The Associated Press reported:
RICHMOND, Va. — A state legislator said black people “should get over” slavery and questioned whether Jews should apologize “for killing Christ,” drawing denunciations Tuesday from stunned colleagues.
Del. Frank D. Hargrove, 79, made his remarks in opposition to a measure that would apologize on the state’s behalf to the descendants of slaves.
In an interview published Tuesday in The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Hargrove said slavery ended nearly 140 years ago with the Civil War and added that “our black citizens should get over it.”
The newspaper also quoted him as saying, “are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?”
Black lawmakers swiftly denounced Hargrove’s comments.
“When somebody tells me I should just get over slavery, I can only express my emotion by projecting that I am appalled, absolutely appalled,” said Del. Dwight C. Jones, head of the Legislative Black Caucus.
Del. David L. Englin also criticized Hargrove’s remarks, recalling that his grandparents were driven from their homes in Poland “by people who believed that as Jews, we killed Christ.”
When Hargrove rose to speak, he told Englin he didn’t care about Englin’s religion. “I think your skin was a little too thin,” Hargrove said as lawmakers gasped and groaned.
Now while I will agree that many black leaders spend way too much time encouraging our people to play the “Victim” role. This guy went a bit too far.
While slavery did end 140 years ago, segregation and Jim Crowe laws continues well into the lat 1960s and early 70s. In fact, I am part of the first generation to grow up “equal under the law.” And so the stigma of past discrimination still lingers with many in my generation, as it was passed down form our parents to us.
So it is easy to say “Get over it”, but actually getting over it is not that easy. I put it this way in another piece that I wrote:
At 36 years old, I am a part of the first generation to grow up after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. So unlike my father, or his father before him, I was born “Equal under the law.” But that did not mean that I was born in a system that promoted equality. 400 years of slavery, the subsequent 100 years of Jim Crow and the liberal lead welfare/entitlement state did much to weaken the black man and destroy his family and community. These systems were designed to keep blacks down and that is exactly what they did. The reason many blacks have a victim mentality is that not too long ago, they were victims.
Take my father for example. He left the Air force after World War II a fully trained and certified electrician. But he could only get a job washing cars. You see, the unions would not let him join their ranks because his father was not a union member. Never mind the fact that at the time my grandfather was working, they did not allow blacks to join the union. My mother experienced Whites only drinking fountains and lunch counters. She remembers “Bull” Conner turning police dogs and fire hoses on innocent blacks like it was yesterday. These experiences are not easily dismissed by those who experience them. They play a major role in shaping one’s world view. For my parents, everything in society told them that it was was government and whites who were in control…not them. And this is the world view that they have passed on to us, their children. It was their reality.
My reality is somewhat different. I can eat where I want. I can go where I want. The law states that I can not be denied any opportunity because of the color of my skin. And there are teams of lawyers, judges and politicians willing to fight to protect these rights. There are no laws preventing me from starting a business, getting a good education or supporting the political candidate of my choosing. This is part of my reality; the only part that many conservatives are willing to acknowledge.
I also realize that there are those whom I will encounter that will prejudge me based on the color of my skin, whether they admit it or not. Racism is not dead, just diminished. I also must acknowledge that the 1964 Civil Rights Act did not undo the 500 years of indoctrination and brain washing black Americans underwent. Nor did it create a level playing field in regards to asset wealth.
There were “The Haves” and “The Have Nots” and nothing happened to change the fact that blacks would be overwhelmingly in the category of “The Have Nots.” This meant that they would have much less capitol to start businesses, purchase homes or to pass on to future generations. As hard as my parents worked and as much they tried, they did not have a home or any other significant assets to pass on to their children. This is too often the norm in black America. But this is also part of my reality; the only part that many liberals are willing to acknowledge.
I don’t believe that we will ever truly address the issue of race in America until blacks and whites; liberals and conservatives are willing to accept the truth about where we have come from and where we are now. Whites cannot celebrate creating equality in the rules of the game after attempting to knee-cap the other team’s players and spotting themselves 20 points. Along the same lines, we cannot be so preoccupied with the unfairness of how things started that we spend all our time complaining to referees, thus letting the other team run up the score. This is exactly what has been taking place the last 40 years.
Not that Jessie Jackson and Jesse Lee Peterson haven’t offered considerable subtance in dealing with the very serious issue of race and racism in America, but acting as race-baiting cheerleaders for their respective teams detracts from all the good w0rk in which they are involved. How can America have a frank and honest discussion about race as long as people are willing to feed into the hatred and resentment that is so deeply rooted in our society on both sides?
As for my perspective; I will say this. Being black is part of who I am. But it does not dictate who I am or who I will become. And while I cannot control the fairness of the circumstances around me, I can control how I react to those circumstances. I can choose to learn from them or whine about them. As I approach each challenge I can choose see it as a stumbling block or a stepping stone; as an obstacle or a building block. I can choose to fight the fight of ignorance and poverty or I can pawn in off on my children for them to fight it. These are my choices.