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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Why I Can’t Stand to Hear “I Don’t Want to Work For The White Man”

Whenever I hear people say that they don’t want to work for the White man, it makes me want to look at them sideways.  I usually have my reservations about people who talk and think this way.  When they single out not wanting to work for the White man it makes me question their true motives.  Please let me explain.  Now there are a segment of upwardly mobile, proud, progressive Black people who have the ultimate goal of achieving financial independence and generational wealth.  They want something to call their own without needing to rely too much on the White male dominated establishment or anyone else for that matter. Many of them don’t forget where they came from.  I respect that and I am not talking about these caliber of people.  

From my experience, when people speak a lot of racial rhetoric about the White man (in the context of money and business), I have usually observed two things about them:

a) They are lazy and don’t want to work. 
b) They don’t do anything positive to uplift themselves or the Black community.  
Some of them sell drugs to their own community so that they don’t have to work of White people. 

I really think that a lot of these people are mentally enslaved and don’t know how to get out of their own way. Now, take for instance one of my great-uncles.  He served many years in prison when he was a young man.  He was a little bit misguided and influenced by the wrong people.  He says that he was sent to prison for crimes that he did not commit- basically being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 


After he got out of prison,  I met him for the first time at about age 10 or 11.  At first I thought that he was a really positive person, because I didn’t know any better.  He used to encourage me to get an education and emphasized the importance of knowing yourself as a person of the African Diaspora.  I remember him pointing out a stack of books to read through that had to do with Pan-Africanism and Black history.  His hair was naturally curly and soft and he eventually allowed it to grow out and lock.  He went around claiming to be a Rastafarian.  

Well, after a few years, his true colors began to show.  He started using racial epithets against Whites and professing how much he didn’t like the White man and blamed them for his misfortune and underachievement in life.  He grew up in the segregated South in the Jim Crow era and knows what it is like to be mistreated and discriminated against by White people.  So, I have a little understanding for why he was bigoted.  

For years that he was going around saying that he can’t stand the White man and that he didn’t want to be associated with them in any way.  The funny thing is that he wasn’t doing much to put himself in a position to where he wouldn’t have to work for the White male dominated establishment. If he were so tired of working for the White man, why didn’t he put his focus, passion and energy into building something for himself and his family?  Why was he using the illegal drugs that were allowed into the country by the government? 

My uncle was physically and verbally abusive to his wife, a Black woman.   He was heavily addicted to drugs and continued to engage in illegal activities.  My uncle is very artistic and has a knack for creating African themed woodwork. So, it's not like he didn't have any special talents or skills. He did landscaping work on the side but still had to get a job working for the White man to pay his bills.  Basically, a lot of his words weren't congruent with his thoughts and actions. 

My uncle was also very rude and mean towards my mother, me and my siblings when we lived with him in my great-grandmother’s house for a few years. He was also alleged to have done some pretty repugnant things to others, that I won’t disclose.  

He wasn’t a socially conscious pro-Black man as he held himself out to be went I met him.  Some conscious Blacks talk the talk, but they aren’t really about that life.  Maybe his abhorrent behaviors and personality were partly due to drug abuse.  I am not really sure, but he was a real piece of work. 

He is no longer on drugs but the last I heard, he was pretty sick and almost on his death bed at one point. I don’t associate with him because he hasn’t changed or matured much. Until this day, his children don’t have a good relationship with him because he is so difficult.  

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