Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s)
When talking about anything pertaining to the black struggle, there will always be some small-minded individual who doesn’t agree. They might bring up some arguments that don’t add up whatsoever. You might have heard a few of these. I know I have:
“Slavery was in the past! I wasn’t alive back then. White people shouldn’t pay for their ancestor’s mistakes!”
Slavery wasn’t a big “mistake”. It was a system that oppressed black people and still impacts their descendants. However, slavery gave benefits for white people and their descendants as well. White people today hold a privilege because of slave labor. Many companies even that stand to this day profited from slavery ( ie Bank of America, USA Today, Lehman Brothers…). Whites don’t have to worry about any of the racial injustices that POC have to worry about.
Also, what was done in the past, still happens today. It’s not like black people are holding a 400 year grudge that has no relevance in our lives in 2016. We are still mistreated and discriminated against in a white supremacist society.
No, white people today did not enslave all these black people in America, but they reap the benefits of those who did. They still have collective control to oppress us and other POC.
“Only (insert extremely exaggerated low % here) of whites owned slaves!”
Who lied to you? The amount of whites who owned slaves wasn’t a small percentage at all. Slate.com explains:
“According to the 1860 census, taken just before the Civil War, more than 32 percent of white families in the soon-to-be Confederate states owned slaves. Of course, this is an average, and different states had different levels of slaveholding. In Arkansas, just 20 percent of families owned slaves; in South Carolina, it was 46 percent; in Mississippi, it was 49 percent.
By most measures, this isn’t “small”—it’s roughly the same percentage of Americans who, today, hold a college degree. The large majority of slaveholding families were small farmers and not the major planters who dominate our image of “slavery.” […]
…Slavery was at the foundation of economic and social relations, and slave-ownership was aspirational—a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Whites who couldn’t afford slaves wanted them in the same way that, today, most Americans want to own a home.”
“We have a Black President…that means black people have collective power.”
One black man in office does not eliminate generations of racial oppression in a white supremacist society. It does give representation, and hope to some, but it does not reverse the roles of collective power from the oppressor to the oppressed. Barack Obama is about to be replaced by yet another white person, so whatever “power” you think we have under that one man is just going to get taken back anyways so that argument is ridiculous.
“What about black on black crime? 90% of black people are killed by black people!”
“Black on black crime” to me is a socially engineered condition. Even still, most crimes are intraracial, meaning that they are within the racial community they reside in. Besides, most people of different races lives among their own people. I don’t ever see anyone call out “white on white crime”, which is by the way, 83%. The mentioning of black on black crime is usually to silence the outcry of black people telling others to stop killing us.Not to dismiss the importance of addressing what we are programmed to do to each other, but it’s not like black people haven’t come together to protest violence in our own communities. There are always rallies and programs within the black community against violence. To mention “black on black crime” only when black people call out racial injustices is inappropriately wrong. There’s no honest concern, it’s just to shift guilt from white people to black people.
We have to understand the system that put us strategically in place for self destruction. But that’s another article….
These arguments have been debunked countless times. I don’t understand why they’re being brought up repeatedly all over the realms of social media. Let’s stop recycling exposed myths and failed comebacks.
(Follow Nzinga Muhammad on Twitter @QueenNzinga13)