African Americans today are split between two cultures. One is a culture of assimilation and success. The other is a culture of victimization and failure. There have always been African Americans who didn’t buy into the “street” subculture, who have striven to rise up out of the ghettos, to assimilate and succeed in mainstream American life. Many have done it, and many more continue to do so. Assimilation is never easy, and can take generations. But the common success factor is a persistent focus on individual accomplishment, hard work, and pushing the children to get the best education they can to prepare them to succeed in a highly competitive world.
The African Americans who embrace the street/ghetto culture have defined themselves (and all African Americans) as victims, and perpetuate a subculture steeped in resentment and entitlement. People who define themselves as victims don’t aspire to success, because they’ve already conceded failure and placed the blame on someone else. Perceived victimization engenders resentment, which justifies a sense of entitlement. Instead of aspiring to rise higher with each successive generation, they sink deeper into the culture of poverty and recrimination, accepting the ghetto as their fate and entitlements as their due.
Participants in the street culture look down on those who work to achieve something better, sneer at education, and prey on those who live according to traditional values. They prey on each other, too. The street culture glorifies violence, drugs, and crime. It thrives on hatred — hatred of whites, hatred of the country in which they live, hatred of other races, and hatred of other African Americans. It’s a culture of self-victimization and false entitlement, and it will forever resist assimilation because its values are antithetical to the values of mainstream America.
This subculture, exploited by the media, and pandered to by black leaders, makes it much harder for those who want to rise up, who want to participate in the opportunities of mainstream American culture, and who want to leave a legacy of success for their children instead of a legacy of failure and resentment.
There is no question that African Americans have suffered from persecution and discrimination in this country. But, throughout human history, cultures have overrun, oppressed, abused, enslaved, and persecuted other cultures. (See What about the Jews?) That doesn’t make it right. It’s wrong. But history goes on. The survivors survive and adapt, and cultures change and evolve. But individuals don’t succeed, and cultures don’t evolve, by clinging to victimhood or by accepting/demanding entitlements to sustain the status quo. They survive, succeed, and evolve by overcoming and, by overcoming, becoming stronger.
Leaders whose truly desire to help their people achieve success do not preach hate. Hate is a cancer that eats the soul, and is ultimately more harmful to those who hate than to those who are hated. They do not preach victimization, resentment, and separatism; they teach individual accomplishment, responsibility, and assimilation. They don’t lead their people deeper into the ghetto mentality that holds them back and keeps them firmly entrenched in the ghetto; they lead them out of it. Those misguided or narcissistic leaders who reinforce the barriers that separate their people from all the freedoms and opportunities that America has to offer should be repudiated, not supported, by those who have successfully assimilated and who know there’s more to life than the everlasting ghetto.