Black Relationships : Is there classicism in the black community?

Discussion in 'Black Relationships' started by Sekhemu, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have a son. He's a sophmore in college. This may he'll be home for the summer hiatus. Last year he worked for an investment banking company doing security. He told me at times his job can be dehumanizing because so many of the black men and women don't give him the time of day, even when he says good morning.

    He realized that many black professionals automatically assume, by virtue of the fact that he does security he had no ambition. That black men that do this kind of work are an embarrasment to the community. All of this pre-judging without knowing him as a young black man.


    So my question is, do we thumb our nose at each other in corporate america, based on our "position"?

    BTW my Son is majoring in Physics! Go Djehuti :angel1:
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Is there classism in the black community? Of course there is, as differences in class exist in all communities. In America it has existed ever since there were house slaves & field slaves, where the house slave looked down on the field slave as inferior. Of course the free blacks during this time looked down upon them both. When slavery ended the roughly 10% of blacks who were freeborn, formed the elite of black society. Many of today's black elite are descended from this 10%. In Europe classism is considered to be a major contributing factor to the formation of America.

    While classism can be insulting, I wonder if that is what your son experience. The corporate world is known from being cut-throat, and unfriendly. As a college student, I doubt your son's co-workers were looking down on him. They might instead have viewed him as competition. They might have been just unfriendly. Who knows? The corporate world can be cold & petty, it is in the nature of the business. It is also the major reason I switched from studying business management to education. I wish your son good luck in his studies. :read:
     
  3. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Panafrica

    The dehuminazation my son felt was not coming from his co-workers, it was coming from uppity black professionals, who don't know or appreciate what other black people went throughin order for them to be allowed to attend predominantly white universities.

    Moreover, I am thoroughly of the field Ni**er house ni**er pathology, as a matter of fact, this phenomena doesn't solely play out in corporate america, where most black americans work... but also in the church. Many black parishioners , do not associate with other black christians that don't have college degrees and own nice homes. It's gotten so bad that some of us will try to make each other uncomfortable, because we don't have designer clothes on in the church, gofigure :puke2:

    I say all this to say, that black people, as a whole... like many whites are becoming so mainstream that many of us see ourselves as better black, than the so-called uneducated or blue collar blacks. And if this trend continues, our enemy will thank the contemporary uncle tom for doing his bidding. The black record executive is a classic example of this problem.
     
  4. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just think what it would be like if we also lived in a social caste system as well. Brother Sekhemu, I agree with you completely. Brother Pan, although what you wrote could be true in many situations, given the nature of who we are and what our experiences have been post slavery, I think we have to go beyond the superficial possibilities relative to what Brother Sekhemu's son felt like and look deeper into potential causes.

    Yes, there is an issue of "class" and social status that we are all familiar with, but given the fact that we experience it in the worst kind of way because of the color of our skin, my question is can we afford to practice it and still expect to survive as a people?

    As you all know many of the social ills in our society are predicated by classist attitudes and behaviors. We live in a hierarchecal society where people are divided on many different levels based on many different elements as Brother Sekhemu pointed out.

    The so-called "upper" class versus the "working class" mentality is detrimentally dangerous for Black people to have, much less practice. There may be a certain amount of differences we will see based on anyone's individual desire to achieve, but we don't have to adopt an elitist way of thinking about these differences nor practice separatism as a result.

    We need to be more collective and inclusive in our thinking and treatment of other Black folk. To be divided weakens the chain when ultimately we're all in this together because of who we are and the threat we pose to those who are jealous and afraid of us.

    Let's not kick dirt on or get all snooty with each other. Because someone may APPEAR to have less than another doesn't make that person less worthy of our time and courteous attention.

    Peace,
    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  5. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    In a society where all black people: rich or poor, educated or uneducated, light skinned or dark skinned are subjected to racism & discrimination. Class structure is pointless & stupid, but it exist. Classism is an effort by some African Americans to assimilate into American society by "proving" their worth, and separating themselve from "inferior" blacks. It is another symptom of the slave mentality sickness, and should be addressed as such.
     
  6. MrBlak

    MrBlak Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    EXCELLENT POST PanAfrica....couldnt have said it better.
     
  7. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you MrBlak.......welcome to Destee!
     
  8. toylin

    toylin Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Okay, I'm going to try and make this short. If it's too long, please bear with me. Thank you.

    Yes, there is classism in the Black community. As someone who has experienced (and been guilty of) almost all of the possibilites, I can finally speak out about it. Growing up, my sister and I had both of our parents (who both worked full-time jobs) in the home. We've almost always had 2 cars, taken trips, etc. Mind you, we are not, by definition, "middle class." My parents were hard-working people. My mother was a lab tech in a hospital, and my dad started off in insurance but ended up in security. All of our childhoods, my sister and I didn't spend much time with the other neigborhood kids.. Why? Because they thought we were rich, uppity, siddity (sp?), you name it, they called us just that. We weren't.

    Fast forward some years..... I was struggling to go to school and working as a cashier. So many people (other Black people) who were customers made it a point to ask me why I worked there, I seemed like i could do so much better. And every job I've ever had, I get the same. I used to work ina warehouse... my husband pressured me to find another job.. Told me that obviously, since I was working ina warehouse, I had no ambition and he wanted to be married to a "go-getter." (FYI.. I was a SUPERVISOR in the OFFICE!)

    Flip side? My husband has a second job cleaning an offcie building in the afternoon. He has been called "Mop Boy", "Trash Man", "Toliet Dude"..... all by other Black people who work there.

    And, most of us are guilty of stereotyping other Black people (oh, his pants are hanging off his butt, he must be one of those thugs.... Oh, she wears mini-skirts and has 3 kids.. she's a welfare queen, hoochie mama.... )

    And let's not even talk about the church. How can people who call themselves Christians sit up in the pews and talk about what other peple are wearing? I've seen people show up in older clothes (clean, but worn out and faded) and the better dressed folks move AWAY from them!

    Now, this is longer than I intended it to be, but I don't want to take up anymore space. So, here it is: most people feel like if they have achieved a certain status (read: assimilated into mainstream America), they want to know what's wrong with the rest of the race because we're making them look bad. Two words: Clarence Thomas. On that note, I'm out........

    Toya
     
  9. KWABENA

    KWABENA STAFF STAFF

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