Darryl James wrote a blog post on Black Men in America in which he debunked ten myths believed about the African American community. For example, the myths that there are more young black men in prison than in college and that black people abuse welfare. What is most sad about these myths is they are perpetuated among the African American community just as much as they are among other cultures in America.
I don’t like to assume a person holds a certain belief before I’ve met them but I am inclined to believe that most people I meet up hold these myths because they are not interested in tearing down the walls of hate and fear that separate us. When was the last time you researched stereotypes about another culture group in America to see if the way you think lines up with honest representation of that group? For example, have you researched to see how many Asian American have high grade point averages? Do you know for sure Asian Americans have a higher acuity for math and science? When was the last time you met or talked to someone of another culture group and didn’t try to bend their thinking to match yours?
It’s a lot easier to reenforce the walls that separate us than to tear them down. Tearing down means taking responsibility for the past and doing something about it. Taking responsibility isn’t the same thing as taking blame or admitting guilt. Blame and guilt only serve to make someone feel badly for theirs or another persons actions but this doesn’t mean these feelings will result in action. We need more people to take responsibility and be active in making a change, not more finger pointers and blame assigners.