AFRICANGLOBE – Black America, If you haven’t read the works of Chancellor Williams of George James, you may still be amongst the thinking Blacks who realize that misinformation about the standing of Africans and Black America has been the order of the day for centuries.
But if you are a dead brained ignoramus who passes on the latest piece of mythology about Black America, you should do the race a service and either educate yourself or solder your ignorant lips shut.
Black mythology is one of our greatest challenges, because when a people believe they are in a specific state, or doing specific things, those beliefs and thoughts dictate their actions.
One of the most glaring problems facing African Americans is the media’s love affair with Black America, especially Black men. They love having us on the news, but the coverage is largely relegated to perpetual poverty, crime and other “bad” behavior. While we are neither the dominant nor the majority population, the negative media coverage is disproportionately high when it comes to us.
Many of our other difficulties stem directly from the misinformation that we pass on to each other, presenting lies and half-truths as “known facts.” But if one of us presents factual information to challenge the lies, the ignorant are likely to challenge right back with: “where’s your data?” That question will be launched even if data has been presented and even though no challenge was ever issued when the lie was accepted and passed around.
It is no secret that Black America have an image problem. It is also no secret that the media misrepresents African Americans. What is ostensibly a secret is that many of the most egregious things being said about Black people are being perpetuated by Black people.
In another Black Top Ten list, I’d like to dispel some of those myths.
Accordingly, these are the top ten things that Black people should stop saying about Black America:
1 There are more Black men in prison than in college.
False. The misleading “evidence” comes from studies such as the one conducted periodically by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), a Washington-based research group. JPI found that there were 791,600 Black men in jail or prison and “only” 603,032 of them in colleges or universities. They presented the findings as “evidence” of more Black men in prison than in college. As late as 2004, the US Census reported that there were 864,000 Black men in college. The numbers that people (including the JPI) quote are ALL of the Black men in prison, versus ONLY the free young Black men of college age, which spans the late teens to the early twenties. And yet, the myth is still a myth. Any of us can do the math: Out of the 40 million-plus African Americans that the 2008 Census found, less than one million are in jail or prison. The reality is that while there are too many of us in prison and more of us in there than others, there are NOT more of us on the inside than on the outside.
2 Black people, particularly Black men are lazy.
False. How can a people who built this nation and did it for free suddenly become the laziest people in the nation?
According to the US Census Bureau, 68.1% of all Black men and 62.3% of Black women over the age of 16 are in the civilian labor force, compared to 73% of White men and 59.9% of White women. With racial discrimination and other challenges, more of us are still working than sitting at home.
While the Blacks have a higher percentage of poverty than Whites in America, the majority of Black people are NOT poor. Of the 40 million-plus Blacks in this nation, 8.1 million have incomes below the poverty line.
Now, what we do with our money is another story…
3 Black people abuse the Welfare system and are swelling it beyond capacity.
False. First, the actual number of Black families on Welfare has been decreasing since the early 1970’s, when 46% of the recipients were Black. By the end of the 20th century, that number was down to 39%, as compared to 38% Whites who were non-Hispanic. If the comparison were strictly based on race without ethnic identification, Whites clearly outnumber Blacks on the Welfare rolls.
In addition, 40% of the families on Welfare have only one child, while the number having five or more is only 4%. And, by the last decade of the 20th century, Welfare accounted for just over 2% of the Federal Budget, while defense accounted for 24%.
Benefit programs for predominantly White farmers and big businesses far outweigh the Welfare program. Who is abusing welfare?
4. Most Black men are married to White women.
False. According to the most recent Census statistics, more than 90% of all Black men who are married are married to Black women.
Please stop lying about what you see (which isn’t data—you could be looking at co-workers) and stop using celebrities to cast an indictment on an entire group.
5. Affirmative Action unfairly provides opportunities for Black America.
False. First, Affirmative Action is inappropriately used to define Black preferential treatment and “quotas” but it was actually designed to benefit a number of groups who have been discriminated against, creating parity in the workplace. Since the 1970’s, Affirmative Action has benefited White women more than any other group. Secondly, no one who perpetuates this myth ever talks about other types of Affirmative Action, which benefit other races. For example, the Japanese descendants in America, who were each rewarded $20,000 in 1988 as reparations for internment during WWII, or the legacy programs which benefit people such as the dimwit son of a Bush who screwed up the world economy while in the white house.