THE BRIDGE The Black Top Ten: Evidence of Racism
By Darryl James, CA
May 31 2005

It's been a while since I've done a top ten list and I have a few of
them rolling around in my head. This one stands out because racists
have placed their program on remote control after convincing many of
us that racism no longer exists. Many of the myths perpetuated about
Black people are now being perpetuated by us, and many of the ills
plaguing us, are now blamed on us by us.

Some of us who are comfortable and who do not "see" racism on a
regular basis have acquired the habit of denying that racism exists.

When one of us talks about racism, another soul, deluded, may sling
accusations of "whining."

We don't know what God looks like and yet, we believe. We believe
because we know that the flowers grow from the rain, we know that the
rain comes from the clouds and babies smile for no reason apparent to
us. We know that there is something bigger than us and we can find
evidence of things unseen. Racism is also easy to trace, because we
can feel its effects. There may not be a gang of crazy racists chasing
you down or preventing you from using the lunch counter, but racism
is still alive and well--just wearing some new clothing. Sometimes,
the clothing is Black skin.

In another Black Top Ten list, here are ten pieces of evidence that
racism still exists.

Drugs and guns in the Black community

Brothers and Sisters, if we take a look at the dropping of drugs and
automatic weaponry in the Black community, which began at the same
time that jobs began to dry up, we can see racism. Why not? There were
no drugs and guns dropped in Beverly Hills, California or in Skokie,
Illinois, or in any other affluent neighborhood with very few Blacks.

AIDS in the global Black community

How did this disease come of nowhere and metamorphose from a gay
white male disease to a Black disease, disproportionately affecting
Africa and female African Americans? If it were a Black disease,
we would have been dying from it before the 1980's.

Evaporation of after school programs

If we take a close look at the after school programs that began
to evaporate in the early 90's under Bill Clinton's watch, while
Affirmative Action, scholarship programs and other educational
financial aid programs for poor Blacks were under attack, we see
racism because the direct result is fewer Black men in college.

More prisons/Less gang prevention

We can see racism in the building of more prisons and less gang
prevention over the past ten plus years, because the direct result
is more Black men and women in prison.

Military, financial aid to the middle east/pittance to Africa.

The recent tsunami affected Asia as well as portions of Africa, yet a
disproportionate amount of the assistance went to Asia. I know many
of you love Bill Clinton, some even calling him a Black president,
but he's a good old boy, too and we see it now as he rolls around
with George Bush helping the Tsunami victims with an overwhelming
focus on Asia. We see the same program when it comes to providing
assistance for the poor and downtrodden in Africa as well as the
poor and downtrodden in the south parts of nearly every major city in
America. This nation shows it's racist stance when it directs billions
to the Middle East, billions to nations with "strategic alliance,"
and billions in corporate bailout programs, while snubbing the poor
of color right here in the good old U.S. of A.

Paucity of Black leadership

Black leaders have been chosen for us over the past three decades.

Generally, they are harmless Negroes who bark loud, but are
toothless. The real leaders, found in thinkers like Cornell West
and Michael Eric Dyson, or Black men and women who CHOOSE to become
teachers to make a difference in our children, or single parents who
place their children first are seldom recognized, but the NAACP can
give an "Image" award to many of today's modern House Niggers. We
have been programmed to reject any of us who are maligned in the
media and to embrace any of us who are celebrated.

Diminishing of slavery's modern impact/Embellishment of other peoples'
oppression Even the Armenians have an annual commemoration of past
horrors visited upon their culture. At every turn, we are urged to
remember the oppression of other cultures-remember the Holocaust,
remember the Armenians, etc. We even remember the Alamo, but we are
always urged to forget about slavery.

Ghetto is now a Black word

Go to any major city and you will see Chinatown, Little Italy,
Koreatown, etc, but when it comes to where Blacks live and congregate,
it's the Ghetto or the 'Hood.

Ghetto, a German word originally depicting Jewish areas in Germany,
has become so deeply ensconced in the Black culture, that we have
converted it to an adjective-now that's just Ghetto.

Black wealth/White wealth

Ignorant well-off Negroes can talk about the "growing Black middle
class" all day, but miss me with the propaganda because we have nothing
to show or prove that lie. What we do have is perpetual poverty, aided
and abetted by poverty pimps such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton;
mega-churches with millions in the coffer, but no real outreach in
the community; the NAACP and other chicken dinner eating, hundred
dollar a plate banquet throwing, media opportunists who do no real
good, yet claim to represent "us." Here's the true story of Black
wealth in America: In 1897, 98% of African Americans were working
for white people--In 1997, 98% of African Americans were working for
white people.

The effectiveness of Black self-blame

We have some serious problems and while we are perpetuating much of
it, the real shame comes in refusing to understand the root of many
difficulties for African descendants in America, who never had it
very good, but now claim that we are to blame for everything that is
currently affecting us.

We can still see racism today, and sadly, we can even see it amongst
our own people. It's the American way to disparage and dislike
Black people. It is institutionalized and far too many of us are
good Americans.

Darryl James is an award-winning author and the founder of
Rap Sheet, the only Black owned rap music publication. James'
latest book, "Bridging The Black Gender Gap," is the basis of his
lectures and seminars. Previous installments of the column can
now be viewed at James can be reached at
[email protected]