The Apathetic Negro
Mr. Kapernick…how long I’ve wanted to speak with you regarding your decision to not vote in this past election. Citing reasons, that it didn’t make a difference because of the state you lived in. Yep…That’s what it is right there. It’s symbolic of a condition that has plagued Black America for the longest time. It’s something that blacks all over America are just ashamed of. It’s the disease of APATHY. A great Apathy at that.
Apathy is defined as a lack of interest; lack of concern; indifference; lack of enthusiasm
And my problem with Kapernick isn’t necessarily because he didn’t vote, because I’m not quite sure that we cared about that. It’s more about the hypocrisy behind his NOT voting. He, like many in America talk a good game, as to why they can’t be this, or they can’t be that. Making the excuse that there’s no opportunity for blacks to successful, but when given an opportunity to change things, they do exactly what the rest of country expects a black man to do…NOTHING…And by that I mean in a way that says, I don’t care about anything, but what benefits me personally. Although, I’m smart, and have some great ideas on how we can turn this country or what not around, I’m going to ruin my point, by doing the one thing that will keep me disenfranchised. That will keep me bound. I’m going to not exercise my right, because for some reason or another, it doesn’t make sense for me. The right that my ancestors fought tirelessly to get. Something that I should’ve had from the start, but because I grew up free, I can take that same right, for granted.
Now I don’t want anyone to get me wrong, this blog is not about Colin Kapernick, even though one might say that it could be (and I just don’t wanna waste my keystrokes on talking about him). It’s about Blacks, African Americans, colored people, etc. (whatever they are calling us this year). It’s about us, not doing what we know we need to do at the most crucial of times. Like I said, it’s not that Colin didn’t vote. It’s that he brought all that attention to himself and to the issue of not being treated fairly to the forefront. And in doing so, he allowed a spotlight to be on himself. Everyone clowns Bill Cosby for telling blacks that they need to get off their couches and behinds and educate themselves. I can’t defend Mr. Cosby for everything he’s ever said, but at least he was going out to the schools and talking with people. Donating his time and money to schools as well. He also voted. But his point too was marred by the fact that he was accused by 50-plus women of sexual assault. It doesn’t mean that he did it, but it does cloud your points, gentlemen. Yes, the blacks are treated unfairly in this country. By whites, by other races alike. In this graduating class of race, we win most of the negative superlatives. A few categories, such as Most Likely to Be Stopped by the police for no reason. Most likely to be judged before we speak. Also Most likely to Be Killed for no reason other than the color of our skin. We are presumed guilty before we walk in the door. Even before we go to trial, and it’s a shame. But when we do get the chance to show what we are made of, some of us don’t even show up to the party. We have this attitude of, well it doesn’t even matter, it’s not made for us. It’s the system and It’s rigged. (That sounds quite familiar doesn’t it.)
My basic point is this: How effective can we be, if when given the opportunity to prove what we can do, we just lay down or not even show up. As if it doesn’t matter to us. The people who do that are the same people you will hear complaining about the injustices of he world for the next 4 to 8 years, especially given the fact that half the people out there protesting Trump didn’t even vote.
Now I will say, that every experiment has to have a control, so here’s the other side of the argument:
I’m not saying that this justifies inaction, but there are reasons why some blacks choose to do nothing. There’s a reason why blacks can come across so apathetic. It’s partially because there have been so many attempts to block our basic unalienable rights (You know those rights given to everyone COUNTED as human in the Declaration of Independence), that some of us, have quit fighting. That’s what you (the rest of America) wanted anyway. Slavery was a time in which many blacks/Africans fought for their freedom, only to have it beat out of them… And it worked. For those who don’t think slavery was that bad. Imagine being a soldier in a war, and then being captured by the enemy. Imagine, them torturing you on a daily basis. Them asking you what your name is, and then getting beat when you say a name that was actually given to you at birth. Being waterboarded for hours, nearly drowning, until you give up on everything you held dear, because you didn’t wanna die. Because you hoped that one day you’d see your family, or friends again. Then coming home and not even understanding who you really are anymore, or carrying this latent guilt that you aren’t even good enough to live. That your life is worth nothing. I honestly don’t know if there will ever be a way to adequately describe what those innate feelings are like. I guess some could describe or equate it to PTSD from a historical standpoint. Yeah, I’d say that at times it’s that serious. Like you don’t matter when it all comes down to it, because of the way you’ve seen your parents, or grandparents treated historically. It’s literally the definition of being an oppressed people.
I think that’s what makes it so difficult for me. The apathy is extremely serious among African Americans. So serious that we almost do all of the distress that our ancestors had gone through a disservice. I’m sure if Martin Luther King would’ve known he was gonna die for us to choose not to vote, he might’ve had a different dream. After all, he was jailed, beaten, hosed down, and later assassinated so our people could be free. It was his dream. Not only his dream, but the dream of all of those who marched, black and white, for us to have the ability to do the things we all dreamed of or desired. It’s just (and I’m gonna keep it real) a slap in the face. It’s a real problem with our community . When I see the numbers of this past election and realize that over half of us registered to vote didn’t get out there, it just makes me sick. No wonder other races don’t take us seriously. Because we won’t even honor our own struggles throughout history. We are becoming just as entitled as everyone else. Only difference is, we’re the ones that will continue paying for that entitlement. Other cultures will go on living their lives, with the laws that were designed for them to succeed, and we won’t even stand a chance. When it’s all said and done, we’ll still be living in the ‘hood’, or tenements that were designed to keep us down in the first place. We will have to live with them voting every 50 years on the Civil Rights Act, because it’s a law that actually expires (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT SH#@). We will have to continue being oppressed, not because of the majority of blacks that are out there making a difference in their communities and homes. But by the minority of us, that don’t give damn, because of all their conspiracy theories that believe white folks are STILL the cause of us being held back. Yeah…they will be, if we remain lazy, keeping our mouths shut, and ourselves out of the voting booths when we should be casting a ballot.
The time for kneeling is OVER. At this point, the only thing kneeling can do for us, is make it easier for a Slave Owner like Trump to strike us with his trusty whip!!! The time to Stand is Now!! If you want real Change, start by coming up with a new work ethic. A movement that says we will no longer stand for the injustices of the world or our own back yard for that matter. That will be United in exercising our Civil Rights!! That’s the type of Change that anyone would and should be willing to die for!!