Friday, February 29, 2008

"Toby's Kids" Go To College





I get frustrated some times at the way some of my people think and the various tactics they use to form a clique among themselves in response to a perceived threat. In reading an article in the magazine "Focus On Africa" this point was driven home to an extent much greater than before.

In the article "Coming To America" which discusses the controversy regarding the number of African and Caribbean immigrants that are taking seats in elite colleges. The article concludes that the more elite the school the greater the representation of Black immigrants. There has been a bit of a backlash seen by Black Americans students in response.

Many Black Americans believe that the recruitment efforts by White admissions officers of their immigrant brothers and sisters amounts as a manipulation of the true intentions of "minority recruitment". They make the case that these Whites view the Black immigrants as less prone to confront them on racial issues and thus more passive. The key point that bothered me is that many Black Americans on the campus of Harvard have begun to call themselves "The Descendants" as a means of distinguishing them from their African and Caribbean brothers and sisters.

You must understand - when they say "The Descendants" they are saying, of course, the DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES. They wear this as a badge of honor for their forefather's suffering. In turn they logically conclude that the Africans and Caribbean immigrants "did not GO THROUGH IT" and thus don't have this mark of distinction. I am sure that some regions of Africa did not endure colonialism but INDEED Caribbeans are descendants of slaves, just not American slave holders but slaves none the less.

My greater problem, however, is the definition by these young African American students with reference to 400 YEARS OF THEIR HISTORY rather than the tens of thousands of years that their ancestors have lived in Africa as free people. This is the CONDITIONING that comes as a result of Affirmative Action - "Ted Kenedy" type policies. VICTIMIZATION is a badge of distinction.

Why are they allowing what SOMEONE ELSE DID TO THEM to be the key distinguishing feature between them and the other Black? Does it take an Indian, Pakistani or Chinese person of color to come along and TAKE the "Black seat" in these elite majority White schools for them to realize their shared interests?

For me - I am not a "Descendant of SLAVERY". My forefathers were NOT SLAVES!!! They were ENSLAVED!!! The former is a noun, the later depicts the condition that they were placed within. They had the option of remaining where their "owner" forced them to stay or suffer a physical act of terror in response. They had the choice of working or being made an example of so that others don't get the same idea.

I am not sure about YOUR PEOPLE but MY PEOPLE chose to suffer along with the conditions that they were put in as a means of survival and the avoidance of torturous, brutal pain. They had the hopes that one day they would be free and reunite with their African brothers and sisters, returning to their former freedom mindset when they were labeled themselves "Kunta Kente" rather than the given name of "Toby"

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