I would never, in any way, regurgitate thoroughly researched and data-rich analysis of another exceedingly hard-working individual, and I certainly won’t start doing so today. But, I have to gloat over the concept Yvette Carnell formulated. And, I totally agree with those classified as African American or black stepping away from referring to themselves as “African American” or “black.”
After she so eloquently explained her reasoning behind wanting to do away that particular terminology and why it’s important to focus on lineage rather than race, I’m in total agreement with her. As a matter of fact, I, myself, am going to stop using those terms when discussing and writing about systematic white supremacy.
Ms. Carnell broke down why, “Race is an ideology that was constructed based on advantages and disadvantages.” Basically, “race” doesn’t really exist, and I’ve said this before to many of the people I talk to when the topic of racism arises. We are all the human race. The only reason we have “ethnicity” is because human beings evolved to adapt to their environment throughout time, nothing less, nothing more.
Her stance, as is mine after gaining some additional insight while watching her presentation, is, how can the group identified as “African American” rally around certain concepts and slogans, such as “black power,” “black love,” “black empowerment,” “black business” etc., when the term “black” itself was assigned to us by the very group that strives to conquer and subjugate us–the very forefathers of this country?
The ideology of white supremacy functions both as a system and as a belief, and this “-isms” have crystallized into culture and have been passed down from one generation to the next. Culture is powerful in that, not only does it pathology conditions us as Americans to act habitually in the absence of critical thinking and empathy, but it also the becomes the day-to-day norms we never think to question regardless if they’re right or wrong.
The problem about referring to ourselves as “black” is, rather than the focus being on what specific remedies are needed and that MUST BE provided to those who are in the direct bloodline of African slaves native to America, who were brought here forcefully, and of those who’ve been deliberately and brutally oppressed, psychologically, socioeconomically, and physically, for the sole purpose of another group benefiting from that subjugation, it makes it easy for those working to maintain white supremacy to lump the various needs of every other demographic, not classified as “white,” with ours.
Affirmative Action, is my case-in-point. This action was supposed to be and should have been a remedial measure taken by and enforced by the government to address and correct the historical mistreatment of THE DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES, SPECIFICALLY. Now, everyone who doesn’t classify as “white male” gets to benefit from it. The fact that white women are the primary beneficiaries now over every other demographic is a prime example.
But, with the way white supremacy is set up, any group can be categorized by those who classify as white, whenever it conveniently suits them, as was the case during the African, English, and European slave rebellions during the 1600s, when the elitist sought to thwart the rebellions by promising more economic inclusion and civil freedoms to certain groups if they would comply to the concept of “black inferiority.”
Furthermore, rather than the conversation and strategizing of solutions being about what type of corrective government actions are needed to reward the lineage of the D.O.S., being that African labor made it possible for America to become a financial superpower through cheap and free labor, and what kind of compensation those who’ve historically and collectively been subjugated by the bloody hands of white supremacy need, the narrative gets diverted to topics like, immigration reform, homophobia, gun rights, feminism, Islamaphobia, misogyny, etc.
That’s not to say those aren’t important issues to talk about and come up with solutions for. However, until white supremacy is fully dismantled, it’s degeneracy will continue to spill over into other areas of society, and the social issues many groups are fighting against will never be fully remedied.
Until the D.O.S. are made whole in America, no other demographic will fully be either. If one group living a democratic society has been historically mistreated and continues to have to endure injustice and brutality–and being that those who’ve been identified as black has been EXCEEDINGLY DISENFRANCHISED MORE THAN ANY OTHER GROUP–it’s a direct violation of the constitution, is every demographic’s obligation to help correct, and democracy will continue to be diminished for everyone.
As far as the term “African American” goes, Africa is a continent, not a country. I could not tell you what country nor city my ancestors came from in Africa. I don’t know the culture of that country or what tribes my ancestors are from, and there’s really no way to find out, even with an Ancestry.com test.
I don’t really identify with anything from “the motherland” or with some romanticized “black king, Egyptian Royalty” image of “blackness,” not because I don’t want to but because the complete identity of my ancestors was completely destroyed by white supremacy, and the closest thing I can connect to was the history of my forefathers and foremothers that came here…as slaves.
Shouts out to Yvette Carnell. I will begin using this terminology more often, not only because it more accurately represents the experience of the demographic I belong to in America but because it can more effectively can be made into a centralized organization, which could more intensely concentrate attention on what specific types of advocacy, resources, mobilization, and actions are needed to obliterate white supremacy and to make the D.O.S. whole.
Because, I don’t really know what “the black community” means anymore. It’s too vague of a term. Because, again, what constitutes as “black” here in America. Are we including, Jamaicans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Nigerians, too?
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