Pan Africanism : Tensions Increase Between US-Born African Americans and Black Immigrants

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by zuleilah2, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. zuleilah2

    zuleilah2 Banned MEMBER

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    The fabric of America is changing, with the influx of Black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa into African American communities.

    In the 1950’s and ‘60’s, AAs considered themselves a united community fighting for the right to live in America as first-class citizens. That perception seems to be changing. By the mid-‘60’s, race began to be overshadowed by divisions based on ethnicity and national identity, particularly in cities such as Miami, New York, Boston and Chicago.

    Black immigrants represent about 48% of the Black population in Miami, and one-third in New York City and Boston.

    In Miami, tensions have been building on both sides since the ‘80’s. According to Black psychologist, Marvin Dunn of Florida International University…


    “Black Americans, for the most part, were not welcoming when Haitians arrived in the early ‘80’s, complaining about Haitians taking their jobs, or claiming they were bringing AIDS into the community, etc. On the other hand, there’s a certain ‘look-down-the nose’ attitude that one gets from certain Caribbean Blacks towards African Americans that I think is offensive to American Blacks. Add that to the Haitian view that African Americans are violent, don’t want to work, are lazy. Some of the things you hear from white racists you hear from Blacks who are not African Americans.”


    Astute Black immigrants, however, understand that as an immigrant you are now part of America’s underclass – a poor immigrant - no matter your middle-class status or ranking on the educational scale, back in your home country.

    In New York City and New Jersey, AA and Haitian kids clash, with similar clashes in southern Florida high schools.

    Mr. Dunn goes on to say…


    "It’s not a healthy situation. But I tell you, as these things go in south Florida, so may they go in the country. The entire nation is being impacted by immigrant groups coming in, particularly immigrant groups of color, into communities – and ethnic clashes, even within the same race groups, are becoming more common across the country. The tension between immigrants and native Blacks can be hurtful - emotionally and psychologically. But these tensions are a classic part of the immigrant story – arriving groups face hostility until they become assimilated into American society.”
     
  2. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sadly, the fact that Black people don't always get along is nothing new. This is an historical fact. But then, this is also true of people of other races. It's a common human phenomenon. While we're being real, let's also acknowledge that people within the same families don't always get along either. When's the last time you were at a family reunion?

    It may not seem right and we can often do things to each other where the results can be hurtful, but many of us recognize that there are 'unwritten' rules applied in what we will and won't tolerate from those outside of our community.

    We know the difference between someone in the same family calling you a name versus someone from another family calling you the same name. The impact is not the same. Just because we may fight each other from time to time, doesn't mean we don't love each other. Just because we might have disagreements and be upset with each other, doesn't mean that we will tolerate someone different stepping up to us and treating us with disrespect. Because many of us are confused in that we believe the stereotypes about others among us, doesn't mean that we are racist--just means we're ignorant.

    When one of us is killed or being beaten or treated differently in what appears to be a racist way, how many of us stop to ask, are they Haitian? Are they Jamaican? Are they Afro Cuban? Are they lazy African Americans? I think we all feel the impact whether we admit it or not and we know immediately our common thread--we're all Africans living in a hostile world.

    My opinion.

    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  3. Alkebulan

    Alkebulan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    hi sister zuleilah2 :wave:

    these r jus a few of my thoughts on the subject.

    when i c the phrase, 'tensions increase', i can't help but wonder, what level were the tensions at b4? increased by what measurment/unit? f, as the post suggests, 'AAs considered themselves a united community fighting for the right to live in America as first-class citizens' during the 50's & 60's, they were delusional. i am not aware of any period of amerikkkan history where aa's behaved n such a manner, including during their enslavement.

    we seem 2 hv plenty of disharmony amoung ourselves, continually teasing out the most minute differences & magnifying them to fractionalize ourselves. we've never met a difference we didn't like. of course, we live w/n a system that doesen't merely permit that disposition, but actively encorages it. not only does it generate higher ca$h flow, it safeguards the lofty positions & tennents of the ruling class.

    i think it's still tru that the information u gather is determined by the ?'s u ask, & that leads me 2 wonder, f 'psychologist, Marvin Dunn of Florida International University' had been attempting 2 uncover evidence of increased cooperation either w/n or between what he might consider disparate groups of blk ppl, f his findings wld hv been any different. 1 thing is certain n my mind: most blk ppl finding themselves n this country, irrespective of their circuitous journey, shld focus on what they hv in common. it doesen't take much research 2 discover that there aren't many blk ppl n a position to exploit, oppress, incarcerate, or exterminate them.

    the jan/dec double issue of savoy has an interesting article titled: 'a philadelphia story', a behind the scenes peak at the organizing, staging, & aftermath of the million women march (mwm). after reading it i am left wondering whether 2 focus on the triumphant accomplishments all that effort & hard work produced, or, the dissappointing enmity & dichotomy that resulted. i believe our disunity 2 b our most crippling debility.
     
  4. Electra Woman

    Electra Woman Member MEMBER

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    with love and understanding we can overcome many ignorances. I was called an "Aids having Haitian" by an African sister once in Llouisiana. I thought it was ridiculous. She thought I did not understand the English. I come from Santiago, Cuba and have been here for over 20 years. I learned English as best I could to get by. She saw my dark skin probably and locks and thought I was not from there. Maybe so. I do not dress the same as many people. I think it is Divide and Conquer. Not all people think the same though. Thank God for that. I wish BET.com (the forums there) would understand that not all people who say they are something ARE. I noticed tensions between Blacks and Latinos and knew that it was probably people who have nothing better to do than drive a wedge between commuinties of color that would benefit from unification.
     
  5. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That indeed was an ignorant comment, and no, everyone does not feel that way.
     
  6. happy69

    happy69 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    When one of us is killed or being beaten or treated differently in what appears to be a racist way, how many of us stop to ask, are they Haitian? Are they Jamaican? Are they Afro Cuban? Are they lazy African Americans? I think we all feel the impact whether we admit it or not and we know immediately our common thread--we're all Africans living in a hostile world.

    My opinion.

    Queenie :spinstar:[/QUOTE]


    This is the thing. African-Americans don't ask--to Our detriment.
    I get upset at seeing all those African-Americans fighting and hollering for people who are a detriment to Our beings... other than that; they can feel as they wish; and I can feel as I do. Until We learn to fight for self first and foremost; and forget about all others, including other "blacks" nothing can change.
     
  7. happy69

    happy69 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Electra was right about BET boards and so many others... It is quite easy to note though, when someone is in a place just making mess. I don't know why most people don't notice it right away---they are not really creative; they basically say the same things over and over.

    As an African-American I think that it is my duty to get the African-American community together, as close to 1 as possible--
     
  8. Electra Woman

    Electra Woman Member MEMBER

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    Its only to flame others into becoming divisive. Some people actually fall into that trap. I am pro-African, but I do not place any more blame on those who are of other persuasions. Hate is an ignorant thing to dwell upon- whether it is about someones so-called race or sexual orientation. The world is what it is and we need to understand more and come together more instead of stating how much we hate others for living with something they have no control over (their race) or who they choose to love (their sexual orientation). To say one want s to unify with one thing, but not with another is incomplete. Love and understanding destroys ignorance. And understanding comes from knowledge and wisdom.

    It's sad to see how some people fall prey this and lash back with worse commentary.

     
  9. happy69

    happy69 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I agree and understand what you are saying, but I for one don't see a conflict. I love African-Americans... I don't trust or want a relationship with other Blacks (as a whole); because We have already done that. Further, I don't want to see them, or any other people hurt... I know the hypocrisy with which they are treated, not just here, but all over the world...and I can be empathetic... but I can be a survivalist too. We have give Our Blood share to everyone. Whites and everyone else...We still do; again to Our detriment. Just as I have no compulsion to fight White racists and their views...I have no compulsion to understand and fight Black racists and their views...and I sure as hell will not raise my voice for any of their issues.
    Love starts at home.

    Sexual orientation of someone is none of my business; I am not interested in what anyone is doing in their beds, or with whom. I have no ill will against what someone is doing; as long as it doesn't effect innocent children or me or mine.
     
  10. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I share Happy69's love and passion for African-Americans, because that is what I am. However the love & passion that I have for African-Americans, I also share with black people throughout the Diaspora, because I am a PanAfricanist. Like you happy, I have also been very critical of non-white immigrant groups coming to the US, and reaping the rewards of the Civil Rights Movement to our detriment (as I have stated on numerous different threads). But this does not include black people from other countries, how can it? I do not view a black from Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe, to be different from me. We all face the same racism in our perspective countries, we are all victims of white racism. In addition we are all genetically linked. Indeed not only did the same ships bring African slaves throughout the Americas (the Caribbean, South America, and North America). But most African Americans are descended from transplanted Caribbean slaves. Our plight, and the solutions to our problems are inter-linked. I also do not see foreign blacks having a separate agenda than African Americans when they come to the US. The African American agenda you posted in the Open Forum: http://destee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24144&page=1&pp=10 would fit most black immigrants in this country, and the promotion of this agenda would be more effective if we are all on the same team.

    The only possible exception to this is Afro-Latinos: Heavy Afro-Latino populated countries like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama, and Brazil (even though they aren't Spanish speaking), often don't identify themselves as black when they come to this country. The majority of Afro-Latinos allign themselves with their country people & their major goals of: Bi-lingual programs in schools, government, and public institutions. Also obtaining citizenship/green cards, and the relaxing of immigration laws. None of these goals are a concern for African Americans, and in some cases are detrimental to our interest. All that being said, I still view Afro-Latinos as brothers & sisters (although it is important that they consider themselves to be black). In truth Afro-Latinos are subject to the same racism & discrimination as any other black person in this country (racial profilling, job discrimination, housing discrimination, etc), until they open their mouths and start speaking Spanish. However, I don't believe the favorable treatment that Latinos are facing will last.

    The US is a white racist country. It always has been, and it always will be, no matter how many non-whites move here. The US economy, and capitalism in general needs a low paid labor force to be efficient. Corporate America, and the US government have identified Latinos as a new source of this necessary low-paid labor (as African Americans by and large have refused the role). However Latinos in general have no intentions of filling this role either, as they shouldn't. When Corporate America/US government realizes that the goals of most Latinos is not to cut grass, be a maid, or wash dishes, expect a similar backlash to what African Americans have experienced. When this happens (and eventually it will), Afro-Latinos will be in the same position as other blacks in this country. Love doesn't just start at home, it starts with family. African Americas and Africans throughout the Diaspora are family.
     
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