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Is discussing race social or media taboo?

September 21, 2010

So, today I had an interview with a…”mainstream conservative” media outlet. (Now, why do we say main stream media? We all know when we say mainstream, we are referring to White. Has race become such a taboo subject that saying White or Black has become politically incorrect? Anyway, I digress…) She asked me to explain my entire concept behind my book’s (Rebuilding the Black Infrastructure: Making America a Colorless Nation) objective. She sounded quite perturbed; almost like she was being forced to interview me. We were doing the interview via telephone, so I could only read her tone and not gestures or body language. But as we got through the interview, she became very loose and engaged in what I had to say, only proving that what I was sensing early in the interview was not all in my mind.

I wanted to be very clear in the interview, as I know how your words can be twisted and taking out of context. I had to give her a little background on me. I explained to her that my paternal grandmother owned a farm in rural Maryland from the 1960’s-1990’s and was also a made for a handful of wealthy Whites. (My maternal grandmother was a housekeeper at a White-owned hotel, who was also the granddaughter of a runaway slave.) During summers and winters, I would visit my paternal grandmother spending time with her working in the Whites’ homes. Most of them had grandchildren too so this made for an early education on cultural diversity for me. There was very little dissension, as far as I knew, between our family and theirs. We got along fine. This is perhaps one of the reasons why I was able to leave the island of St. Thomas following high school enter into the military and adjust to an atmosphere that was no longer Black dominated. I lived overseas in Asia for a year and worked in Corporate America before deciding to cut the umbilical cord and set out on my own.

Let me say this… There is a strong element of racism and hatred in this country. I would be ignorant to believe otherwise. However, I do believe this hatred and discrimination has more to do with cultural ignorance and economic gain than it has to do with the actual “physical presence” of a person (Black). With all the falsified “Black man did it” claims (click here for Top 5 stories, does the Black community have a responsibility to cleanup our public image or devise a plan “rebrand” the expectations this country have of us? Anyways, I digress…

Explaining this to her was important because I would hate for either Blacks or Whites to think this book and my philosophy is about the Black takeover or revenge. It is more about redemption. It basically highlights the positive economics that exist in the Black community. We are the largest group (percentage) receiving public assistance, unemployed, illiterate and living in poverty. Rebuilding the Black Infrastructure says, “If we circulate our dollars among ourselves, the need for public assistance decreases… the substance abuse rates diminishes…the crimes of desperation incidents reduces.” We have no time to be angry. No one walking this Earth was a slave or a slave owner. We are all shouldering the burdens (or benefits) of our ancestors’ misdoings. This means if we perpetuate anger, we perpetuate divide. What I see needing to happen is a strong resilient movement to reemerging as a people, though once oppressed for so many years, was able to reestablish a network of sustainability using collective economics. This will only show the true strength within the Black group that, currently, go wasted daily.

Respect is rewarded to those who work hard for it. Though I undeniably believe that Blacks have been wronged throughout the years, we can make better use of our fingers than pointing them at others. Yes, we tend to sing a magnanimous song of “unity” and “one race, the human race” but if we truly believe in unity, we would support a rising up of people who are often exploited; been systematically mislead and strategically setback. “Rebuilding the Black Infrastructure: Making America a Colorless Nation” is a book that I firmly believe is the solution to the stereotypical views towards Blacks. It focuses on Business, Government, Education, Religion, Family and Media. As soon as we realize we are holding the winning economic lottery ticket, the sooner we will be able to cash in on it. I hope my interview does not get slanted after she writes it. So, when we say “mainstream media”, it will not be codeword for “White”, because that too will now be “colorless”.

In the trenches,
Professor Devin Robinson
Author, Rebuilding the Black Infrastructure: Making America a Colorless Nation

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