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Racist? Who, Me?
Sometimes the pot calls the kettle black, and charges of racism
are leveled against an African American. A few of the many black
leaders labeled racist are: Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth, the Rev. A1
Sharpton, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale and
the rest of the Black Panthers, and anybody else resistant to
In a March 18 speech, Sister Souljah of the controversial rap group
F*ublic Enemy said black men and women could not be racist, because
they lacked the power to enforce their will through discrimination and
oppression. But many reject this definition, anditisafter all,just Sister
Souljah’s opinion. The Oxford English Second Edition (1989), the
standard-bearer for English language dictionaries, defines racism as;
“1) The theory that distinctive human characteristics and abilities are
determined by race; 2) The belief in the superiority of a particular race
leading to prejudice and antagonism towards people of other races,
especially those in close proximity, who may be felt as a threat to one’s
cultural and racial integrity or economic well-being.” By these broad
standards, blacks could indeed be racist. However,dictionary definitions
are not handed down from on high; they are written by people with
opinions. It becomes clear what shaky ground this puts us on, because
people like presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and Ku Klux Klan
members can claim they are not rjcist by their own definitions (which
they already do, no doubt.)
A firmer proposition about blacks’ inability to be racist is the notion
of self-defense. B lacks arc not racist, only angry and naturally defensive,
some say. In this country, whites for hundreds of years have treated their
darker counterparts as enemies; they enslaved them, killed them
wantonly, told lies about them, denied them equal rights, and still
victimize them via racial discrimination. As a result, African Americans
have taken a defensive posture and outlook, which is quite normal
when dealing with a known enemy. The black parents I know refrain
from teaching their children hatred of whiles, but nevertheless remind
them of the discriminatory practices of the recent past so as to prepare
and protect their loved ones. Even radical views can be seen as
defensive mental frameworks, like those of the 5 Percent Nation of
Islam, who believe black people are gods. Yes, this line of thinking puts
blacks in a superior position, but one has to evaluate why someone
would think this way. Why? Because that someone and his race has been
held in an inferior position.
We can only judge racism based on observation, and separating the
self-defense actions and attitudes of blacks from their purely racist
ones is virtually impossible. So blacks might be racist, but not
provably so. The same does not apply to whites, who clearly have
no real reason to be defensive in the first place. What has our race
done to yours, Mistuh Establishment?
Myron B. Pitts
“You don't see a \vhole race in bondage?"
Editor: Myron B. Pitts
Associate Editor: Jacqueline Charles
Photography Editor: Kelly Greene News Editor: Rolanda C. Burney
Bu^ness Editor: Kevin McNair On-Campus Editor: Lee Richardson
Staff: Tiffany Ashhursl, Natalie Baucum, Michael Bowden, Keisha Brown,
Delanccy Bermetl, Jennifer O. Ferguson. Scott Johnson, Felts Lewis, Charles
McNair, John T. McCaim, Chandra McLean, T.J. SlanciU Tonika M.
Tillman, Sharilyn Seale, Stefan Tyson, Natarsha Witherspoon
Inside Black Ink
Tuesday, March 24,1992
LEADER OF THE NEXT SCHOOL
Michelle Thomas, newly-elected president of the Black Student Movement, discusses the
growing BCC Movement, plans for next year and the direction of the BSM. Page 4.
IT’S A DOG EAT DOG WORLD
Guest columnist Michelle Williams writes about the competion, attitudes and discrimination
that women practice against each other. Page 3.
TRADITION IN THE MAKING
An event designed by a member of the Class of ‘92 highlights and celebrates the
experiences of African-American seniors and could become an annual fixture at UNC.
POETRY FROM THE SOUL
Bernard Rouse, a Washington,D.C. chemist, uses a pencil and pad to express his heart. Page
FOR THE RECORD
Ink reviewer T.J. Stancil gives the thumbs up on the ‘2 live’ sounds of Luke and
introduces a new rap group with Hispanic flavor, Powerule. Page 7.
BEWARE OF THE GOLDMINE
In an article that will surprise many, Wonderboy drops some science on the most addictive
‘drug’ in the black community. Page 8.
About the Cover
President Michelle Thomas expounds on the future of the Black Student Movement as the
group approaches its 25th year. Her plans include empowering the general body and a
smaller central committee. Page 4.
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