Friday, September 24, 2021

The Unforeseen Political and Economic Ramifications of Blacks Changing Their Racial Identity.

July 25, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Truthfully, I can’t pinpoint where my belief that self-conception is crucial to politico-economic allegiance began. It could be that politicized parents raised me. Maybe it was reading Marcus “Mosiah” Garvey and W.E.B. DuBois’ calls for Black folk to turn inward and take care of their own, or perhaps it was my grandfathers’ examples as “race men.” My belief that self-conception is a significant factor in politico-economic allegiance will never change.

The above statement is why I find US Census data indicating increasing diversity in how they self-identify so concerning. Census reports report that those reporting themselves as only “Black or African American” have declined over the past two decades from the 2000 US Census. In 2000, 93% of people self-identified as Black. Nearly two decades later (2019), that number dropped to 87% of people reporting as Black or African American, non-Hispanic. In the 2019 Census, 3.7 million (8%) reported as Black and another race, usually White, while 5% self-identified as Black Hispanic.

Racial Identity-2021

In a world where there is strength in numbers, the decision of some Black folks to swirl their racial identity is troubling as it signifies a shift in self-conception, the most significant factor in where one’s politico-economic loyalties rest. Now let’s be clear about this matter; I do not deny that the DNA of other races courses through the veins of Blacks; one needs to look no further than the various hues and colors that adorn our beautiful people for verification. Of course, this process began with the rape of stolen African women forcibly deposited in the Caribbean, Brazil, North American continent, and all points in-between by a host of European exploiters.

This already diverse supply of stolen Africans produced a unique cultural identity that facilitated their loose agreement that they were neither African nor European; they were Black. A term that surpasses being a mere descriptor and has transitioned into a political statement.

In time, SNCC organizer Willie “Mukasa” Ricks would mesmerize young Black activists by debuting a Black Power slogan in Greenwood, Mississippi, during the continuation of James Meredith’s March Against Fear. Radicalized segments of our community have always rallied around Blackness. Please do not think that I am unaware of the propensity of some twentieth-century Blacks to exoticize their Blackness by claiming a distant Cherokee grandmother whose DNA contribution explains why they have “good hair.” Yet, even they understood that they were Black, and that’s where their politico-economic allegiance laid. Even the most exoticized Blacks with hazel or blue eyes, fair skin, and flowing locs understood that they remained inextricably linked with other Blacks.

This new millennium effort to self-identify as something other than Black seems much different from prior attempts by Blacks to differentiate themselves. While so many groups appear to be doubling down on their political identity, there is a segment of Black folks that are desperately running from identifying with their kind and thereby forfeiting potential political and economic gains that only come through racial solidarity.

In a land where numbers matter regarding political power and the development of economic might, this secession movement threatens to weaken Black America in unprecedented ways. One can only wonder where this illogical migration away from Blackness by persons that will always be seen as Black by those they desperately seek to join will end.

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

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One may also connect with this brother via TwitterDrJamestJones.

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