February 25, 2007

No apology needed

This past week the Virginia General Assembly expressed regret against enslaving the African. I guess some folk want an apology, but I have always wanted an acknowledgement of the harm done and the contribution of the slave. It has become a joke, somewhat salacious; when blacks speak of the harm and how it continues to affect us. “Heh heh heh, can’t they stop playing the victim.”

The enslavers use torture and murder, then slight distinctions in treatment to keep the slave in line. Torture and murder, it’s pretty obvious what impact that had. Jim Crow succeeded in keeping this up into the late 20th century. The slight distinctions of treatment were based on color; that created mistrust and bias among blacks. Fear and mistrust are powerful emotions, not just overcome by a generation. These emotions had been institutionalized in the culture. Mothers instinctively taught their sons, to be invisible, so much the fear that their child would be killed. The powerlessness, black men felt as one of their own were taken away, was instilled from birth. Stand up for some right that most would take for granted; a whole community would burn and the death toll enormous. Then, there is that suspicion of who is the authentic black. This plays such an important role when choosing our leaders and skews any objectivity we might have. The psychological yolk from past generations has been handed down and tenuously accepted. It cannot be thrown off easily.

I want more than words of apology. I want respect and not asked euphemistically “What’s wrong with you niggers and why don’t you just get over slavery?”

1 comment:

A. said...

I think that respect is one of the things that everybody wants, so it's sad then that people don't treat others they way they would like to be treated themselves.