Ada Fisher: Despite anger, is black cause proving irrelevant?
The palpable anger of young blacks and millennials directed against violence leading to the death of allegedly unarmed young black males is justified. Anger toward free speech and intolerance for opposing views, however, is disturbing. Are we as blacks being used by people with an agenda not our own to undermine hard-won rights while flailing unjustified wrongs?
It was intriguing to see black Harvard graduates holding a separate ceremony from the general student body, as pictured on the front of the New York Times. Some said they wanted to have the essence of a black experience in their education. Pray tell, why didn’t they chose a Historically Black College and University where such is offered, usually in a small, safe setting?
At Washington State College, black students tried to set up a day without whites which proved disastrous and a flagrant example of black racism. Ironically, one white professor who prided himself on being liberal and sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter concerns was offended by his treatment. Why would higher education tolerate such?
In California’s Claremont Colleges, blacks have been declining to room with whites. What a take on my time at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the late ’60s when black and white students were not assigned as roommates by university policy. When my black roommate left, I refused to accommodate the university and move in with another black student but didn’t deny them the option of assigning me a white roommate. This gave me a single room in what should have been a double-occupancy space at no additional cost.
The Neo-Black Society was formed at UNC-G back then to prepare students for college success, graduate them, insure that our culture was part of the curriculum and to reach out to students in the community. The fact that UNCG has one of the best graduation records for blacks and others and its student population is proportionate to the state’s, without quotas, says we got it right with the initial help of Chancellor James Ferguson from the ’60s.
As our status as minorities is undermined by any and everyone being granted such distinction in cutting line ahead of blacks, years of wrongs are being skimmed over, and our 40 acres and a mule or reparations remain a pipe dream. Democrats continually pimp the black population without a required return for their votes. The Republican slate seems wiped clean of its memory that this was the anti-slavery party started to free slaves, stand for civil rights and put down Jim Crow and voter suppression.
So what’s a black person to do? Grow up and appreciate that, though the chains are no longer visible, our bondage is still to a degree largely self-imposed. Integration cost us businesses, community integrity, supportive social structures and so much inherent in our understanding of what it means to be black. If we redistrict fairly, the likelihood increases that blacks will lose the representation they have in favor of Hispanics who are the largest and fastest-growing minority. Reality is a hard pill to swallow when you haven’t prepared for a world in which your skills and opportunities are not paramount for the functioning of society.
The black lady on the escalator above me stated, “You have nice hair.” It hit me again how wounded is the black psyche when people still are fixated on hair texture, skin color, lips, etc. Rewarding entertainers and sports figures while our needs are not met or adequately addressed by our own is sad. Blacks have a net worth of $1.4 trillion, which would place us in the top 20 if we were a nation.
As Billie Holiday sang, “God bless the child that’s got his own.’
Dr. Ada M. Fisher of Salisbury is the N.C. Republican National Committeewoman.