Read This One Black America! This awesome article is by Wendi C. Thomas of The Commercial Appeal, which is the daily newspaper in Memphis,Tennessee! Ms. Thomas should be commended for this piece!
Black People’s Reality Rebuffed by Columnist Wendi C. Thomas
The bad part about being black? It’s the discrimination, the prejudice, the bigotry that follows you, no matter how much money you make or education you attain. With white friends, I don’t usually talk about it. With black friends, I don’t have to.
But as an African-American Metro columnist at this newspaper, I feel I labor under a sense of obligation. Shackled to this privilege is a duty to attempt to explain to white readers what they don’t realize about being black, in the interest of shared understanding.
I would wager that much of black people’s frustration with white people — indeed, the fist-clenching frustration in any relationship — stems from not being understood or having our concerns marginalized.
I’m generalizing here, but often we bemoan “driving while black,” and white people say we must have been doing something wrong, otherwise the police wouldn’t have been following us.
We say we were followed in a store by a white salesperson; white people say we’re hypersensitive. We point out how few black executives are in the front offices and white colleagues say there weren’t any qualified black candidates.
To my white readers who “get it,” or at least concede that maybe there’s something to get, this is not for you.
This is for the thousands of white readers who have written and called me over the last four years, and the people who pollute the paper’s Web site, all insisting that racism today is a figment of black people’s imaginations. Let me tell you a short story.
When I was 8 or so, I was uninvited to a white Sunday school classmate’s birthday party. Her parents told mine it was because a relative didn’t like black people.
Until I left Memphis for college, I saw this white family at church every Sunday; sometimes her parents were leading the praise and worship service.
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