In time of war, illegal immigrants become a problem to the national government in Washington, D.C. But in time of war and peace, native-born African Americans are always a problem to the national government, since the federal government made a “blunder” during reconstruction trying to “democratize” four million ex-slaves and freed African Americans. In fact, the Black Caucus in Congress can’t get them even to bring up slavery for talks only!
But recently, Vicente Fox, the president of Mexico, provided the kind of spark that Fredrick Douglass was looking for in the 1840s to “wake up” black folks as a race. Douglass told John Brown, “It would take a natural disaster to wake my people up to fight for their own freedom.”
Fox jumped on board the “beat-down-Negro” image bandwagon in this country by printing an incendiary, stereotypical stamp of the buffoonish black man and then defending it?”this after earlier comments that Mexican immigrants work jobs that blacks won’t do. This stereotyping came at the worst of times for African-Americans males. The national unemployment rate of 5 percent doesn’t apply to blacks. From sea to shining sea, black unemployment ranges from 30 to 60 percent for young black men. It’s at crisis level red.
President Fox, like President Bush and Mayor Daley, all have “mindsets” about African Americans that are based on “negative images.” Negative or stereotyped images are very dangerous. Under their leadership black unemployment went up instead of down.
Educate yourself before you pass judgment on people. Fox did not because immigration opponents for years have rejected the argument that immigrants are willing to do the jobs that most Americans won’t do. But research shows that in parts of the country with few immigrants, low-wage jobs, and dirty jobs still get done, and by native-born African Americans. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said, “Employers could find Americans to do these jobs if they wanted to, but they’d have to provide training and raise wages to do so.”
What Fox has done is open a “beehive” on the local and national level about work, employers and below minimum working conditions. Mexican workers, especially the undocumented, are exploitable and unable to fight back. Unemployed blacks have a right to be angry, because most employers prefer to hire Mexicans or other immigrants, which means many blacks aren’t given the opportunity to work. Their families have to eat. This is “outside” the law and is more dangerous to African Americans than the Supreme Court nominee replacing Justice O’Connor or any other retiree.
The current situation creates a division between blacks and Mexicans. Slave labor for nothing? Our ancestors worked all those years for nothing and today, we can’t even work for low wages.
Back to Fox, Bush and Daley. They are not alone. The media’s “negative images” of blacks goes deep into a person’s mind, according to Rojecki and Entman, researchers who study media stereotypes. In their book, The Black Image In The White Mind: Media and Race In America, they state that black folks are still “looked upon” as a group depicted as criminals and “ghettoized” into crime, sports and entertainment coverage. Images are corrosive from a scientific view. Even Ida B. Wells’ studies of the false “rape” theory said that it keeps black males infantile and focuses on the misanthropic nature of black males.
What must we do? First, Mr. Fox should continue his flammable rhetoric and not be silent. Apologies are a waste of time (they don’t make things better). I don’t like what Fox said, but I respect him for his honesty. He took the “hood” off. We know he is racist and must treat him accordingly. Most racist hearts are in their pockets, so don’t spend your money with racist folks, companies or groups.
Affirm yourself. Don’t wait for Jesse or “Perm” to speak or write for you. If each African American would tell his or her friends and family members to spend their money on black business most of time and white business some of the time, and on Fox and his country none of the time, then we as a people would have finally started overcoming.
Some more solutions are: Vote, vote, vote?”blacks finally have the numbers. Use your vote wisely.
Keep your money in your pocket. If blacks stop going into stores or businesses that disrespect us, store owners will soon get the message.
Long ago, Ida B. Wells went around the nation speaking out against injustice. She had Susan B. Anthony as her main supporter. Some whites have good hearts and can support our fight, without being in charge.
Fannie Lou Hamer said, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” so she did something about it and rolled up her sleeves and went to work. Join a group or organization like NAACP and get them to support and help fight people like presidents Fox and Bush and Mayor Daley. Our best weapons are the vote and boycott.
Our youth need adults to help them?”not to act like the “negative images” on TV. We can help ourselves if we come together as a race, not to love one another, but to respect each other and fight for common goals that affect us all.