A young African American man has made a video. He’s the latest in the group of people who are blaming black people for racism and profiling. He says this:
Black people: It is 2014, he says simply. Hate to break this to you, but if your life is messed up, it ain’t because of slavery Slavery ended a long time ago.
Civil rights, fifty years ago,? he says. ?I don’t know if y’all know this: we won. Google it.
So in 2014 if your life is messed up, look in a mirror, figure out what you’re doing, what you’re not doing, take some personal responsi-damn-bility for yourselves, for your lives.
If you live in a messed up neighborhood, let me give you a little advice: stop messing it up,? he advises. ?Ain?t no rich white man sneaking into the neighborhood in the middle of the night, spray painting graffitti, peeing in the hallways. George Bush ain’t out in the neighborhood selling crack on the corner.?
Get an education, get a job, better yourself, better your situation, he says. Have some pride in yourself, take some responsibility for your life. Everything is not somebody else’s fault. Sometimes it’s just you.
I’m not going to add a lot of personal commentary to this video. OK wait, you guys knew that comment was too good to be true, right? I am going to add some personal commentary.
Scroll down to read more.
I don’t agree with this young man when he says that racism is just a thing we have to learn to live with. I do believe that the fight continues and we have to keep fighting. Every inch gained will eventually get us to a foot, and a yard, and a mile. I also don’t believe that the only reason young black men are targeted is because they’re getting into trouble. These young men are being targeted simply because of their race. They are being targeted by people who don’t see them as equals. They’re being targeted by people who don’t see them as human beings.
Black neighborhoods being messed up? They were messed up from the beginning. They are historically and deliberately located in the shabby parts of most cities and towns.
It’s hard to get ahead from behind. If you start out on a level playing field, you have a better chance. If you start out behind, you have to spend a large portion of your life getting caught up before you can begin to get ahead. I don’t know anything about Mr. Wilson’s life story. I’m curious to know if he had a more stable family life and upbringing than many other people, and if he had opportunities that other people didn’t have. If anyone knows, please update me.
The problem with this new trend of “real talk for my black people” videos is that the right-wing pounces on them as PROOF that the problem is black people rather than the people who are persecuting them.
From Chicks on the Right:
Yesterday I posted a video from Fredrick Wilson II, whose video about personal “responsidamnbility” video is going viral on social media. And he’s made another video that’s also awesome, and he’s quickly becoming my new favorite person.
Really? If he were just a successful young black man walking around minding his own business, would he still be her “new favorite person”? No. Of course not.
Or how about this headline from the Conservative Tribune: “Black Patriot Goes Off on People Blaming Racism for Their Problems in Epic Rant.”
Just Google this young man’s name and you’ll find hundreds of right-wing websites who have pounced on this. I think it’s dangerous. I think it gives them justification for killing young black men, or for simply profiling young black men. It takes the blame off of the killers and puts it on the victims.
I do think this young man has a strong message for all young people. Personal responsibility is a good thing. Taking pride in yourself and your community is also a good thing. But please don’t blame black people for the crimes that are committed against them. He actually came really close to blaming Trayvon Martin for his own murder. Please stop. Please alter your message.
Tiffany Willis is a fifth-generation Texan and the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberal America. An unapologetic member of the Christian Left, she has spent most of her career actively working with ?the least of these? and disadvantaged and oppressed populations. She’s passionate about their struggles. To stay on top of topics she discusses,?like her?Facebook page,?follow her on Twitter, or?connect with her via LinkedIn. She also has?a?grossly neglected personal blog?and a?literary quotes blog that is a labor of love. Find her somewhere and join the discussion.