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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Blacks in America by tucsonmike on 24 August 2007 3:24am
This was posted by my webmaster on another board. It is long, so take your time. I figured since Mr. P is interested in other cultures, I would post this and get comments or I listed Mitch's websites on the bottom.

A friend and I have been having kind of an interesting discussion that I can really have with very few people. It's a discussion on just how much the media is to blame for conditions in the black community. We're both black, and have spent time in both the black and white community, and both being consultants (though I'm independent and she works for someone else) and only one year apart in age, it makes for an interesting topic.

She's of the opinion that the media, which isn't only the news by the way, is responsible for many of the problems the black community has to deal with. In essence, her argument is that black people in general are portrayed negatively, and that not only impacts how the majority in America view us as a people across the board, but internationally it gives us less of a chance to gain any semblance of being seen as intellectually equal, even if they tend to like black music. And, by extension, it impedes the dreams and goals of black people because, unfortunately, in order to achieve true success blacks have to find ways to compete in the white world.

I'm of the opinion that, though the media is easily responsible for many of the negative feelings black people get across the world, the reality is that it's also the fault of many predominantly black communities because many bad things do go on perpetually, and, though these things can be overcome, it's up to us to find a way to help everyone be able to stand on equal footing and to not always blame the white community for our ills.

Now, this doesn't mean I'm letting anyone off the hook here, because there are some contrary facts. One, in a recent study of employment, it was found that 76% of resumes with what this country considers as traditional "black" names never got a response when mailed in to employers, as opposed to 65% of resumes by those with traditional "white" names getting responses. The resumes were pretty much equal except for the names; that's a major problem. Older studies have shown that redlining and renting discrimination is still prevalent when black people try to either purchase their own homes or more into more desegregated areas.

Of course, the flip side of this is the new study that came out saying that 50% of all murders in this country are of black people, 90% of those male and 90% of those committed by black males. That, added on to the fact of 25% of all black men under the age of 25 being in jail, certainly doesn't bode well in projecting a positive image. We can add to that the dropout rate of black males in America; bad stuff all around.

Still, this doesn't equate well when the code words of "welfare mom" invariably make people think of black women, when it's white women who are the majority of Medicaid and welfare subscribers in America.

Kind of heady stuff, eh? I expect the question to be asked is why I'm sharing this with you. Well, in a weird way, I can blame part of what's happening with Michael Vick right now, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback who's pleading guilty to dog fighting charges. I have heard how there's this thought that black people across America are going to give him the benefit of the doubt, even as he pleads guilty, because we "know" that the government has this way of railroading minorities whenever they see fit for what's considered as something relatively minor compared to many other things. I have heard how this has become somewhat of a racial issue because most people who have anything to do with dog fighting are people of color, and how the other side seems to think that race has nothing to do with this topic at all. My purpose in posting this is to show that:

One, black people aren't a monolith; we have different thoughts and different ways of conveying those thoughts, even amongst ourselves;

Two, none of these topics is ever so easy to talk about and come to an agreement on, whether it's whites talking to blacks or blacks talking to blacks;

Three, the overall issues are always harder to come to grips with when you're a minority dealing with the thoughts of the majority, whether it's in America or elsewhere. Based on previous comments to some articles I've written, I'm already expecting that, if this article gets comments at all, at least 50% of them are going to miss the point of this conversation, or won't address it at all, not because the writer won't want to, but because the writer isn't going to fully understand the issues. I'm not even sure I've conveyed it all that well here, so I'm not going to hold anyone to the proverbial fire for any mis-statements.

No, this isn't one of those feel good articles; but it's an important one to share, in my opinion.

Mitch Mitchell
T. T. Mitchell Consulting, Inc.
Changing Attitudes and Perceptions for Unlimited Growth

Re: Blacks in America by johnnythemonkey on 24 August 2007 5:03am
When did you become black Mike ? Have I missed something ? Lose an eye, learn to dance and I'll call you Mikey Davis Jnr !!
Re: Blacks in America by geordiegirl on 24 August 2007 4:54pm
I'm happy to blame the media for very much, Mike, but, must admit, these days I'm sceptical about statistics & I do think social conditions play their part here.
This is probably too simplistic an answer: it's so bad that the legislation (there must be an awful lot of equality legislation?) would not appear to help very much.
But, you in USA have had for much longer than we in UK have had: a BME middle class.
Re: Blacks in America by Gollumit on 24 August 2007 7:05pm
Did you not know, JTM?

Tucsonmike regards himself as something of a Saviour for humanity.
Re: Blacks in America by Ken Dunn on 24 August 2007 7:17pm
tuconmike says 'This was posted' so the words aren't his.
I do also feel that the nedia (I was going to correct that but let's call it a Freudian slip) over emphasise certain things - mostly the bad ones. I remember quickly leafing through a tabloid newspaper and it was page 24 before I got to some good news.
Re: Blacks in America by JHorst on 24 August 2007 8:17pm
First, JTM, I offered a post in honour of you, please scroll down.

I have always been of the opinion that one should do his best to overcome adversity on his own merits. People can be lulled into complacency or despair by blaming their own lackluster success on some entity, whether it be the government, big business, or in this case, the media. I have seen business men fail due to their own poor performance and attitude and blame it on big box stores, the government, the economy, etc. I have found myself starting down that road, as I am employeed by a company that has a particularly high number of female and minority associates in high levels of leadership, and I am a lowly supervisor. This is not because I am a white male, but because I haven't done whatever it is I need to do to elevate myself beyond my present position. I have known many many minorities who have done well in academia, business, etc. on the merits of hard work. I believe everyone should try to focus on his strengths, put the best face on every situation, and work his butt off. Maybe the rewards will come, maybe they won't, but at least you will know that you did the best job possible at the end of the day.
Re: Blacks in America by tucsonmike on 25 August 2007 2:08am
Thank you Ken. He who leaps to conclusions frequently leaps off cliffs!
JTM glad to see your wiseguy streak is back!:)

This was posted on a Business to Business Loop originally that this gentleman Mitch and I belong to.

Linda, I cannot speak for blacks in the UK. We have had a black middle class for a long time. The book about Condi Rice, Twice as Good speaks heavily about that.

I only posted this because of the type of forum it is. I am not qualified to discuss almost 400 years of African American history. I neither have the training nor am I African American.

Perception is very different. I agree with JHorst on this one. Latino immigration has complicated the picture.
Re: Blacks in America by geordiegirl on 25 August 2007 4:21pm
No, Mike, it's a bit different in the UK, as you say. And I also am not qualified to speak for minority black people in UK. But, thank you for raising a very thought-provoking subject.

(It's so mixed in London, it seems almost not to be an issue anymore. And there is legislation, but it's very hard to enforce, I'm told)

And, btw, from another thread, who IS Andrew Zimmern??
Re: Blacks in America by tucsonmike on 25 August 2007 8:03pm
Andrew Zimmern has a show on the Travel Channel here in the states. He goes all over the world and eats some pretty bizarre stuff.

Glad to oblige Linda...

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