But when ye sin against the brethren and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 8:12.
"Envy has never created a single job, put a family back together, encouraged a man to provide for his children or endowed young women with the kind of self-regard that would encourage them not to create children they too often neglect. The state of many poor African-Americans remains how it has been for many years - too many fatherless children, too many uneducated, hopeless women and too many men in prison."
These words were penned by Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist, on January 26.
The above is too easy and too flippant. There has to be more than the simple cause and effect stated. A casual cursory examination of the situation would confirm the foregoing statement. However, if one would cared enough to take the time to perform a historical study of this culture, it would reveal some thought-provoking details.
The following is not an apologist's stand or a justification for failure but a statement of facts, so one can arrive at a better understanding of a present condition.
Notwithstanding, the Congress of Racial Equality workers Mickey Schwerner and Andrew Goodman who were killed in Mississippi, the Michigan civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo who was murdered by the Klan, The Quakers who led major abolitionist efforts, et. al, a lot of interaction between blacks and whites have been negative, cruel, hurtful and harmful to black people in America.
Consider the evidence.
During slavery, nuclear families were discouraged, frowned upon and downright illegal. So when the master was telling you about the love of Jesus on one hand, he would be busy selling or farming away your children or spouse on the other. Therefore, no cohesive unit was ever learned or adopted.
Abraham Lincoln, who told Frederick Douglass it would be better for black people to leave this country. He could not forsee a day when they would ever be treated fairly.
James W. Smith, the first black student at West Point, court-martialed and forced to leave because he broke a coconut dipper over the head of a fellow student who tormented him because of his race.
Harry T. Moore, Florida NAACP leader, registering people to vote. He and his wife were assassinated on Christmas day 1951.A racist mob planted a bomb under their home which exploded while they were sleeping in their bed.
Myrlie Evers whose husband Medgar, a NAACP official in Mississippi was murdered at the front door of their house.
Athalie Range, a city commissioner in Miami, Fl, whose first communion had to be conducted in the basement of the church. It was illegal for blacks and whites to mix while receiving this sacrament.
Marian Anderson, the great black contralto, denied entry to "Constitution Hall" by the daughters of the American Revolution. She had to give her concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. While traveling in Birmingham, Alabama she was refused service at a restaurant, but German POW's, enemies of her country were allowed to be served. A particular galling incident occurred at a southern train station. Upon arrival, her party was greeted with flowers, well-wishers, reporters and camera men. Attempting to exit the building to get to her car, her accompanist and manager walked through the doors. Yet, Ms. Anderson was stopped at the door by a white policeman who advised her that she could not exit through the "white waiting room." She had to turn around and walk alone to the exit in the "colored waiting room."
George Wallace proudly stood on the steps at the front door of the school house. He was defying the federal mandate of integration, insisting instead on segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.
The Tuskegee Airmen having to battle their fellow soldiers for the privilege to fight and die for the same country.
Elizabeth Delaney, the second black dentist in New York, forced to use a white Jewish student to obtain a proper grade on a college paper.
Jackie Robinson subjected to horrible insults for having the audacity to play major league baseball.
Henry Aaron receiving death threats for daring to break Babe Ruth's home run record.
The mother of Emmitt Till who saw her son mutilated for ostensibly whistling at a white woman.
Black entertainers on Miami Beach compelled to leave the hotel after their performances, as they could not stay in said establishments where they brought the house down. They were like performing bears or seals who had to be confined or isolated after regaling the customers lest they somehow damage, hurt or taint their audiences.
Kymberly Wimberly, the young black female student in Arkansas with the school's top grades but could not become sole valedictorian last year because she was somehow incomplete.
A predominantly African-American Pittsburgh high school basketball team taunted with racial insults by the crowd and opposing students in banana suits. No, not February 1962. This was February 2012.
Time would fail me to talk about mortgage redlining, housing discrimination, employment denial, lack of opportunity and advancement and seemingly endless indignities.
If one is reasonable, fair, objective and impartial, it is not difficult to see why a lot of African-Americans are hypersensitive, always crying foul and angrily carry around chips on their shoulders.
It is always simple for a man whose feet are at ease to tell a man whose legs have been chopped off, "Oh just get over it, why can't you run and keep up? Shame on you."
As you reflect on this, think about a drowning man. He will surface three times before he can no longer muster the effort to struggle any more. Time after time, you have been told or made to feel that you are an outsider, different, abnormal, incapable of proper behavior. After passing through this meat grinder of an existence you emerge bitter, twisted, broken, crushed and beaten. Tired and discouraged you become like the proverbial chaff which the wind driveth away, an animal masquerading as a man who must be controlled, managed and contained.
Encouragement and help can only be self-actualized so much and so far. Ultimately, like vitamin shots, they must come from an external source.
So, when one is tempted to disdain the inequities and sicknesses in the black community: Stop. Bite your tongue. Look in the mirror. Ask yourself, "Did I or people like me have a hand in this?"
Then, if you feel convicted, ponder again the lives of Mickey, Andrew and Viola. Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.