The Tragedy of Race baiting

I stared my career as a school administrator in a high school in Southern California where, for the first time in the history of the school, an African American became a candidate for Student Body President. She was intelligent, beautiful, and very popular. As the campaign progressed it became clear that she was the front runner over a white, equally intelligent and beautiful young woman, then the contest took a bizarre turn. This leading candidate turned to the issue of “Brown Pride” as the center of her campaign, promoting the idea that rights of the Hispanic students on campus were being violated. A school community where all students were looked at as being Americans – not black or white, or Hispanic or any other race, and where the population was, for the most part “colorblind” all of a sudden became uneasy. Uneasy because a class distinction that heretofore did not exist now became an issue. The race card, which did not exist, was now being played. You can guess the outcome of the story. This beautiful black girl should have won that election.
The Al Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons of the world continue to promote themselves by acting as if they were fighting for the common good of the downtrodden blacks in America. To deny that racism exists in America would be to admit one’s ignorance of reality, but to continue to cry injustice where injustice does not exist, as Sharpton and Jackson continue to do, is to damage the push for equality that all black Americans deserve. Booker T. Washington said it best.
“There is a class of colored people who make business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public, having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs, partly because they want sympathy, and partly because it pays. Some of those people do not want the Negro to leave his grievances because they do not want to leave their jobs. B.T. Washington, 1911.

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