Darrick Herndon; African and American: Life in Two Nations…
(ThyBlackMan.com) America’s reputation as a multicultural melting pot is well deserved. We are a nation made out of many to form one. While the world’s best and brightest are drawn to our country to study and to work, the African-American experience has largely been one filled with marginalization. While the world’s huddled masses come to America with ambition and stars in their eyes, ours was beat out of us as we began our journey to North America. Our people have had to live in a hostile environment since we came to this continent and we are all well aware that much of that unreasonable, inexplicable, and undeniable hostility still plays a major role in the politics of our nation. Affirmative-Action has been banned from the Oklahoma state government by the state congress and only awaits the passage of a public voter ballot initiative to become law. These actions are being taken at a time when African-American unemployment is more than double that of white unemployment. What justification do they have? The President’s black?
African-Americans are forced to live a dual existence. We are first Africans in the eyes of others. Our hue and hair-do immediately trigger instinctive reactions in people who have been conditioned to fear us and even in ourselves. We see it every day at work as we pass others in the hallways. We see it when we go to convenience stores and department stores. We see it in the disparate treatment given to us by physicians. We see and feel every one of racism’s psychological micro-injuries consciously and subconsciously. The obvious slights sting, but the ones that we don’t always notice still have an effect on us over time physiologically. It has been proven that the stress of being black in America shaves years off of our lives.
Pardoxically, most African-Americans have absolutely no sense of African-ness. Most of what we know about Africa is what we have seen in movies and read in books and we certainly have no idea what culture we come from within the diaspora so we essentially lack the core element which all other non-native American populations have.
The Indian-American (of India) population is a close-knit, well-funded, and well-cooperated community. They strive to keep their culture intact as they experience being Americans and they have become the highest earning ethnic group in America bar none. African-Americans should emulate what they have done. African-Americans were stripped of that cultural core which sustains every other ethnic group in America and left only with a bastardized culture of ongoing victimhood. The cultural disadvantages suffered by African-Americans in America have created a third-world within the first-world, thus two Americas; one for the African and one for everyone else. The African in the African-American hates America and rightfully so.
The American in us has fought and died for a land that has treated us poorly and we know no other nation to be our home. We are as American as apple pie for our blood is in the soil and our sweat was the capital used to build this nation. We recognize our historical plight yet we are deeply invested in this nation and feel that it is worth fighting to transform. We enjoy the dwindling collective wealth of our nation and we have enjoyed many of the opportunities that being an American citizen provides for past 50 years.
The American in us is eager to get rid of the race issue. Many of us are so well integrated that we believe that the rest of us have the same access to the same kinds of environments. The American in us likes to demonize drug dealers for participating in a high-demand American legal and illegal pharmaceutical market. The American in us kind of likes the fact that our military can kick your military’s butt. The American in us has served in uniform and may have even killed for her.
We love the NFL and the black President. We love SUVs and big houses we can’t afford in communities that don’t really want us there and we love celebrating capitalism as much as the despised Donald Trump. Our heroes are no longer modest intellectuals and clergyman espousing the gospel of social justice; we no longer have heroes. As a people, we don’t even look for them. The masses of us are satiated, content, and focused on television. We love American Idol. We love America.
This internal love/hate relationship is at the center of how we relate to our nation. African-America suffers dehumanization after dehumanization, yet continues to hold on to the only nation she knows and loves. African-America works in one nation, yet she lives in another. She plays in one country and worships in another. She rages against the machine while she builds it. She entertains America while providing both fodder and foul. She is the abused wife who stands beside her husband until one or both of them perish. African-America and the United States of America are in desperate need of marriage counseling to end this cycle of domestic abuse. Our nation needs to come together and to rebuild our marriage based solely on love for it is obvious at this point that we’ll never get divorced.
Staff Writer; Darrick Herndon
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