It has been a longstanding joke that refuses to go away. The difference between Black people who are progressive and n-gers who are not.
Chris Rock has used to advance his career and heighten his chances of being a mainstream darling. As a writer for Salon recalls, back in 1996, comedian Chris Rock joked about why being Black vs. the other kind needs to be distinguished. “I love Black people, but I hate n-gers”. This seems to be his blatant attempt to explain how black people who are educated and about something tend to be tainted by their counterparts who are lazy thugs incapable of contributing anything meaningful to society. They are the ones that drag the good stock down and give them a bad name. They are the reason why the N-word was invented and still carries some relevancy.
Rock isn’t the only one who displays the damaging “holier than thou” attitude that brings a sense of divisiveness to the Black community.
Charles Barkely just recently ruffled feathers when he boldly declared his stance against the crop of Blacks that don’t respect the idea of success but instead balk at it because they are content being literal idiots. ‘When you are Black, you have to deal with so much crap in your life from other Black people…For some reason we are brainwashed to think, if you’re not a thug or an idiot, you’re not Black enough”. He then goes on to say something that proves how fragmented his views are, “There are a lot of people who are unintelligent, who don’t have success”.
While it might be true that a lot of Blacks are not necessarily deemed successful – that is practically relative. Everyone’s definition of success varies depending on your views on the matter. Barkley’s assessment is a searing reminder of how privileged Black celebrities carelessly generalize an issue that should be delicately examined. To say that most Blacks are unintelligent is a brutal untruth that does very little to advance the causes of racial equality. The idea that there are more stupid Blacks polluting all the hard work being rendered by more advanced Blacks is a detrimental ideology that should be discounted and ignored.
Others have chimed in and dug even deeper holes. Bill Cosby has been guilty of vocalizing his disdain for blacks who are uneducated and don’t speak intelligently. CNN’s Don Lemon has never hidden his disgust when it comes to blacks settling for the bare minimum instead of doing what he did to “make it”.
The tragedy is how these views downplay the sacrifices that were made to help propel the success stories. The uncle who had to steal in order to keep the lights on so that his nephew could complete his homework – or the other not so legal tactics that were implemented to put food on the table. Most of the “so called thugs” patrolling the streets today are actually brilliant minds who just happen to be the consequence of a system that is still in place. A system built to keep the black community on its knees. Sure, America is a place that provides the opportunity to become bigger than you ever imagined if you do the work. But it has never been that black and white – no pun intended.
To have people like Chris Rock, Bill Cosby and Don Lemon accentuate the notion that the Blacks who are still graveling at the bottom deserve to be there because they chose that life is unfair and exposes a deeper problem within their personal spectrum. Instead of ridicule and criticism – it would be more valuable to encourage and acknowledge the triumphs. The fight against the machine involves all of us regardless of how weighty our bank accounts are because at the end of the day, to the outside world, there is very little difference between black and n-gers.