OPINION: Are Black People Always Victims?

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a happy outing

The most ridiculous contention that William Styron reaches in his laughably bad Confessions of Nat Turner is that slave rebellions were totally unnatural for Black people.

Styron seemed shocked, not only at the organization necessary for Turner’s rebellion to be the success that it became, but also at the fact that Negroes bore the type of animosity towards slavery necessary to rebel in the first place.

Take a look at our gallery of Black history in America:

It’s this mind state which is and has been, if not prevalent, than certainly consistent in the American psyche for possibly as long as Blacks and whites have shared these shores.

You find it at the heart of statements like “Lincoln freed the slaves” and when certain whites speak of the abolition of Jim Crow and the attainment of Civil Rights as something that they worked for.

This isn’t, of course, to suggest that no white people were ever involved in the cause of Black rights, it’s just that far too often, the cause of Black rights is seen as something that was done for us and not, appropriately, something done primarily by us and done for the betterment of the country overall.

Dr. King gambled that non-violence would be the best approach towards winning equal rights and in an almost Pyrrhic way, his gamble paid off.

What used to anger me before I studied up on the subject and what probably angered many other Black people before they did their own research was the notion of being a member of a race that was continually bashed in the head without retaliation.

It got so bad that there was a time, sadly I must admit, that I joyfully read of any slave rebellion that ended in the spilling of white blood and also got borderline giddy at any mention of Jim Crow-ear Black violence towards whites, believing, as I was led to, that this was a rarity.

Of course by now most of us know that the reason for the lack of literary documentation of Black violence against our then-oppressors is to convince us that we are a long-suffering people for whom our salvation was to be found in the faces of the same folks that enslaved us.

But dig; isn’t it an amazing irony that now when we hear of Blacks committing violent crimes against whites, people like me cringe while the Rush Limbaughs of the world behave as if it’s totally natural?

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