The Odd Thing About Race

I’ve noticed a trend sparked by reading my local newspaper each morning. It has to do with race. As I read through section 2, the local news, every black person pictured in that section of the newspaper is either a suspect in a crime or has been sentenced for a crime. Occasionally black kids are presented in a school setting, but adult blacks are pictured in a crime scenario.

Then I open section 3- the sports page. Black athletes dominate this section. They are heroes. They are the superstars, the top athletes of our nation. Last weekend my grandson and I watched the NCAA basketball tournament and, in one game, 9 of the 10 starters were black. As the camera panned the students from these schools, they were all white.

Does this suggest that white America only values blacks as athletes? Further, do young black males understand this subtle truth and, as a result, is this why many black kids say that, when they grow up, they want to be professional athletes? Is that their only pass into white America?

It seems to me that black males in their 20’s can be found in 3 primary locations: prison, on the streets or on a sports team. I’m betting that old, right- wing white men are happy about two of these realities. Of course, during the Reagan administration, conservatives found a way to incarcerate and remove from society blacks caught with crack. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 imposed a 100:1 penalty for crack possession over powdered cocaine. Black v. White sentencing.

Many conservative whites have abandoned the city and prefer the suburbs. In fact, many never enter the central city. So why, then, are they so dedicated to keeping blacks in prison? Is it all about ethnic cleansing? If black males are incarcerated then they can’t breed. Is this their plan? Their hope?

Except for those superstars in the NBA, NFL and on the diamond, of what use are blacks? And with this type of thinking, is there any hope for the black population of America?

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3 thoughts on “The Odd Thing About Race

  1. Is it because of race, or might it be social-economic?

    I spent yesterday from 9 until 330 at a very large and wealthy black church located in a black middleclass section of the city. The church was sponsoring a health symposium. Many black pastors were in attendance, as
    it was keyed to have the churches support medical needs of the community.
    A divisive issue was HIV/AIDS….The more traditional pastors were not in favor of doing testing and having support groups…Other Pastors were supportive, especially the Pastors who are out on the “street”. Jackson has the second highest rate of HIV infection in the U.S. Students from Jackson State, Tougaloo, and Alcorn were in attendance as well. A question was how to have the young black population to get tested, get treatment if necessary, and prevention. Who will they listen too? Obviously, the answer that was coming down was the black churches. In my focus group, I said that we can’t neglect the Black super stars who have HIV like a Magic Johnson, and who were tested and under treatment and have remission. The three black pastors in my group objected as they believed that athletes like Magic send a negative message to black youth and also black youth won’t listen to the super stars. I responded to the black church involvement by asking those pastors how many young versus gray hairs was the composition of their membership. It came back few in the 18-35 ages. I then asked the college students in my group how many of them were regular church members, not a hand went up. One student said he was religious, butm just doesn’t attend church.

  2. Good for you, my friend! Excellent questions. Too bad those conservative black pastors took up Whitey’s religions during and after slavery. Now they are stuck with the garbage that came with it.

    BTW, was voting and voter turn-out discussed!

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