In many ways, slavery relied heavily on a strict hierarchy system. The divide and conquer strategy worked very well. That same ideology persists today often with people placing themselves in one category and others in another.
1. You have those who “think they have made it and they judge and condemn those who “have not.”
2. Another group believes they are well on their way to “making it” so they go to extreme measures to demonstrate their upward mobility. They idolize those who they think have made it and take extreme measures to create a social distinction between themselves and “other black people.” They overdo it by using “big words” they hardly understand and by buying items they can barely afford. They are usually not formally educated nor avid readers but they will post a diatribe on Facebook because well….they are Facebook educated. (yes-shade was intended).
3. The last group doesn’t think they will ever “make it” yet, resent those who do. They are trapped in their own ignorance. If you speak properly by using formal syntax and grammar, they may accuse you of “talking white.” They think you can’t understand their struggles when in fact, they have no knowledge of the “real struggle” their ancestors faced and overcame. They focus on gaining and maintaining “street cred” all while saying the “man” is keeping them down.
Not every person of color fits into these categories but I have encountered many people who do. I think that being mindful of these detrimental thoughts and behaviors can help us overcome the barriers to unity that we have struggled to gain and keep for so long.
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~Thanks for Keeping it Kinky~