There are many problems in the African American community caused by forces from without as well as those coming from within. No real progress can be made until people remove long-held misconceptions that serve as invisible barriers to achievement. The 2020 presidential elections are coming up and it will be very important for the Black community to make some crucial collective decisions.

One misconception is that “the color of our skin” is the only difference between the Black and white races. In actuality, being Black is far more than skin color; there are behavioral and values-laden differences inherent in Black culture that differ from their white counterparts. The Black community places a greater focus on emotion, which sometimes causes behavior to be based on illogical assumptions. This has led to an invisible barrier that keeps Blacks separated from each other and at a disadvantage when dealing with white people. There is also a heightened sense of disenfranchisement based on white supremacist behavior that keeps Blacks focused on responses to racism while refusing to address deficits that keep us back. Some behaviors guaranteed to serve as barriers include, but are not limited to, calling for a separation and elimination of educated Blacks by certain Blacks. The feeling is that the “house Negroes” are traitors and the “field Negroes” are the true saviors of the Black community. There is also the notion that educated Blacks are the enemies of non-educated Blacks. Ageism behavior is also apparent; millennials and generations X and Y blame Baby Boomers and those older for all of the ills facing the community. Some in this group tend to value common sense over academic achievement. There is a distrust of Blacks with college educations. Here emotionalism is evident: everyone should know by now that in order to achieve some modicum of success in America, education and/or training is a prerequisite. However, illogically, some in the latter philosophical group think that an undereducated, economically disempowered population will be able to defeat the white establishment with the use of violent force.

Exacerbating the divide is differing behavior between those who have fully embraced Western values and those who have not. This latter group sees no problem with complaining about lack of employment available for those who tattoo their faces, wear sagging pants, and/or drop out of school. These factors serve as impediments to employment but are conveniently ignored by those who lament high employment numbers among Black youth. It’s also an open secret that some Black people are reluctant to support Black businesses. In this regard, we don’t often admit that many of these businesses are to blame because, being victims of the same self-hate syndrome that impacts the rest of the community, they often treat their Black customers with disdain as well as provide them with inferior service.

Our country is growing increasingly hostile to Black, brown and poor people. National economically violent policies are strategically creating a wedge between all disenfranchised people, and racism is the convenient red herring. While we all focus on grabbing crumbs at the bottom or on trying to retain what we have, the world is being pillaged and destroyed by the rich. Food is adulterated, our environment is devolving daily, and once eradicated diseases are re-surfacing. So, while we all focus on our enmity toward each other, huge changes are occurring around us that can ultimately destroy us as a human race.

The only way to change this state of affairs is to recognize what is happening so that we can remove the barriers that separate us. This can partially be done by applying logic. Once we realize what is happening, we can shed light on the bogeyman, which then dissipates. Case in point, in dealing with the issue of house Negroes vs field Negroes, we only have to realize that successful insurrections would require the cooperation of both groups: the input of house Negroes who have the inside information, and field Negros, who provide manual skill and legwork. They need to work TOGETHER to achieve success. And finally, we must VOTE for our collective interests! If we don’t make these changes, the barriers that separate us will ensure our collective demise. A Luta Continua.

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