Just because you have a Black friend…

does not mean you are not a racist or have racist tendencies! This write up is a little rant, so it’s up to you if you want to read it or not. The 2019 Black History month has not been a good one in my opinion. We should be learning, teaching generations, and sharing the contributions of African Americans.  I commend Carter G. Woodson for setting up the Black History Month. At least we have one month, and we see the that communities do get involved.  l love this time of the year and enjoy celebrating Black History 365 days per year. So much information is spreading via social media about lots of local history and heroes. It is exhausting with all the news, chaos, and lying going on in this country. I am turning off the TV and putting on PBS, American History TV on the weekends or pulling up Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates or Who Do You Think You Are continually. Those shows keep my blood pressure down and are very calming.

Now I have say to White America…with all the statements of not knowing if something is offensive or not. Maybe it is just a good thing to just be quiet and stop doing whatever it is you are doing. I want to make it clear, you having Black friends or relatives does not mean you are not racist or have racist tendencies. I have Black friends too. I have White friends. But I am not running around in a KKK robe making fun of them. The Oxford dictionary provides this as a definition of racist A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another”. I understand the definition clearly and know that we, as in African Americans were never the problem.

mockup-f3e6fea5“We Were Never The Problem
Abduction • Slavery • Rape • Segregation • Murder • Jim Crow • Lynching • Cross Burning • Dred Scott Decision • Plessy V. Ferguson • Scottsboro Boys • 16Th Street Baptist Church Bombing • Mass Incarceration • Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment • Tulsa Race Riot • Bloody Sunday • Rosewood Massacre • Seneca Village • Mississippi Burning Murders • Voter Intimidation • Black Codes • Sundown Towns • Blockbusting • Racial Steering • Redlining • Separate But Equal • Anti-Miscegenation Laws • Police Brutality • Stop And Frisk • One Drop Rule • Sharecropping • Discrimination • Racism • Bigotry • Xenophobia • Social Exclusion • Assassinations • School To Prison Pipeline • War On Drugs • Broken Windows Policing • Sentencing Disparity • Racial Profiling • Implicit Bias • Racial Stereotyping • Income Inequality • Rockefeller Drug Laws • White Supremacy • The KKK” (http://www.timidmc.com/shop/)

What really prompted me to write  this little piece because it was so frustrating to see that beautiful African American young lady put on display during the Cohen testimony. I do not care if she is a #45 supporter and employee or not. She was used! Just because you are hired and have a job and your boss says hello, does not mean he or she likes you. It does not mean that individual is not a racist or have racist tendencies.  America sees color first, the individual second. Since 1950’s I have seen this myself. It was an awful display of what is wrong with our country. We seen it through the 2016 campaign. Please understand that you can still be racist  and not like someone because of the color of their skin and have grand babies that are biracial, mixed, or Black, etc. My view is racists say things, they do things, it’s an action not just a thought that has impacts. Those actions do not care how many African American friends you have, or if you dated a person of color or what religion you practice. The ugly practices were so common, some still are common and expected and that is one reason you are in denial and not seeing what is offensive to others.

Recently some White Americans say they didn’t realize (their words, not mine) Blackface, mocking, etc., was offensive to African Americans, just shows how much you do not care about African Americans and how much you didn’t pay attention to African Americans. As a genealogist I am telling you that we are more connected than you think. Per Dr. Henry Louis Gates which he shared on his Finding Your Roots show many times that the average African American has 25% European DNA in them. Well we know how that happen. We have more things in common. So why all the hate?

Now put yourself in my shoes or any person of color shoes. Think about the mocking, bullying, and intimidating that goes on, include the name calling, separations, and avoidances, that are placed on people of color.  I just can’t take the “I didn’t know” responses anymore. It is not believable in 2019. Get to know some people of color, you can always ask questions if you are not sure if something is offensive or not. This has been going on too long for folks not to be aware of what offends others. I say, you know what you are doing and don’t expect to get caught. It’s 2019 please stop using your Black friends or workers to show you are not something that you might not be. We see it, we feel it. It is not only offensive, it is hurtful.  Think before you dress up and mock anyone for anything. Try living by the rule of “Do no harm”.

References

Woodson, Carter G. (2019): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_G._Woodson

Notham, Pam (2019): https://nypost.com/2019/02/28/ralph-northams-wife-now-under-fire-for-slave-comment-towards-black-student/

Racist (2019) Retrieved fromhttps://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/racist

Disclosure: Yes, the t-shirt is designed and sold by my son. I am wearing one of mine tomorrow.

About familytreegirl

Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”, a native of Michigan residing in Central Virginia, Shelley has been an avid genealogist for over 25+ years researching the Davis, Marsh, Goens/Goins/Goings, Roper, Boyer, Worden, Cureton, and Murphy family lines. She is a Coordinator and faculty for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI), presents Genealogy 101 workshops at the local community college, state and national genealogy conferences. She holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and works as an adjunct professor for Averett University. Murphy is known for her inspiring and interactive “Getting Started” Methods and Strategies for genealogy research, “Time and File management” along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures. Shelley currently has 20+ publications with Charlottesville Genealogy Examiner and the Central Virginia Heritage, a publication of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association. She is an instructor for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Adjunct Professor, Professional Genealogist. Volunteers for American Red Cross as a Disaster Services Instructor, facilitates financial education workshops for the last 8 years, and former licensed Real Estate Broker
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6 Responses to Just because you have a Black friend…

  1. nada62 says:

    I’m reading your post now – March 1, at 3:14 a.m. Look what time it says you created it. Strange!!!! That’s 3 hours away from now!

    Great post. Renate

    >

  2. chmjr2 says:

    You, me, everyone, is a little racist. That being said does not excuse the great harm that was and is being done here and all over the world. We all have so far to go in our understanding of each other. I have seen progress made over my 68 years here in the U.S. but let me be clear I know not even close to what it should be. But progress is a good thing and does give one hope. By the way the PBS shows you enjoy are some of my favorite viewings. I also enjoy reading your blog. I think it is next to impossible to do genealogy and not become more understanding of each other and ourselves and less racist along the way.

  3. Eilene Lyon says:

    Thanks for the heartfelt ( but not unkind) rant. I do wonder what it will take to get through to some people. Heck, my (not a bad guy) husband can’t even see the subtle “women are inferior” bias that has become so ingrained in him. We’re all human and we all stumble and fall at times, me included. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. Tolerating hate is bad. We need to do better as a country and a planet.

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