Is Racism A Barrier To Success In 2014?

Barrierby Patricia L. Dickson   10/2/14
I have received pushback from black Intellectual liberals for suggesting that poverty in the black community is the result of culture rather than racism. They contend that I am out of touch with the black community on issues affecting the poor. They say that my message of education, responsibility and hard work ignores the existence of structural racism, racial profiling, Stop & Frisk, 400 years of chattel slavery, 100 years of legal discrimination, 50 years of 2nd class citizenship, the Crack Epidemic, the War on Drugs. All of which supposedly continue to have a negative effect on black Americans and are barriers that preclude the poor inner city blacks from succeeding.

First, no one believes that there is no more racism. As long as human beings walk the earth, there will be someone (regardless of his or her race) that will harbor racism in his or her heart. The debate is not whether or not racism still exist. Instead it should be does racism prevent black Americans in 2014 from succeeding? That should be the main point when discussing racism in America. If any black intellectual claims that it does, he or she should be ready to explain how they themselves managed to succeed with structural racism in place. It is wrong and unfair for any successful black American to sit in his or her cushy office and write articles decrying the effects of structural racism on poor black Americans without offering a roadmap of how he or she managed to get around it if our goal is truly to help our fellow black Americans.

We should be discussing triumph over real racism by encouraging poor black Americans with inspiring stories of our ancestors. Successful black individuals such as:

  • Elijah McCoy – invented a lubricator for steam engines and was issued a U.S. patent in 1872 (just a few years after slavery was abolished).
  • Granville T. Woods – In 1887 patented the synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph, which made it possible for trains to communicate with the station and with other trains so they knew exactly where they were at all times.
  • Frederick Douglass – former slave and eminent human rights leader in the abolition movement, was the first black citizen to hold a high U.S. government rank.
  • Madam C.J. Walker – the first child in her family born into freedom (1867) after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. By the time of her death in 1919, Madam Walker was the wealthiest black woman in America and the first self-made female American millionaire.

These individuals, along with many other blacks during that era, endured the worst of racism. They were spat on, cursed, beaten, called nigger, and denied opportunities, yet they accomplished more than I have today (2014). If someone claims that there is more racism today than in the 1800s, then he or she is definitely smoking something. When I think of all they went through and yet were more successful than I am, I would be ashamed to consider blaming racism on my failures.

The poor blacks in the inner cities are no different from the black intellectuals or me. In fact, some of them are probably smarter than I am. All they need is some kind of formal education or job training to acquire skills so that they can pull themselves and their families out of poverty. They also need to be encouraged to reach their potential instead of being told by wealthy black race baiters in suits that the deck is stacked against them.


PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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12 Responses to Is Racism A Barrier To Success In 2014?

  1. Rosalys says:

    Frederick Douglass is one of my heroes. His book, “My Bondage and My Freedom”, is awesome and inspiring. I have given it away to several high school seniors, black and white, for a graduation gift.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yes, it is a great book and should be required reading in schools. I also highly recommend Booker T. Washington’s “Up from Slavery.”

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Back in the 1960s, Bill Cosby did a TV special looking at the accomplishments of black Americans (as well as their travails), and how they were handled (and often ignored) by standard historical accounts. Now, black “leaders” seem to prefer to go back to ignoring black accomplishments. White racists did so because they preferred to treat blacks as inherently inferior, whereas black race-baiters do it so that they can claim victim status. And, lo and behold, both groups were/are Democrats. How about that?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      White racists did so because they preferred to treat blacks as inherently inferior, whereas black race-baiters do it so that they can claim victim status. And, lo and behold, both groups were/are Democrats. How about that?

      Great point.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a relevant YouTube video that someone sent me this morning: Elbert Guillory: Mary Landrieu is Not Helping Blacks.

    I’m not conversant in the details of Mr. Guillory’s politics. But what a great ad. And at the end of the ad you see that it is paid for by the Free At Last political action committee. “Promoting Republican Values in All Communities.” Let’s hope that is Lincolnian Republican values and not McCainian Republican values. But I wish this fellow well.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Guillory is a Louisiana State Senator who switched from D to R a year ago (and made a popular video explaining why).

  4. In response to this article, an email full of illogical irrational interpretations:

    Are you now saying that racism and bigotry against black people is not a contributing factor to our plight because some black people were successful during slavery and Jim Crow. Ergo, since they were successful then, we should be successful now? If so, you still miss the point.

    On the one hand, you say it’s all black people’s fault. On the other hand, you say we still face racism and bigotry. Would then Booker T and CJ Walker have been failures if the racism and bigotry they faced had thwarted their attempts?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I could call that a straw man argument, but what it really shows is the liberal tendency toward black-and-white thinking. One either believes racism is the whole answer to black problems today, or it has no effect. One either believes in Darwinism or young-Earth creationism. One either believes CAGW or one believes there has been no warming over the last 2 centuries. How much of this is dishonesty, and how much sloppy thinking, is impossible to say (after all, we’re talking about liberals, much given to both).

  5. Dave Glabais says:

    The resulting culture stemming from the destruction of the black family unit, facilitated by LBJ’s “war on poverty” and racialist politics of the day are a far more serious hinderance to the success of blacks than blatant acts of racism. Detroit provides a very lucid illustration. Welfare is not opportunity but the reinforcement of poverty.

    • David Ray says:

      Detroit. The liberal’s crown jewel of their ability to destroy a piece of America . . . one city at a time. (Give the idiots enough time and they just might succeed in bankrupting the State of California.)

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