ON MY SOAPBOX Duty and Responsib

Do Blacks Think About The Color Of Their Skin Too Much?

Without having to think about it much, I must say yes.  I only have to look within my own personal experiences to say this, but I am sure I am not alone.    Having said that, now let's look at why that is.


Since slavery, Blacks have been treated badly by many simply because they had black skin, thick lips and kinky hair.  Even after freedom, Blacks were not given the same considerations as others, but were looked down on as inferior, dumb and even not human.  Mandated segregation seemed to fuel the dislike of Blacks by some.  In many ways the new civil rights laws put into effect a forced pretense of acceptance of Blacks.  Only the threat of prosecution stopped certain things from happening.  Now we are in 2012 where we actually have a Black President in the White House, and as we all know, race has been shoved into our faces daily since that amazing Obama victory in 2008. 


With history like that, who can help being conscious of their skin color.  In certain situations, it is hard not to be conscious of your black skin when your black skin has been hated for so long by so many. 


Now, I do not let this knowledge cripple me in my relations with other races.  I enjoy talking with different people and learning about their cultures and traditions, and I am willing to share my own culture and traditions.  I believe my attitude has always been to live and let live. 


It is unfortunate that I and other Blacks remain conscious of our black skin but it is what it is.  I suppose it would not matter so much if there were not so many negative opinions of Blacks in general.  Even today politicians are stating on national television that Blacks are the people on welfare and that Blacks do not have any work ethics.  They state things in such a manner as to indicate that all Black people are inferior and no good to society.  Whites and other races hear these comments and they believe them, and they may not even realize that they are judging a Black person on these preconceived ideas and not on actual merit.  Sometimes people let you know without saying a word that they do not care for your presence.  Yes, during these situations I am very aware of my skin color.


Now, it's OK with me if someone does not want to socialize with me.  If I know that my money is not welcome at a particular place of business, I will not shop there.  If I know that a particular neighborhood will not welcome me, I will not move there.  If I know that a company will treat me especially bad regarding salaries and raises, I will not apply to work there.  Sometimes, however, there is no choice except to interact.  This is where respect and tolerance should come into play.  I believe that regardless of how much dislike is present, people can do what is necessary to do in order to get along, and then go home to their respective areas of town. 


Many think that Blacks are too full of themselves and their blackness, and some actually say that Blacks are the ones keeping prejudice alive -- always throwing up the race card, and those black organizations.  If I were not Black I might agree.  But because I am who I am, and because of the experiences that I have personally had, I can say without a doubt that there is just cause for a lot of the complaints that Blacks voice.  Now, having said that, let me make it clear that I do not agree with some of the ways that people handle these grievances.  Sometimes all you need is to know what you are dealing with, and you play your hand accordingly, without making any accusations  -- always playing to win in the big scheme of things.  Most that make it to the top never cry foul.


In spite of living in this black skin for many years, I thank God that I can still offer a hand of friendship to anyone who is willing.  Being employed by a global corporation has given me the opportunity to meet people from around the world, and I am the richer for it.  The funny thing is that people are basically all the same -- striving for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness .  Regardless of what country they are from or what preconceived ideas they have about others, people all want the same thing -- money, love, prestige.  The color of one's skin makes no difference.


The views that I have expressed here are strictly my own. 


--Rosalin Moss

February 2012