#BlackAgenda: Here Is What You Really Mean When You Say It

Actor Michael B. Jordan on “Fruitvale Station.” (2013) This is the true story of Oscar Grant, a black man shot by a white police officer on New Year’s Eve 2008. Rhee Bevere, The Weinstein Co.

We hear it all the time. You see something on television or in the news in which systemic racism or racism in general against Blacks is addressed, usually in the manner of bringing attention to it and those who participate. Right away, you scream that you are sick of them pushing a “black agenda” or “shoving it down your throat.”

When looking at the age of this country, the Civil Rights Era was not that long ago. To put actual numbers to it, the “birth” or founding of the United States is 1776, making this 4th of July to be our 245th birthday. According to the Library of Congress, the Civil Rights Era was from about 1950 to 1963. That means the earliest time when Blacks were publicly recognized for fighting for equal rights was 71 years ago.


This means two things. One, Blacks were not recognized as equal citizens to Whites for more than two-thirds of the history of our country, to include the time Blacks were brought here as slaves. Two, according to Statista, as of 2019, about 16.5% of the population was at least 70 years old.

Just about all of us know someone who is in his or her 70s. My former mother and father-in-law are both in their 70s. My current mother-in-law is 74. My wife’s former mother-in-law, who she is still close with, is 83. My grandmother is 82. My reason for bringing this up is to show that most of us not only know someone, but are still somewhat closely connected with someone who is at least 70 years old. This means there are people still alive today who were around back when the Civil Rights Era began, and earlier.

We learn a lot from our parents and grandparents. Guess who else learned a lot from parents and grandparents? Those who did not want to see Blacks gain equal rights.

So considering the fact that a lot of parents and grandparents are still alive from back then, along with this fact of many not wanting Blacks to gain equal rights and teaching their children and/or grandchildren the same, that means many people alive today, far younger than 71, still believe that Blacks should not have the same rights as everyone else.

Whether some of you admit it or not, many of you fall into this category as well.

As of late, the news media and various television programs have highlighted the issue of racism in this country. Especially with the upswing of law enforcement murdering black men and women.

Before you say that Blacks “brought it on themselves by committing crimes” (which did not happen in each case), here’s a fact. Police do not get to execute those who commit crimes. Period. That is for the legal system to decide. But I digress. This is about the “black agenda” that so many of you have a problem with.

Racism exists. Systemic. This is not a topic for debate. This has been proven time and time again. So this is not a question of whether or not this is out there. It is.

A television show highlights a black character who a white person or group is racist toward. Then others get in on things and fight back. You call this an “agenda.”

Companies decide to change logos and mascots due to admittedly racist roots. You call that an “agenda” too.

The news media talks about and does documentaries on racism in America. Another “agenda.”

So what exactly is this “agenda” you keep talking about? A lot of stuff is covered in the media and on television shows that happen in real life. Racism happens in real life also. So what makes that an “agenda being shoved down your throats”? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a TON of other aspects of life way more than racism on television.

The successful, rich white male. The black character who is a criminal. The Latino gang member. I’ve seen far more of this than racism being shown as a problem and fought against. And yet, I don’t hear you complain about those being “shoved down our throats.”

How come?

I’ll tell you why I think it is and what you’re really saying.

In the eyes of many, Blacks will never be more than how we see them on television. They either have to be criminals, gang members, or in some world where racism does not exist.

But that’s not the real world.

I even saw someone pout about a show with predominantly black characters that normally rarely addresses racism, but they did it part of one episode. I can’t remember the show, but this person practically had a conniption. Threatened to stop watching and everything. Over a single episode. Over a show that had been on for a while.

“Shoving it down your throat.”

I think the only “agenda” you’re upset about is the fact that Blacks cannot be stereotyped in the way you’re used to. It bothers you. Pisses you off even. Anything short of Blacks acting like niggers, and you can’t stand it. You’re either okay with it, or you’ve become way too comfortable with it not changing.

And that is a problem.

I’m always amused when someone comes along to compare themselves and their own lives to systemic racism. They say things like so:

“I’ve had a rough life growing up too!”

“Police kill white people too!”

“People were racist toward me, but I didn’t have to riot!”

“Just ask BLM; they’re obviously the only group that matters!”

And the list goes on. I don’t have time to even include every single one I’ve heard.

As has been explained numerous times, “having a rough life” at some portion of your years far from equates to systemic racism. “Systemic” means it doesn’t go away after a certain incident. After dealing with this person or that person. You have not been through the same thing that Blacks go through. At all. Systemic means that it is embedded in the fabric of this nation. Again, the fact that we as a society have grown more comfortable with seeing Blacks as criminals proves that.

If you need further proof, let’s take the 90s show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Great show. But which aspect are we as a society more comfortable with or used to? The rich, black Banks family, or the street-wise teenager that shows up because he’s always in trouble?

As for police “killing white people too,” well, they shouldn’t. But that does not nullify racism. Killing a white person doesn’t mean a cop can’t be racist. And let’s think about this; police kill a white person in Tennessee. Does that mean the policeman who murdered a black person in Baltimore isn’t racist? Doesn’t make sense, right? Well, that’s what you sound like when you say that police “can’t be racist because white people are killed too.”

As for “not having to riot,” be thankful that you’re in a position where the racism you’ve received hasn’t warranted that. Because chances are, if you’re saying that, you haven’t been targeted nearly the same way. And last I checked, the riots we saw were not in response to someone being called a nasty name. They were about police murdering us. Big difference. I think if being called “nigger” was all we had to worry about, we’d be in much better shape. So again…not the same.

You think that Black Lives Matter is the only group anyone pays attention to? That’s incorrect. If you truly believed that, then why even say anything? Because you know it isn’t the case.

By now, many of you pretend to not be clear on what BLM is about. Because if you know enough about BLM to be angry about them, then you know enough that they aren’t saying black lives matter more than anyone else’s. We’re just saying our lives matter. Of course, that’s when it’s met with the tired, “All Lives Matter.” As comedian Michael Che brilliantly put it during a standup routine, imagine your spouse asking, “Do you love me?” and you respond with, “Honey…I love everybody!” That would be ridiculous. But that’s exactly how it sounds.

Either way, dismissing the struggles of Blacks and the systemic racism that exists demonstrates your character, and it’s not good. It’s not about “playing the victim,” as many of you love to suggest. I am 41 years old. Am I crippled by systemic racism 24 hours a day? No. Does that mean it doesn’t exist? Absolutely not.

Just because a black person speaks up about systemic racism doesn’t mean they are being victims. But the issues don’t go away because you’re tired of hearing about them.

Because the truth is, if you are more angry at the mention of the issues than the issues themselves, then you show what side you’re on. Silence about the issues always helps the oppressor. Always.

If a burglar breaks into your home, the one who pretends there’s no problem or gets mad at those who call out the burglar is a far bigger help to the burglar than anyone else. Being quiet about the racism itself while raising hell about those who bring it to the forefront mean that you’re okay with the racism or are racist yourselves. Period.

When I go outside to run or to pretty much do anything, I have to keep on alert when police pass by. You don’t.

When police pull you over, you’re nervous about being stopped. We’re nervous about being murdered.

When a white person commits a crime, society wonders what went wrong in their lives.

When a black person commits a crime, society wonders what they did wrong in their lives.

So spare me the notion that we’re on the same level.

We’re not.

And that is not an “agenda.”

That’s life.

And if you don’t like it, that’s your problem.

End of story.

This entry was posted in Black community, Black Lives Matter, Black man, Blacks, Racism, Whites and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to #BlackAgenda: Here Is What You Really Mean When You Say It

  1. Marilyn Kahlo-Burton says:

    As usual Robert, you are correct. Everything you said and said so well! I love your post!

    Liked by 1 person

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