Plain and simple. The black community deserves better representation.
I remember when the word racism used to mean something. If a person was deemed “racist,” they instantly became a social outcast. American society has frowned upon racism for quite some time now. But at some point over the last 8 years, our country quite literally forgot the meaning of the word. A culmination of the events that spurned protests from the Black Lives Matter movement combined with an extremely polarizing election year have somehow morphed racism into now being synonymous with simply voting republican.
The inaccurate stereotype that ‘republicans are racist’ is nothing new. For decades, republican presidential nominees have been falsely accused of being in cohorts with white supremacist movements. This manufactured racial divide is a tactic used by the democrat party to influence the minority vote. For low-information minority voters, it works. Despite this, those of us familiarized with the proper definition of racism know the truth. The party that ended slavery has never changed. Republicans haven’t always had the best representation, but neither have the democrats.
When spurious accusations of white supremacy are tirelessly cast upon a typically tolerant public, the lines between actual versus perceived racism begin blurring until the accusations themselves start losing legitimacy. In 2016, the practice of misusing inflammatory words like “racism,” “racist,” “white-supremacist” and “nazi,” has reached a fever pitch. The sad thing is, the trend of doing so is only being perpetuated by many of the popular voices in our media. Particularly the minority ones.
As an American minority myself, I am simply asking my fellow black commentators, pundits, and journalists to stop the insanity. Racism happens and should always be condemned, but it must also be properly assessed. I recently witnessed anti-racism strategist (according to his Twitter account) and commentator, Tariq Nasheed, wrongly label Fox News host, Tucker Carlson, a “white-supremacist” numerous times during an appearance on his show. Nasheed even boasted on Twitter that he perceived this behavior to be an alleged victory in his debate against Carlson. I personally saw it as anything but.
Typical musings from the Twitter account of Tariq Nasheed:
The race-baiting, fear-mongering, buzzword abusing, false accusation slinging, self-victimization clutching antics of commentators like Tariq Nasheed is not the representation our community needs. When you are having an open discussion about racial issues in America with someone, you don’t resort to petty name-calling when you disagree with a point the opposition is making. That does not constitute as “destroying.” Winning a debate is about actually listening to the person you’re deliberating with, countering with honest and factual viewpoints, while keeping the dialogue respectful. There is nothing uplifting about pushing tired and untrue narratives. This is what I wish other black-Americans would understand. Especially those representing minorities in the media.
As a person of color, I will always challenge those in my community that promote self-victimization and contrived oppression over empowerment. I also won’t tolerate my fellow black-Americans falsely branding discernible allies as oppressors. Doing that will never heal any racial divide in America. False accusations of racism should be condemned just as much as the condemnation of racism itself. For America to truly unite as the “melting pot” country it’s perceived as, we must remember how far we’ve progressed as a society since republican president Abraham Lincoln sought to end slavery in 1862. We mustn’t forget much our country has grown since democrat president John F. Kennedy helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Black-Americans have all of the same opportunities as white-Americans. It’s reckless to act like this isn’t the truth in 2016. Reckless because impressionable black youth are growing up hearing these oppressive messages and a psuedo-culture of self-victimization is bolstered onto a group of Americans who will never experience slavery, Jim Crow Laws, or government imposed segregation. This week was the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ daring opposition of a clearly flawed institution. An establishment still in need of revision for all Americans, but one consistently seeking improvement.
One person’s experience that may have caused them to feel oppressed as a black person in America does not equate to the black-American experience in general. As public representatives and certain allies of the black community continue to push regressive false narratives that stand to possibly hinder the progress of burgeoning black-Americans, these people need to hold themselves accountable and realize they’re honestly doing more harm than good. Plain and simple. The black community deserves better representation.