I got interested in this issue when I was reading Ebony magazine. They interviewed a panel of five black “intellectuals” that said blacks shouldn’t have to assimilate with white culture in order to be accepted by society.
Well, we all would like to think that, but is that true? It’s ideal that no culture would have to assimilate with another culture, but reality is sometimes that may be the best option.
I don’t think white people expect us to assimilate with their culture, but I personally think that everyone in this country should assimilate with American culture. Sometimes the black community views all American traditions as white culture, but that’s not true. Blacks played a big part in the formation of this great nation. Check black history.
There was a point when education was a right for whites only. Were Booker T. Washington and Fredrick Douglas trying to be white by seeking a high education? No, because education is an American thing, not a white thing. Education is a part of American culture.
We have a lot of black people that think that we should stay true to black culture, but there are a lot of things about black culture that are destructive. It’s idiotic to stay true to high dropout rates, kids out of wedlock, single mother households, fatherless households, unusually violent children-I’m sorry but all these things are a part of our culture. Is it not? Should we stay true to these things just so we won’t seem “white”? I don’t think so. That would be very stupid.
But that is exactly what we’re doing. We are staying true to all those horrible traditions in our culture even though they are much more destructive than the “white” culture that we refuse to assimilate with. Assimilating with American culture is not going to harm us anymore than our own cultural customs have.
Refusing to assimilate with American culture has a lot to do with blacks desperately wanting to impress our own people. Like I said in Black Children & Education: Closing the Gap Between White & Black Students , a lot of us try to do what our own culture expects us to do. When I was a kid, I was called white for speaking a certain way, so I tried to talk “black” so I could be accepted by my peers. For some reason, we are so afraid that we are going to disappoint or leave behind black culture just because we have embraced Americanism.
Just think about it. As much as blacks love Obama, he would have been (or probably was) treated the same way other black kids who embrace education were treated. He would have been called white because he is smart. He was raised by his white mother who invested time in his education, and he spent some of his childhood years in Indonesia and Hawaii. Maybe that protected him from black culture, which would have discouraged him and make fun of him for reading and studying. Had black culture got a hold of him, he probably would have been another Al Sharpton-but never the president of the United States.
Maybe we would have had a black president a long time ago if we in the black community would stop destroying every black person that seems smart. We discourage every black person that has “presidential” potential. Are you telling me that this is a cultural thing that we actually want to stay true to? Is this something to be proud of?
It’s about time for all Americans to start acting like Americans-despite what color you are. We can’t keep folding our arms saying, “I’m not going to do that because that’s for white people.” That’s an immature state of mind, and it needs to stop before we destroy more black children.
Other articles you may be interested in:
Black Children & Education: Closing the Gap Between White & Black Students
The #1 Reason Why You Shouldn’t Drop Out of School–Poverty
What Do You Want to Be when You Grow Up? How to Decide What to Do After High School
8 Simple Tips to Improving Your Child’s Education