I recently started a new job back in retail, just about two weeks ago. With a staff of three full time employees and two seasonal workers, and being the only person working there who is not black, I have gained what seems to some very interesting insight into at least one faction of the black community.

In conversation with my coworkers, I have noticed a kind of anti-black sentiment despite their belonging to the black community themselves. One coworker described blacks as “painfully ghetto” and that he “cannot deal with such ignorance”, justifying his steering clear of black males his age with this reasoning. Another went so far as to say that she wants nothing to do with black men romantically and that it “leads to nothing but trouble”. And finally my manager took a less blunt route by explaining that she was a Republican as a means of separating herself, and that “that just doesn’t mix with the black community”. Needless to say I was shocked; I wasn’t sure if these people were actually black or if I was on some sort of reality show to test whether I’d cave and make obscenely racist comments in agreement.

In hearing statements like these on nearly a daily basis, it all acted as a kind of rude awakening for myself and what I would hope would be for blacks as well; that there are forces providing adversity and stifling the progression of black people as a whole in society that hit much closer to home than just prejudiced whites. What was especially shocking was that I couldn’t understand how anyone black, already dealing with the pressures and adverse effects of our culture as a white society, would be so oblivious to the further damage these comments can have. With such divisiveness within the black community and the kinds of feelings these coworkers have characterized by a kind of “I’m not like them” sentiment, blacks as a whole do not stand a chance against the image placed upon them by white America. With a separatist attitude, members of the black community cannot learn from one another, benefit from the discourse meant to be carried out between members of any particular group be it ethnic or social, and the community as a whole certainly cannot rid itself of the very problems ascribed to them.

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4 responses

  1. MariamDiop says:

    As a black person in Africa, I have witnessed this attitude many among blacks community. I think people that usually behave this way, do not know what pride, and does not what they are. They think being away from black community , you will make them more important. For them being blacks are the causes of their misery.

  2. fbernard89 says:

    I do agree with you in the fact that the African American community can never be totally successful if we are fighting each other. Although it may seem odd to someone who is not African American I can understand where some of your coworkers are coming from. There are those in the black community that are successful and are doing great things for themselves and the community but there are also the bad seeds that ruin it for everyone. It seems as though only the negative aspects of the community are highlighted which in turn reinforces the negative stereotypes.

  3. ritaquansah says:

    I agree with you, that the black community is seperated. In a way i feel that blacks do it to themselves. I am black and sometimes i feel there are blacks out there who act certain ways to make themselves look bad. With that they create this form of stereotype that others feel as though all blacks act this way. Others of this race may feel like they do not want to fit into this stereotype. There are blacks out there who are successful, and who are not loud, and are highly respected,so they may say things such as blacks are ignorant etc. I just feel that they do not want to be in the same category as others who fit into that particular stereotype.

  4. afloyd11 says:

    The African American/black community is separated on many issues. We have allowed the painful past of slavery and other injustices opposed upon us to divde us. I can’t remember the auther but i read in a Literary theory class that the “oppressed become the oppressors”. I beleieve this to be true about my fellow brothers and sisters. We have allowed ourselves to learn to hate ourselves which then blocks the pathway to progression. Instead of always focusing on our differences or even the injustices that others have done to us, why not look at resolutions and ways to affirm who we are as a people.
    To me it all starts with history. Knowledge is power and knowing the truth about our history is essential to way we go in the future as a group of people.