Let’s Talk About Race

It’s hard for many Americans to talk about race. It’s hard for me to talk about race. So, it should be no surprise that it is hard for President Barack Obama to talk about race. Our nations first “African-American” president tried to make his race seem neutral in both the 2008 campaign and the 2012 campaign. Conservatives disagree. However, he has made two speeches regarding race that have been received by many as rather excellent.

Barack Obama represents the 1.1% in this Country that make up the black race mixed with another race. As a whole, blacks make up 14.2% of the population, which is roughly 44.5 million. The 44.5 million blacks in this Country are the offspring of the 4 million slaves that were transported across the Atlantic as far back as 1619, in the colony of Jamestown. The colonists needed slaves to harvest the very profitable tobacco…tobacco that the colonists learned to plant by the Indians…the Indians that future colonists went on to slaughter.

There has been a great deal of talk, within the past few weeks, regarding racial profiling and the perceived fear that whites have towards blacks in this Country. According to a study produced by Harvard University a majority of Americans, 52%, have a negative bias towards African-Americans. If you don’t believe me, take the test, but don’t blame me for the results. If we are to talk about race in this Country, we must ask ourselves who are the people to be most perceived as criminals in the 400 plus years of slavery. Blacks were not allowed to travel in social circles. The were forced to live in indentured servitude, and in that case, they were not participants in crime. When did the perception of blacks viewed as a criminal element of society start to happen? Blacks, post-slavery, were allowed to participate in the rearing of white children. They were allowed to clean the households of whites. All of this and they were not allowed to ride on buses with whites and they were not allowed to eat or even use the same restrooms as whites. When was it that we were perceived as a menacing threat to society? Perhaps, was it when we stood up and demanding our civil rights?

The State with the most blacks is the State of New York. The State of New York has almost 3.7 million blacks, which accounts for 19% of the population. Whites make up roughly 57% of New York’s population. In contrast, blacks make up over 50% of the prison population while whites make up 19%.

Texas and Florida rank second and third with the number of blacks totaling 3.4 million each. Right now, in the State of Texas, there are 230,086 people serving time in prison. Of the 230,086 people serving jail time in Texas, 156,316 are African-Americans. That means that 47% of the people serving time in prison are black. In contrast, 47% of the total population of Texas is white.

Florida is not too far off. The amount of blacks serving time in Florida prisons total 37%. Florida is also 78% white. With statistics like this it is no surprise how whites get away with killing blacks in Florida’s “Stand your ground” laws. It is no surprise that “Stand your ground” will remain the law in Florida despite how many hundreds, thousands or millions of people show up to fight it. It is no surprise that all these “Stand your ground” laws have been sprouting up in most States in this Country. The same can be said about all these voter disenfranchisement laws. The fact remains that every day in America 50,000 Hispanics turn 18 years of age. This stands to the reality that this Country is changing. Hispanics are also disproportionately represented in our judicial system.

The total black population in North Carolina is 2.2 million. That accounts for 23% of the population. The amount of people serving time in prison, in North Carolina, is 52,000. Out of the 52,000, 43,000 are black. What I find totally interesting is that the total U.S. prison population totals 2.257 million. Out of the 2.257 million people serving time in prison 2.231 million people are African-American. That means that 15% of all African-Americans are living in The United States in prison, which means that the 14.2% of all African-Americans living in society is really close to 7%. Basically, there is a 1 in 6.5 chance that blacks will serve time in jail than be productive members of society.

It is hard to talk about race in this Country that is 226 years old. It is hard to talk about “All men are created equal” without acknowledging the original sin. It is hard to talk about race in this Country without acknowledging who was here first. As we debate who we should let into this great Country let us remember who was left out of the debate many, many, many years ago. Let us remember that this land was the land of the Native Americans, and let us remember the genocide that was amassed on those people at the hands of the white, European illegals. Let us remember that the racist term used against Native Americans as “redskins” still exists today. Let us also remember that the Native American population is far fewer than the 1% that self-identify as mixed race. If you ask them who they perceive as evil it would probably be the white people. Now, in all fairness, whites would like to state that the Indians have their own land and profitable casinos. However, they also suffer in poverty, alcohol/drug abuse and oppression in obtaining what was once rightfully theirs.

It is also hard to talk about race in a Country that is 226 years old when blacks have been enslaved, segregated, oppressed and institutionalized for all of those years. It is also hard to talk about race when blacks were never asked to come to America–rather forced to come to America on ships, in shackles, sold to our owners to build the America that we see today.

Some would say that slavery was a thing of the past. I beg to differ. One of the definitions of slavery is, “The condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence.” Another definition of slavery is, “the subjection of a person to another person, esp in being forced into work”. According to that definition, aren’t we all slaves?


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