Confession

Op-Ed: As a black man with parents from Africa, I feel like Black people have been receiving reparations for decades now. Any further reparations are most likely going to be a waste of resources and regressive—especially if their fiscal. Take someone like me: A. Grew up in a single parent home with six brothers. B. Had to move eight times in eight years because we were always renting a house. C. I have three brothers who are either in jail or is a recovering addict. But me (cont’d)...

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Your experience as an immigrant is not the same as a person whose family has worked, suffered and sacrificed for the everything that you currently benefit from but fail to acknowledge. Pay close attention these events all happened within living memory of Black Americans and the experience that you are trying to denigrate: Their grandparents lifetime: Black GI’s in WWII, 1941 could not get education or loans through the GI Bill. Could not buy cheap homes in suburbia. Brown v. Board Of Education, May 17, 1954 Emmett Till, August 1955 Integration of Ole Miss, September 1962 Birmingham Church Bombed, 1963 Freedom Summer and the 'Mississippi Burning' Murders, June 1964 Civil Rights Act of 1964, July 1964 Voting Rights Act of 1965, August 1965 Their parents lifetime: Fair Housing Act, April 1968 Bakke Decision and Affirmative Action, 1978 Los Angeles Riots, 1992 - First instanced of a black man getting beaten by police on video and the police getting away with it Amadou Diallo, 1999 41 shots into victims back for reaching for his wallet, all officers acquitted Their Lifetime: Sean Bell — 2006 51 shots into the victim, survivors shackled to their hospital beds, all officers acquitted Anthony Lamar Smith - 2011 “going to kill this motherf---er.” As the victim was running away. Officer acquitted Eric Garner (43 years old) — July 17, 2014 ... How f*cking dare you down play all this work, sacrifice and betrayal just because you are reaping their hard work?!?

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The complexity of defining & implementing actual reparations absolves [no one] from the responsibility to do so. You at least know that, right? Or are you pleading ignorance again.

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Just remember that your “Cloud 9” experience is basic expectations for the majority. You earned a promotion to manager while your white peers have that, have had it for generations, and on top of that are receiving inheritances, property, from their parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles so that they can start a family in a safe, well appointed home. They aren’t the first “making it” to your version of cloud 9, just the next. And not all of them ”worked hard” to get there. Your white peers’ version of Cloud 9 is not making it to manager. Look at how much they complain about it here on FB. Their privilege means they dream bigger. Your white peers also may have family members who are addicts. But they are less likely to be convicted, less likely to be prevented from participating in society when they get out, and more likely to be given multiple chances to beat their addictions because their family can afford it. More likely to also end up as a manager somewhere like their brother.

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As a black man with parents from Africa as well, I would like to kindly ask you to stop embarrassing us. Please and thank you. To everyone else: He is alone in his deeply flawed understanding of these issues. We are not like this!

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I’m sure you’re a great guy, OP. It just seems you may not have considered the whole picture in applying your personal situation to arrive at political beliefs. And in that, you certainly aren’t alone. We all draw lessons primarily from our own experiences, which is precisely why it is important to really listen to and understand the experience of others before deciding what’s best for everyone. You already admit you are exceptional, even in your own family, so I’m not sure a policy that only works for exceptional people is the best overall. It doesn’t tend to make more people exceptional because it isn’t really just a matter of incentivizing people to try harder to be better than they are; in effect it just punishes everyone else for being average.

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I have a wife with a kid on the way, am going to be promoted to Manager at a mid-tier firm...it’s a dime a dozen scenario I know, but relative to where I came from, it’s like being on Cloud 9. There was no strong enough “racist” barrier that kept me from getting here. Not a lot of people would’ve chose the path I took to get here, and that’s okay. We all made choice that we thought were the best possible choices given our circumstances...anyway I’m a bit buzzed and rambling now. TL;DR A. I believe “Systemic Racism” is an issue, but not to the degree it’s portrayed to be by certain politicians and their political base. B. Police Brutality is an issue as well, but not the the degree that’s worth all this attention. Education, in all its facets, and economic opportunity are far more important. C. If you held a gun to my wife’s head and told me to pick a President that would have a ten-year term, I would pick Donald Trump every time. Wow. There, it’s out now. Does feel nice to get it off my chest though. I feel like I can’t talk to anyone in my immediate circle about this though. In my family leans left both socially and economically. Whereas I lean more to the right economically. Socially I don’t know where I’m at yet. EDIT 1: I believe reparations are a form of compensation (monetary or non-momentary for the accountants and auditors in the room). Pell Grants (which virtually paid for my tuition in my first two years of college) are a form of such compensation, IMO.

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@OP I would also encourage you to travel more especially to the South and Mid West and understand the policies there. Being on the coasts gives you a biased view of the country as a whole. For example, the Justice department report on Ferguson, MO. That city government inflicted policies in its Black citizens that were so egregious, they qualified for RICO status. You are trying to educate yourself and I applaud you. There are numerous books, papers, etc. that can help you. If you reach out, I am happy to share.

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A1 really hits the nail on the head here. You’re an immigrant, OP. Your family struggled but they also had a fresh start coming to America. That isn’t the case for African Americans who have several hundred years worth of disenfranchisement in this country.

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Bcg1 - I don’t have time to educate you but can help shed some light. The glitch in your thinking is that privilege is solely based on money. A person that has a mind that is free ie has not been subjected to multigenerational trauma from slavery and the system who supported is indeed a privilege. Growing up not being affected by a society that consistently tells you that you are less than IS mighty powerful. Then you enter the the US - which becomes yours to seize, aggressively.

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As an African who migrated to the United States at the age of 17, being born and raised in an African country meant I was never exposed to racial injustice, never compete on an unleveled playing field, or be constantly reminded by the media that I was inferior than another race until my sense of identity was fully formed. As Africans, we grew up used to seeing black presidents and black people in position of power. In every sense we've enjoyed "white privilege" at home simply by virtue of being born and raised in a country were the racial divide does not exist. This is why many of us Africans can never appreciate the struggles of African Americans. It takes a higher level of self awareness to get it.

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B1 - appreciate you sharing, my Ghanaian dad would agree with you. However, he’d also state that being born in the West (like me) sensitizes you to the experiences of the diaspora out of Africa (us, france, germany, canada etc). Every place has a local flavor of how black people are treated - variations of same theme. By virtue of growing up in such environment, one cannot stay aloof to the situation (very different then if your formative years spent on the continent) even if we are successful! I’d also challenge the racism bit because in Francophone African colonies, at least, we cannot disregard the effect of colonialism esp before independence. In the Belgian Congo, it was not permitted for the indigenous population to access to higher ranks at work (“cadres”) and in the military. Only certain were deemed “evolved” enjoying certain european-like privileges. Note this is where OP’s parents are allegedly from. OP - odd. this “insight” would have been provided to you by your family over the last 25+ year. Every kid with African parents heard this (or a version of this) before! Aunties, elders talking about their experiences, you growing up here with a DIFFERENT experience then them stuck between 2 cultures like most immigrant children the world over. Your story does not add up.

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Your dime in a dozen success has likely skewed your perception of what is attainable for the majority of the black population

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Chance, luck of the draw - which is a small minority black Americans have the chance to have. I’m rereading your post and it seems like we’re on the same page that systemic racism occurs, but have differing views on what reparations are. To me, reparations are not the same as society inching towards equal treatment, but compensation for the 400 years of slavery and the aftermath of such treatment. Giving a black American an equal vote is a right, not a reparation. And even then, there‘s limited voting access in low-income, black communities (the “system”), so we can’t even say it’s truly “equal” today.

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likesmart
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If you want a congrats on being promoted just say that. You’re essentially saying that there is racism but you made it to manager in spite of it. 🍪

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I want no congrats on being promoter. In fact you can take that cookie back if it means I don’t have to be a manager anymore. The mental challenge that will come along with me being a manager is something I want nothing to do with right now.

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Tolerant left isn’t so tolerant after all. Someone speaks their mind and you all shame OP to delete a post that goes against your victim hood narrative. Shame on all of you. OP has every right to speak his mind

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@PwC 8: True, but we all know, lefties and righties, that Trump is rather insensitive and pretty fricking divisive. Trump can complain all he wants about the media spinning his shit (they night to a degree), but he kinda brings it upon himself.

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As a POC myself who grew up in Dayton, Ohio, I can 100% say the solution is education and economic opportunity. 1st gen college graduate and that has opened more doors than anything else. I was lucky, maybe of my friends were not. Also live in NYC now and tired of all the woke white people putting together protests for BLM. Feel like there is a savior complex going on with many I talk with.

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🙌🏿 ✊🏿👊🏿

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your post OP has a blind spot for the experiences of Blacks in this country. not going to rehash why,...other posters have done so quite elegantly plus my rage is a constraint against my good sense. But I will ask this. to celebrate yourself, was it really necessary to disparage a whole group of people. hope you feel good about yourself.

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I stand with OP. There are a ton of people attacking him right now just for saying he’s fine - why are we attacking a black guy for saying he’s fine? It’s like we want it to be the opposite for the sake of politicized argument. Also, this is Fishbowl. Every comment written here is coming from attorneys, employees at a top 4, top 10, top 20 professional services firm, etc., all with a great education, credentials, with most pulling more than six figures, etc. Kind of like the ivory tower club trying to school a black man on racism (but they say it’s America and not themselves with the tolerance and or racism problem). *drops mic*

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likefunny
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I assume you dropped the mic because you tripped over the cord?

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Yeah, it’s a no for me dawg.

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Wow you ARE buzzed!

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Because they were.

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Also, I don’t believe Donald Trump is a racist. Divisive? Sure. Rude? You betcha. Egotistical? Probably. But racist? I don’t buy it. Still would never vote for him under normal circumstances though.

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PwC 6: buddy said “you betcha” lmaoooooo

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let this man speak his opinion, no matter how different it is from yours. just because he doesnt share the same viewpoint doesnt give anyone any right to attack him. maybe share your experience and thoughts as vulnerably as he did. I disagree with the gentleman, but I also have not walked in his shoes.

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Appreciate this, fam. I’m just trying to open some dialogue with those who disagree with me. I want way more insight as to why black Americans feel as if the system is continuing to do them wrong.

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There have not been reparations. There won’t be reparations.

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each time I re-read I get more disparaged.

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Bear in mind that Blacks in America have been free only after the 1960s Civil Rights movement. They still face discrimination and continue to be looked down upon and marginalized in many parts of the country. It’s going to take a hundred years to level the playing field.

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Seriously the real question is whether OP is Russian, Chinese or Iranian trying so sow discord. Or just a troll. But they are not what they portray themselves to be. The bots are clearly better this time around. Apparently LinkedIn isn’t the only place getting inundated with this crap, but the flurry of discordant responses is consistent. Read carefully, people.

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Again you’re African, not black!

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Additional Posts

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