that drug dealers make the same amount as workers in Walmart over a five year period. The cheddar made by this portion of our communities goes right back into the hands of mostly white lawyers and a predominantly white legal system. The prison business is owned by whites, why are black youths so eager to make money for whites?
I am pissed and despondent. I know that my Caribbean brothers and sisters will continue to grow as a part of African America, but the people, history and culture that I fell in love with when I came here at the age of eleven will continue to slide down the path of self destruction unless something major happens. We helped elect the first black President, will we be able to save ourselves?