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They Hate Us

A Socially Speaking Commentary from Perry Redd

A Socially Speaking Commentary from Perry Redd

I hate to be fatalistic here, but this will likely be the last social commentary I deliver to the general public. This not because I am dying from some horrid terminal illness, nor is it because I am choosing to take my own life, but because I am herein making the grandest accusation of negativity against a majority, dominant class of the richest society on earth: white people hate us.

I am a Black American—of African descent—born and bred in the United States. I am considered a Baby Boomer by this society’s technical definition. I assert that race is the grandest—and most problematic—ill that America has in its midst. That’s been an unchanged fact since the day I was born. The issue of skin color has been, and will be a stain that this country cannot dissolve any time soon. That’s not because it’s too difficult a problem to solve, but because there are a majority of Americans that don’t want to solve it.

When one is born into the dominant class in any society, one shall not relinquish the honors and perks that come with that social status. Whether the perk is educational opportunities, inherited wealth or simple entry into social settings, the color of one’s skin dictates who gets to enjoy those perks. Racial skin tones affect entry in college, employability or where one might live. My assertions are fully supported, not only anecdotal evidence, but by empirical and statistical data as well.

While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. Blacks are more likely to be unemployed than Whites, a phenomenon exacerbated during economic downturns. Because of reduced access to well-paying jobs, median household income for Blacks is less than two-thirds that of Whites and median weekly earnings for Blacks are also less. Hell, just look at the line at the introduction of the new i-Phone. This is not an accident. They hate us.

The fact that the infant mortality rate for Blacks is more than twice that for Whites, even when controlling for the mother’s socioeconomic status is further evidence that the dominant class wants the status quo to reign. The death rate from heart disease is 25% greater for Black men than White men and 35% greater for Black women than for White women. The gap between the percentage of Blacks who graduate from high school and that of Whites is approximately 25%. That’s not because whites are any smarter than anyone else, just in control of the resources that facilitate education. Net wealth of Blacks is a shocking fraction that of Whites, a fact that remains unchanged since Europeans brought Africans to the North American shores in the 1600’s. They hate us.

Hell, we used to watch big-time college football on Saturday afternoons—where black players get their day in the sun. Nowadays, the major networks run English league soccer, TV previews or even worse, snake oil selling paid programming! They hate us! College football was a poor black boy’s audition for the pros; now they’ve sold that opportunity to the highest bidder.

This hate applies to every aspect of the American existence. The war on drugs, heads of Fortune 500 companies, the long list of late night TV hosts or elected state Governors. Just think about what I’m saying: one of the nation’s most recognized corporations in America, the National Football League, is now implementing responsible, arguably sensible and long overdue punitive policies as a response to outcries against their players who abuse their female spouses. Now, no one could argue against the NFL doing the right thing for the right reasons, but I argue with the timing, targets and the who that’s doing the crying out.

The NFL only elected to rectify this injustice of protecting spousal abusers after one of their superstars got caught—on video! Just like I’ve long advocated against police brutality, the video doesn’t lie. What does lie are the people who hold the video. Those people can release whichever portions of a captured video they choose. I know this to be true because it happened with Nicole Dunson (a Black woman) at the University of Tennessee in 2002. She was accused of assaulting the police. My organization, Sincere Seven, demanded a release of her encounter with police. She denied those allegations—as she was the one who ended up in a cast. They stalled for three days, then released two videos: one with no audio, and the other with misdirected video. They hate us—but they hate the truth even more! They eventually dropped the charges against her.

But back to the NFL…the infamous incident involving former Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice, knocking his now-wife unconscious, received grand attention…after the second video showing the actual punch knocking her out was leaked. Just the fact that he admitted he assaulted her should’ve been enough to not only suspend him, but for law enforcement authorities to bring charges. But of course, we all know that law enforcement prospers best when they protect big corporations (in this case, the NFL), not people. Ohhhh, that’s right—corporations are people, my friend! What kind of people, you think?

More relevant to my point, the outcry from groups like the National Organization of Women (NOW) demanded that the NFL act, and act now, on the issue of domestic abuse. For the record, NOW is an organization of white women, ran by white women, for the interests of white women. I went to their website which substantiates my assertion here. Domestic violence accounts for 85 of the 713 arrests of NFL players since the year 2000.

The NFL responded harshly to their demand in the Ray Rice incident. It took ‘em a while, but they responded. But what about instances of past abuse, like Pittsburgh Steeler’s quarterback, Ben Rothilisberger (disclaimer: I’m a die-hard Steeler fan). Accused of rape in 2008, Big Ben should’ve at least been charged. Big Ben was suspended six games, but came back two games early…but he wasn’t guilty? But in the wake of the Ray Rice revelation, four—yes four—Black men had their careers derailed. Ray McDonald of the 49ers, Greg Hardy of the Panthers, A.J. Jefferson of the Vikings and Robert Reynolds of the Titans

Ray Rice initially received a two-game suspension, a travesty, but punished according to the rules. Former Ravens cornerbacks Cary Williams and Fabian Washington earned two- and one-game suspensions, respectively, for similar first-time offenses of domestic violence, though neither was caught on tape.

Let me take you back…November 2012, Dallas Cowboy receiver Dez Bryant was charged with assaulting his mother! The charge was dismissed in November 2012 on the condition that Bryant undergo anger counseling and that he not be charged with a crime for the next year. On November 25, 2011, Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden was arrested on “suspicion” (what’s that?) of assaulting his live-in girlfriend. The charge was reduced to disorderly conduct and then dismissed after Walden agreed to perform 50 hours of community service and receive counseling. The N.F.L. suspended Walden for one game. Not that there shouldn’t have been, but there was no outcry from NOW. Now that white people have made this their issue, time to crucify people…Black people. I guess white males don’t assault their women. So that explains why Black women are hooking up with more white men. They hate us.

Let me shift gears here…I see things through the lens of race. You may not, and have the right to see things through whatever lens you so choose. Whether economics, education, military or politics, race is always just below that surface. My life’s experiences have allowed me to see and say what true. White men have always responded to me (when they don’t ignore me) that’s “Black” is not written in any legislation, especially The Constitution.

I retort, they’re technically right, but intentionally wrong. The genius of their “founding fathers” was to write a national agreement in race-neutral language that kept their social head start in place for centuries to come. Just look at the slave trade compromise. Whites told me that the humanity of “The Founding Fathers” ended the slave trade. Nothing is further from the truth.

The country was “originated” in 1788. The Slave Trade Compromise said that Congress couldn’t ban the slave trade until 1808. White men had a “traffic humans pass” for 20 years! It was done so that the Constitution would still be accepted by the slave states (that’s another reason why the Confederate flag is unacceptable). If the Constitutional Convention had banned the slave trade, the southern states would not have ratified the Constitution. Evil men held the country hostage! They hate us.

Someone just informed me that in Florida (yes, racist-assed Florida), it assesses you three points on your driving record if you allow your car insurance to lapse—at one month no less! Now, on it’s face, that seems across-the-board fair; it applies to everyone, its race neutral. But if you and I know that wealth disparity is at an all-time high and Blacks are more likely to be stopped—and arrested—especially in Florida, then the vast majority of those affected by these point assessments, which lead to suspended licenses, will be Black.

Oh, did I fail to mention, according to the Florida DHSMV, citations stay on your record for 10 years, suspensions 7 to 11 years, alcohol-related violations for 75 years, and serious CDL violations 55 years. They hate us!

This is yet another example of the disdain for Black people as an extended legacy of slavery. I find it insane that Blacks—and not all—are making ridiculous efforts to “fit in” and assimilate with white America. They hate us! Only if you’re a top grossing athelete or entertainer will white Americans like you. Guess what? Most of us ain’t that! Here in DC, though the majority of the residents are Black 51%, most of people on our DC Council are white. They legislate like they hate us too!

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