Dad, 85, recently reminded me of an incident I had forgotten from when I was about 10 years old. We ordered ice cream at the diner near our home in a black Baltimore suburban community.
The white waitress wrapped our order to go. Dad said we wanted to eat it there and the waitress said, “No.” Dad still laughs at my over-the-top militant attitude. He said I wanted to burn down the building.
So yes, I have felt the sting of racism; nor am I suggesting that racism, sexism and every other “ism” does not exist.
However, I strongly disagree with the founder of Black Entertainment Television, Mr. Robert L. Johnson blaming “long-term institutionalized racism” for black America’s unemployment woes.
Life is all about choices. The moment you believe your life is in the hands of someone other than yourself, you surrender your power.
Nothing would truly empower blacks better than simply telling them to pursue their dreams.
My buddy Joe grew up fatherless, raised by his grandmother. At 16, Joe did a year in jail for stealing. A black tech school teacher taught Joe to paint signs. Joe worked his way through college and grad school. Joe was the first black man to land a job as an account executive in a major Baltimore advertising agency. Joe succeeded because he made different choices.
At 15, I wrote a letter to the Baltimore mayor William Donald Schaefer, requesting a scholarship to attend Saturday classes at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Wearing my Sunday best, carrying two pieces of cardboard taped together as a portfolio, I interviewed with the Mayor in his office for over an hour. Mayor Schaefer’s scholarship was the first of numerous scholarships I received from white politicians. I was the first black graphic designer hired by the ABC affiliate television station in Baltimore. Years later, I was promoted to supervisor.
Before landing my position at the TV station, I was hired by a white-owned design firm where I honed my skills. I loved working in the private sector because it gave me great pride to know that the company made money from my artistic contribution.
In my senior year of college, a white businessman who was impressed by my portfolio offered me free office space to launch my own design firm. Thus, I do not have a history of “whitey” trying to hold me back.
My experience has been that America’s favorite color is green. As long as I was a reliable productive employee, I progressed. It was not about black or white. It was all about green; making my employer money.
I recently met a retired black architect, a fascinating man; a world traveler. Not once in our conversations has he mentioned whites, racism, or anything else stopping him. He simply pursued his dream and made good choices. The key to success isn’t complicated.
Please do not get me wrong, every human being suffers and must overcome challenges to experience the “thrill of victory.” But liberals making excuses and telling blacks that their destiny is in the hands of someone other than themselves — which is what “institutionalized racism” thinking does — is extremely destructive, dispiriting, a bit racist and plain hogwash!
The fact that Mr. Johnson, a black man, founded his own broadcast network (BET) confirms that institutionalized racism, if it does exist, can be overcome, and should not be used to pardon blacks from accepting the vast majority of responsibility for their lives.
We all know why black America is a mess; self-destructive poor choices.
It boggles my mind that self-proclaimed advocates for black empowerment persist in making white America responsible for blacks’ failure. Think about that for a moment. Liberals are telling black America that whites must do something different for blacks to succeed. Thus, their lives are in the hands of white America, which is a lie from the pit of hell.
At every turn, liberals treat American blacks like a huge tribe of incapable savages. Liberals say we can not be expected to learn the language, refrain from murdering each other, refrain from breeding outside of marriage, or wear our pants above as opposed to below our butts.
They constantly insult us by seeking new ways to lower the bar on our behalf in the name of compassion and fairness, all of which have produced devastating negative results. The last thing blacks need is another excuse to fail or get-out-of-work-for-free card called “institutionalized racism.” To all you blacks who embrace liberal’s demeaning gobbledygook, for crying out loud, where is your dignity?
We are incredibly blessed to be born in America, the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for all who choose to pursue their dreams. The solution to black America’s decline is quite simple. Change your choices and you change your life.