Enabling Co-Dependency

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.

By Thomas Szasz.

This quote was shown on the show 20/20 which aired an episode on people who forgave those that wronged them in some of the most heinous ways. I think that forgiveness is necessary in order to move on and heal. But the problem I was having with this show and others is that they portray these black men who have been imprisoned for years and years for crimes they did not commit as the epitome of upstanding, selfless, and courageous individuals with character qualities that other blacks should emulate.

I personally believe that those innocent men who were kept in the hell that is prison for all those years and the ones who went to their death in that place are indeed courageous individuals but not for forgiving and forgetting. But, for enduring that type of torture and not giving in to the pressure to “just admit you did it” and they would be viewed leniently and might make parole. It takes courage to stand up in the face of severe adversity like that and not break.

Anyway, the problem with these guys is that they come out and immediately start to say things like “I don’t blame anyone; it was no ones fault that I was wrongly imprisoned.” Really, no ones fault!  How about the not really blind justice system? How about the lying prosecutors who in most of these cases failed to turn over key evidence that would have exonerated these individuals? How about the (normally all white) jury who on little or no evidence except loose flimsy circumstantial evidence like “the fellow who did this was black, we think”? How about the judge who seeing that the prosecution having had no evidence allowed the farce to take place? Yet according to these people there is no one to blame.

One problem I have with this need to constantly show blacks forgiving and forgetting the system for this racist atrocity is that they never show the other side. What about those blacks who sure forgive but never forget and have a lot to say about the railroading process that put them away. How about the people, who don’t forgive them, don’t their stories matter? I guess not since we never see them. It is funny that not only will they forgive them for their transgression but they forgive them even after in one case a judge said to the wrongly imprisoned man that his lawsuit was being thrown out because why should he be paid, he should just be thankful that he was let go.

I think that black people have been more than forgiving for all the atrocities that we have had to suffer. We are constantly forgiving and that is the problem. I can understand forgiving but like the doctor on 20/20 said forgetting doesn’t mean getting a lobotomy. And the black community sometimes makes me think that a lot of them are lobotomized. How many times and how long do we need to continue forgiving a country that continues its never ending parade of transgressions upon us? We forgave slavery, the loss of our history, ancestry, language, religion and peace of mind. We then forgave Jim Crow, segregation, racism, discrimination, and the Klan.

How much forgiving do we have to do before we say enough is enough? Right now our race looks like a door mat and I frankly don’t like the sound of that. I am sure that people will of course say that things are getting better. Maybe they are and maybe they aren’t, but to me it looks like things are getting worse. But like I keep saying how LONG must we continue to turn the other cheek, take the high road, look the other way and play the ever forgiving role of the enabling co-dependent before we decide that we need equality NOW?



Filed under African American, Black community, Black Culture, Black People, Racism, Social Issues

9 responses to “Enabling Co-Dependency

  1. What truly irritates me is that the dominant community wants to portray black people as forgiving and never wanting to hold a grudge. But the American [IN]justice system never passes a chance to come down hard on black people who have to go to court to be judged. Black children are slaughtered in boot camp and go to jail for having sex while white kids are forgiven with a wink and a nod.


  2. That is the honest to goodness truth. And the main reason that this crap ticks me off when I see it on the tube. Why can’t we ever be angry about our lot? We are expected to forgive and forget when it comes to the dominant culture but then turn around admonish the black community for its transgressions.

    It is a load of BS and more blacks need to get fed up and ticked off. Maybe then they won’t have any sappy “forgive and forget” stories to pass off as how blacks really feel.

    Thanks for the reply.

  3. The Engineer

    Susan Smith of Union, South Carolina, October 25, 1994.

    The New York Times has an article entitled,
    “A Woman’s False Accusation Pains Many Blacks”
    Here a few excerpts from the article:
    ‘ ‘

    “I guess she figured if she said a black man did it people would believe her no matter what kind of story she came up with,” said Tyrone Mason, a 38-year-old tennis coach in Chicago. “That’s what hurts. As long as it’s allegedly a black man involved, America will fall for anything.”

    During a shopping trip to Atlanta on Friday, the day Mrs. Smith was charged with murdering her two sons, Louise Taylor, a white school psychologist from Mount Pleasant, S.C., said Mrs. Smith had chosen the right-colored monster to generate the most sympathy and fear for her plight, especially in the hearts of whites.

    “Susan Smith was in tune with the racism in society,” Dr. Poussaint said. “She knew what would work best to direct attention away from her: point the finger at a black man.”

    ‘ ‘

    Stereotypes are very hurtful, and it takes a very long time (if ever) to change the stereotypical view.

    I know I have been very hurt by the stereotype foisted upon me, so much so, that I cannot find a wife — all despite the fact that I am educated, come from a good family, law abiding, wealthy, healthy, and fairly good looking.

    Have I forgotten? No.
    Have I forgiven? No.
    Yes, I am peace with my situation (and no, I do not believe that I am stupid).

    I believe these men who were wrongfully imprisoned and who claim to have forgotten and forgiven are also at peace with their situation. They must find some peace; otherwise, they will drive themselves crazy, and if they do drive themselves crazy, then the enemy has won again.

    The important thing is to not let this problem continue.

    Raising awareness through websites such as The Black Sentinel helps prevent this problem from continuing.

    Teaching our children (for those of you who have children) that what has happened is wrong and that eternal vigilance is required also helps prevent this problem from continuing.

    Holding wrong-doers accountable helps prevent this problem from continuing.

    Thank you for listening.

  4. I don’t want you to forgive and forget. I want you to have righteous indignation. With that said I want you to point out specific incidents. It is difficult for many of us not in your situation to understand when we often don’t hear about the stories you have mentioned. Yes, I’m aware that is part of the problem. Main stream media hypes stories that make for “good news”.

    However comments such as: “But the American [IN]justice system never passes a chance to come down hard on black people who have to go to court to be judged. Black children are slaughtered in boot camp and go to jail for having sex while white kids are forgiven with a wink and a nod.” -From the comments of Brotherpeacemaker. causes many whites to dismiss this as a rant with no merit.

  5. Jay Burns,

    I first heard about Martin Lee Anderson from the main stream media. But unlike most people who listened to the story and just flipped the channel to American Idol out of boredom or just plain lackadaisical about black children being beaten to death by boot camp guards, I put forth an effort to follow this story all the way to the acquittal of the people who killed the fourteen year old black boy and blamed his death on a latent sickle cell trait despite the fact that seven guards were caught on tape beating this black boy.

    Or the case of Genarlow Wilson, the black seventeen year old who was stupid enough to be video taped having consensual oral sex with a fifteen year old white girl and had to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of Georgia law. This young man was convicted of aggravated child molestation and sentenced to ten years in a state penitentiary. He would be forever labeled as a pedophile. It was not until the Georgia State Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Wilson’s prosecution was cruel and grossly disproportionate after having served two years of his ten year sentence.

    To mention these injustices of law that runs along the line of racial disparity, or the many other examples that have the common trait of law being harshly applied to members of the black community, causes many in the dominant community to dismiss them as a rants with no merit. I guess white people can’t believe other white people can be so unfair and cruel to black people. White people will dismiss it all as nothing that needs attention. But the stark reality is that the abuse of black people is very real and full of merit.

    I hope you will take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with the details of these two cases by clicking on the links above. And now that you have a little more information of the conditions of the black community how will you respond? Will you follow the typical pattern of behavior and do nothing dismissing the information as nothing more than rant, or will you be willing to do what you can to make this type of discriminatory behavior a thing of the past?

    One of the reasons racial discrimination continues to exist in its many forms in this country is because so many people are willing to condone the subjugation of the black people. It is easy to dismiss all this racial dysfunction as something out of our control because we tried nothing and we’re all out of ideas.


  6. Jay,

    I have to agree with brotherpeacemaker on this one. Just because you or white people don’t like the way things are worded is not justification enough to waive it off as a rant.

    White people are incessantly talking about affirmative action in a ranting way and yet blacks do have to look at it and make sure of what is being said.

    There are SO many instances of blacks being railroaded by the legal system I don’t even think it is necessary to give you any examples. There are those on the television or radio constantly, then those that are done with NO publicity. It doesn’t take much to find any of them.

    If you are going to base yours and other white people’s blatant disregard of blacks treatment by the law, then that shows the problem in the dominant community and the reason racial inequality in the legal system doesn’t end.

    If a black person could sit back and say that the plethora of pretty young white females murdered that appear on television so damn often was just a rant and they tuned it out, most whites would be appalled. We don’t have a choice but to have these Lacy Peterson’s shoved down our throats while the Tarika Wilson’s are relegated to more black ranting.

    Thanks for the reply.

  7. The Engineer,

    I agree with you that one has to find some sort of solace after bad things have happened. I am sorry that you have been slandered so. Also, I am happy to hear someone say that they have NOT forgotten and damn sure didn’t forgive. It is natural that those people exist. Yet, if you leave it up to white media they will only show you one side.

    Also, that Susan Smith crime was ridiculous. It is just another of a long line of white people pointing the finger at blacks in order to shift the blame. That was nothing new. Like you showed she picked the appropriate monster for whites to hear and feel her pain. Since that is their deep down fear.

    Really a shame that they were talking about her crime recently and didn’t even mention that part of her crime. All they are doing is sweeping something just as heinous under the rug. She not only killed her children but she put another nail in the coffin of black men’s character.

    Thanks for the reply.

  8. Marci

    Judging from this website, there’s not a damn thing anyone can do to make you happy. You are convinced that most whites are racist and you have swallowed every little media bite fed to you over the years intended to cause racial divide. We aren’t moving forward because so many of you DONT WANT TO. Call me ignorant and racist if you wish, but I do not find myself superior in race nor do I have the power to oppress you. I do however, have the power to say screw it. I have been doing a lot of research on race relations lately and discovered we have indeed taken steps backwards. You need to understand how discouraging it is for a group of people to give respect when you demand it. People are people, I don’t care what color you are–if you are a jackass I will tell you about it.

  9. Marci,

    For one thing you don’t know jack about me. I don’t think that most white people are racist. And I don’t bother with being media fed. So where you get your information is baffling.

    Also, it sounds to me like you are doing a bit to much indulging in the media. Sure, it is black peoples fault we aren’t getting racial equality. That is the bull you hear from the media. Tell me this, what incentive do any white person have to end racial injustice? How is racial injustice aimed at blacks stopping a white person from living their life to the fullest?

    Not one damn thing! And that is why racial injustice hangs on. When you have people such as your self telling people that blacks pointing out racism is the reason we still have racism. Please!

    When black people earn only 78% of what their equal white person earns. What exactly have you done to shed light on this disparity or call for this behavior to end? Black people are unemployed twice as much as white people. What have you done to bring this disparity out in the open and help to bring about its end?

    I would have to bet NOTHING! Since it doesn’t affect you. This is one reason YOU ARE part of the problem. By allowing disparity to exist right in your freaking face and shrugging your shoulders, because “hey, what can I do”. You are helping to oppress me and any other black person. You can’t sit and enjoy the benefits of backwards racist behavior then say that you aren’t somehow wielding any of its power.

    You need to understand that I CAN and have the RIGHT to demand respect. White people demand respect from blacks so why should it now go both ways. You claim people are people. I hear that constantly, yet people aren’t people when the cops are shooting blacks 20 or 30 times for pulling out a wallet or holding a candy bar. So go tell that to the black people who can’t get a fair shake in this country. I don’t care what color a jackass is and have no problems letting your words paint you as one.

    Thanks for the reply.

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