I do a lot of posts on racism and its affects on the black community. I usually try to keep them focused on racism which affects education, housing, health care and employment. But I have been doing some shopping lately and noticing that racism can be very simple. This simple racism is found in our very lives daily from commercials for products to the products themselves.
I am sure that people are doing the big sigh right now wondering why I and people like me just don’t let it go. I am wondering why when I go to the book store to buy books for my child ALL the books that look like fun, interesting or not revolved around race are about and featuring a white character. The books featuring black characters are about being accepted, Kwanzaa or something else that deals with racial, ethnic or religious issues. Where are all the children books like the book “Where the wild things are,” or any Dr. Seuss book that has actual people which features black characters?
I would just like to go to the store one time and buy some Band Aides that say flesh colored and they aren’t pink or close to it. These are the small things that you go through life putting up with yet nobody thinks how these small acts of racism can show you that you nor people like you are important enough for my company to take you into account when making products. How many times has a white person walked into a Toys R Us and looked at little people ride on fire engine that have firemen driving and ALL the firemen are black? Not a chance! The two I looked at only one of them had one black character and the other everyone on the fire engine was white.
I am sure this does not seem to be a big deal except that what if it were your child that you could not find any toys to reflect who they are. You wouldn’t feel that it was OK that you child only had another race of people to look at, imagining themselves as while playing or admiring. Everyone wants to be able to instill a sense of self love, respect and worth. Yet if the only thing my child has to play with all have white characters on it he will inevitably begin to see, think and believe that people that look like these people are the ones who matter in life. Not people like himself and thus he will see himself as less than.
No one thinks that maybe the lack of interest, self esteem and success in the black community could be from all these small but racist messages of you don’t count that is why nothing you see looks like you. I don’t know if you have seen the experiment they did with the black children and the dolls. They gave a bunch of black children the choice between a black or white doll and they all chose the white doll. Because through television commercials and store displays among other things, this shows children which of the two dolls is more desirable. And thus telling the children which people in the world are most desirable and worthy of being respected and loved.
This is a seriously underhanded Machiavellian type of sinister little deed when you look at it. If I can destroy your self esteem, self love and love of your community before you ever reach puberty then I pretty much have ruined your chances of a normal happy life. These children are now in a chase for assimilation and to become as generically non black as possible. Barbie and other dolls as well as movies, television and advertising are teaching our young black girls that they are not good enough. To be considered normal they need to have hair as straight hanging to her waste as a black Barbie. Only look to your Beyonce’s, Tyra Banks and any other popular black artist. Our black men are being sold on the fact that this is what they need to find attractive in a woman. Since this is all they see that their black role models in movies are paired up with, if the woman is black at all. In most instances these black male movie stars are paired with Hispanic or bi-racial women of some mixture or another.
I am sure that a lot of people will guffaw at this so called truth and say that it is coincidental at best. Yet it is never coincidental that you don’t accidentally have anything such as this happening in the opposite direction. I have never seen commercials for Barbie or some other doll that utilizes blacks in the forefront or shows a black doll that isn’t a clone of the white doll just chocolate brown. Yet somehow I should be content with shoveling all the white dominant propaganda into my child and somehow expect that they grow up with a sense of self. Shut up and be happy to be an American, when we are being told at every turn that American is white. So how can I be happy to be something I am not nor can ever be? And yet we still want to deny the damage done to black children and adults from this totally Machiavellian type of simple racism.