Written by Asia Tidmore
“Now, your a black man working in America now the stereotype is already on you” I heard my mother tell my little brother after getting his first job.
She was right, the stereotype that African Americans are lazy and uneducated follows African Americans everywhere like a lingering black cloud. African Americans are stereotyped so much that I have seen Black Americans work little ten times harder so they can eradicate the baseless notion that all blacks are lazy or uneducated.
Rowan Pope, the father of lead character,Olivia Pope on Scandal, gave insight of the notion that African Americans have to work twice as hard, he told Olivia, “You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have.” He was referring to how white Americans are allowed to be mediocre while African- Americans have to be exceptional.
This plagues all Black Americans– including President Barack Obama. In 2014, President Barack Obama announced a task force to give young boys of color an opportunity to get employment. Let’s not forget that Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law school– while at Harvard Law, in 1990 he became the first black elected president of the Harvard Law Review, it is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.
As the first African-American president, Obama has faced many racial slurs and threats since he announced his presidential candidacy. EVEN the President of the United States of America still suffers from racial comments! Why? A very simple answer he’s……African- American.
It’s not only limited to black men, it also affects black women equally. Gabby Douglas is an Olympic Gold Medalist– the first African American women to become an all-around gold medalist. In 2012 NBC was accused of using racist remarks towards Gabby. They were reporting about Gabby’s historic win after the segment, a photo of a chimpanzee was shown hanging from a bar imitating Gabby from her earlier performance.We are all familiar with the history of Black Americans being compared to monkeys, gorillas or apes. You can be the judge of the 2012 NBC incident, but it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to know that was a racist remark targeted at Gabby Douglas.
In America it doesn’t matter if you are the President of the United States or a Gold Medalist or a bagger at a grocery store, no matter how hard you work you will always have to work twice as hard as Caucasians. America was built on the consensus that African-Americans are inferior to Caucasians, this inherited thinking has been passed from generation to generation. As African- Americans we have to prove ourselves and fight against odds and break barriers.
My advice to African Americans, is you are talented and intelligent, you should continue to work hard, never let your skin color deter or America make you feel inferior.