In a recent YouTube video, an Ethiopian-American woman had some harsh words about American Black women.
I don’t even know where to begin with this video, but somewhere–hidden behind this woman’s misinformed, hateful commentary—lies an interesting discussion.
Nearly 500 years after Africans were brought to this country, and so many others, as slaves, can we reclaim the relationship with our African brothers and sisters who were left behind?
Most of us have heard the anecdotes about an underlying beef between Black Americans and our African counterparts. I know I’ve heard it all.
Some African and foreign-born Blacks have bought into the hype. They think American Blacks are lazy, oversexed, uneducated, thugged out, and allergic to anything that resembles hard work. While some Black Americans think our African cohorts are con-men, stuck-up, uncivilized, or one step away from a “Feed the Kids” commercial.
While it’s certain that both American Blacks and our brothers and sisters from the Diaspora both face our own unique sets of challenges, beating each other over the head with antiquated stereotypes in order to make ourselves feel better does nothing to acknowledge or build our common bonds.
What the woman in this video, and others who agree with her brand of crazy, fail to realize is that relying on stereotypes not only makes you look like an ass, but it also does little to make others see you and “your people” in the same high regard in which you see yourselves.
For every crack-head or thugged out brotha in Detroit, there are numerous others who run businesses, obtain PhDs, and educate our youth. And for every Nigerian email scammer or power-hungry African dictator, there are countless others working toward peace, building or rebuilding their cities, and attending world-class universities.
While relying on stereotypes may be an easy way of dealing with the underlying issues of why Black Americans and many of our counterparts throughout the Diaspora may not always get along, it does nothing but continue to stoke the flames of discontent when we could be coming together to deal with many of the issues—education, health care, building strong Black communities—that plague us all.
What do you think? Why do some American & Foreign-born Blacks have beef? What can we do to bridge the gap? Sound off!
Update: After speaking to her Black American friend, the Ethiopian-American woman seems to have changed her tune. Check it. (shout out to our very astute reader, RobbyDoesDallas!)