"But this is the great danger America faces. That we will cease to be one nation and become instead a collection of interest groups: city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual. Each seeking to satisfy private wants." 1995
"Americanization means the process of becoming an American. It means civic incorporation, becoming a part of the polity – becoming one of us. But that does not mean conformity. We are more than a melting pot, we are a kaleidoscope, where every turn of history refracts new light on the old promise."
"We are a people in a quandary about the present. We are a people in search of our future. We are a people in search of a national community." "Let us heed the voice of the people and recognize their common sense. If we do not, we not only blaspheme our political heritage, we ignore the common ties that bind all Americans."
LIST OF ADOS ISSUES
This is my ADOS perspective.
To learn more about the ADOS Movement visit ADOS101.com
KNOW US: BLACK IS NOT ALL THE SAME
Blacks in America consist of ADOS (American Descendants of Slaves), immigrants from Africa and ethnic Blacks from islands, territories and Britain. We have different histories, cultures, traditions, and allegiances. WE ARE NO MORE INTERCHANGEABLE THAN A BRIT AND SCOT OR A CHINESE AND KOREAN. Yet, every day we are told in word, deed, policy and practice, that we are all the same because of skin color. Can you see how this insults us?
What makes us different? Simply put we are native to America only and our ancestors are buried here. Our history and culture is mixed with Africa, Europe and Native Americans unlike any others. We can trace family back to the 1700s and some of us can identify their participation in every war on this soil. Our contributions changed the world. When given the chance to go back to Africa, my people said "NO, this is my home."
We also have another blight that immigrants have not endured. Immigrants of all colors and ethnicity who arrived after my people used us to build wealth in every generation and continue to do so today. Immigrants took jobs from free Blacks, killed them, burned their homes and lands and confiscated that land long after slavery ended.
Finally, every Black immigrant had a homeland and came voluntarily because they heard that Black people had opportunities here better than at home. Loving though they be, all people immigrate to take, earn and get something.
KNOW US in our uniqueness, respect us in our native homeland and never again tell us to leave our home that we have occupied longer than some of your people.
Find Black Demographics site and use as reference
I hear people representing ADOS and telling media what we want and think, talk about our history and suffering and even wanting to run for President of the United States and they don't have one ADOS relative. Wonder if that would fly in any country in the world other than America. Meanwhile, we look, sigh, tilt our head and say "Dog gone...(or something similar) "what are they talking about?" Who is listening to US? Where are the major polls gathering how we feel about world news, political thought, raising children, wealth and financial security, what politicians need to be focused on, why no matter how hard we work, the promotion goes to somebody that looks like the boss? Ask ADOS why so many are young and angry? Ask them their age when somebody convinced them they would be nothing because of skin color? Ask what they see in the community when older people have done the right thing all of their lives and are poor and struggling through no fault of their own. See if inspiration is missing by what they see around them every day. Would you be angry, too?
At the website Black Demographics you'll find insightful information about us. What America needs to know would look like an assessment of Living While Black. Create information to challenge comment writers who don't "understand" us or people speaking for us to evaluate the major differences in every day life by race, ethnicity, economic gaps and systemic racism that results in generational race-related physical and mental health issues peculiar to ADOS.
STOP ASSUMING AND LISTEN.
STOP DISCOUNTING OUR PAIN
If you don't know my story, stop making judgements about me. Don't have time to teach a history lesson here. I will share that for several years I have researched Black American history. I have found wonderful stories of overcoming, wealth building, pride in service to America and learning about the best in people.
I also learned about an America where one human being can so mistreat other humans that it does not make any sense. I knew that it was economic and not personal (just like today). You are who you are and what was done in their homeland was done here. I was endlessly inspired by White and Black people working together for good from day one because in every country people of good heart are found doing what they believed was right for their fellow men and women. They paid with their lives, livelihoods, reputations and more but continued to bring light to American thought.
I read of unbelievable atrocities against my people. No matter how good, kind, loyal and religious we were it was no safeguard to protect your or family lives. Whatever they earned could be taken from them. Wife, mother or child could be raped repeatedly. If Blacks appeared to be
successful, their home and business might be burned. Soldiers
came home from war and were lynched in uniform. Property
was taken, sharecroppers were cheated, and thousands of men,
women, boys and girls were put in prison for such acts as being
unemployed or looking in the face of a white man because they
had to amass hundreds of convict labor chain gangs to build
America's railroads and infrastructure. The state got money,
business contractors got money, robber barons got money and
Black families were destroyed.
I must admit that sometimes I have to step away from reading because it is too emotionally taxing. Therefore, when we discuss your immigrant family and compare notes of how they worked hard for the Dream to give you the help you enjoy today, and yet you know nothing about the history of running Black workers out of dozens of towns, please know that the one is related to the other. When one group takes for themselves, another is being denied. That would be the less powerful group while society provides ample justification to sooth consciences.
Our pain is felt in every generation. We start from scratch every generation. Please do not dismiss or discount it.
STOP DISCOUNTING OUR HISTORY
"Slavery was a long time ago.""Slavery is just an excuse for their failure." "My grandparents came here and were treated very bad. But they worked hard, sacrificed and achieved the American Dream."'"All they want is welfare and to sit at home and make babies they cannot afford to raise." "We had slavery in Jamaica but we came to America and worked hard." How can slavery still have an effect on people today? Hard to believe.
Are Jewish people still suffering from Biblical atrocities? How long has the conflicts within the Myanmar government and Muslims been building up to genocide? When were castes established in India and how are they acknowledge today? Do you know the histories of Black minorities around the world like in Mexico where they are still mistreated?
America is a young country, a composition of immigrant people, values and cultures. We have no single definition, look, language or national loyalty. What we began with is what we are stuck with. That beginning was to use "lesser people" starting with Indians, enslaving them and building wealth by any means necessary. Today we can switch up the color or ethnicity but he practice remains. Whoever is the slave class today is at the bottom of the privilege chart.
For hundreds of years, America did an excellent job defining Blacks in a negative way. They taught it to their children, normalized how we saw "them" and dictated how to treat "them." Sociologist teach that mothers are culture bearers and they teach children what they learned. (Through not fault of their own) In every nation this is the way we learn culture. In every nation there are the "betters and the others" who are the same color.
If you are honest, talk among your family and friends about what you were told about; Africans, Chinese, Arabs, Irish, Poles, Russians, Mexicans, Greeks, French, Norwegians, Blacks, Whites, Latins, Asian Indians, etc?
Slavery was not so long ago when we practice it every day in our hearts and minds through our opinions about who to hire, who we are afraid of, who we loan money to, who our children can play with, who we live next to, etc.
BE HONEST ABOUT ISSUES
Are there issues too hot to discuss? Can politics, social correctness, religion get in the way of confronting truths? I believe that we do not have the TALK, not because we have nothing to say or don't know what to talk about, but because once truths are presented we are uncomfortable and they demand action, changes in thinking. You are asked if you are true to meaningful change. We cannot devalue the cost of giving something up that which we have grown to enjoy and depend upon.
It is not my job to put the issues on the table or to tell you what the solutions should be. This is a process, a journey into unknown territory. No safety net, just a sense of doing the right thing for humankind. It begins with asking questions, brainstorming, relationship-building and of course - honesty.
It begins with talking and I believe the talk will lead you to first steps, next steps and then possible solutions. Remember that it took a lifetime to get here, give yourself a little time to paradigm shift. Keep records to map the route. Have a destination so you know "Are we there yet?" And, then chart another location and another because this journey never ends.
I suggest that you create milestone measures that allow check offs for reaching significant understandings, breakthroughs and opening paths to greater exploration. And challenges to open new doors, push new ground, growth.
In accessing your issues, talk with activist, consider local, national and international news stories that suggest racial or ethnic variables. Don't get sidetracked into non-race issues. Stay focused on the subject.
Always respect privacy and comfort levels for sharing. Confidentiality is essential to open and honest discussions.
WHAT ARE THE PERCEIVED COSTS OF CHANGE?
ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE SOMETHING UP FOR CHANGE?
Privilege is a blessing. It may be favors because you are beautiful, extra attention from same ethnic group members, or people wanting to be around you because of your fame or reputation.
Privilege is given as part of the system that you live in, it is unearned and awarded because you are a member of a certain group. Unearned rewards. If your child came home and said that he or she got an A from the teacher and they did not answer one answer on the test, what would you do? Would you explain that this was wrong, unfair and was not a favor because earning what you get is important in life?
Privilege becomes a way of life, an expectation due just because. When people are always there to open car, house and store doors for you, why would anybody expect you to do it? It is taken for granted, not even thought about because it is just done and not your duty. No thanks necessary, just life.
Now that we have a handle on privilege, let's look around our own lives. Before declaring that white privilege does not exist, I must ask what do you have to compare and contrast with the existence or lack thereof of white privilege?
Make a list of things that you take for granted because they are always done for you. Do people step aside to let you go through the door first? Do people defer to your opinion? Do they attempt to impress you? Police never stop me for no reason at all, you may say. I never notice eyes following me when I enter a store. People don't cut me off or contradict me in public. I get call backs for job interviews. Getting a bank loan is not stressful. People tend to take my word as true. I get easy apologies from people who think they offended me. I have never had to worry about paying my rent in lieu of buying food. My parents helped me pay for college, the down payment on our home and to start a business. I played a musical instrument in school. I took dance or gymnastics or played a sport as a child. I never heard my parents argue about money. I got my first car at age xx. Count up the places that you have vacationed. Do you know rich people? Yes, I've noticed that minorities are treated differently than I am. I like being my race or ethnicity.
WHAT WOULD IT COST TO LEVEL THE FIELD SO THAT EVERYBODY LIVED THE LIFE OF WHITE PRIVILEGE?
ADOS HAS LITTLE UNDERSTANDING AND NO EXPERIENCE WITH IMMIGRATION! We are native to America.
It is assumed that ADOS holds the same appreciation and perspectives on immigration in the country of immigrants as the larger society. It may be true that we enjoy relationships with people who are not ADOS because that is what our history dictates. We have never lived in a country of our own; our language, our lands, our laws, our exclusive governance and control. We have been taught to live within the "master group" inclinations, even when they act to destroy us.
However, ADOS has always been disproportionately disadvantaged by immigration.(Frederick Douglas, W.E.B DuBois, Booker T. Washington). Through no fault of their own, new immigrant groups have no history or relationship with ADOS. All immigrants, new and generational, have came to win, take and compete with us during our 400 years and their considerably fewer years here. They generally demonstrate an insensitivity to ADOS causes and displacement in America viewed from their OUT Group lens. They bring their biases of Black people from home. They promote diversity programs to enrich their group. They are human and look out for their group, just as they should.
But, America, you are at fault for not consulting the facts of the
inevitable outcomes of multiculturalism written in holy texts, in
literature, in scientific journals and documented in every nation's
history. The consequences are consistent; competition and conflict.
It is about group survival. You have allowed this conflictual
atmosphere to touch the most vulnerable, to incubate and explode
as we see more poor people represented as victims.
ADOS are victims in this country. Consider the consistent findings of
wealth gap research that lists ADOS at the bottom. Lower than
whites and immigrant groups; African, Asians and Hispanic.
Consider my family military service. Not unlike generations of
Americans of all backgrounds, my family served during slavery in
the Civil War. My father (the gent in the Tuskegee headgear) and my
5 uncles served in Korea and WW11(even a Purple Heart recipient)
and one who died a soldier. My husband, son, grandson, nephews, one niece and many cousins have proudly
served our country in the United States military.
Therefore, in 2019, when my granddaughter earned a college degree from a North Carolina University, we were all so very proud. But, our hearts were broken when she was told on applying for her first professional job at the local Community College, "that we want a Spanish speaker" it insulted our contributions to our homeland.
If you don't know...How can you fix it?
We all make assumptions about race relations and guess about the rest. Data, facts, individual and group truths will allow us to stand on firmament. For this time and this place, now we must take charge. The history is already available. The data is available. What's needed is access to truths and realities of those who are not members of your group. How can we expect you to help if you don't know?
We have neglected to accumulate data from ADOS about their daily experiences just being Americans, with racism, multiculturalism, other groups interactions, identity and perceptions, hopes and dreams. How have they been treated by people of all ethnicities? America is a nation of immigrants but is the homeland of natives, and ADOS are natives.
What are the specific life experiences that remind them of their value? Who is rude and who is polite? Who will hire them and who uses them to build wealth? Who is telling them to move aside? What do they feel about others getting privileges that they feel entitled to? What are they telling their children about chances of success in America? Is there a database for "vents" like "I can't get my child into Head Start because the quota is used up by others?" How do you expect them to feel and react? Getting at the heart of these issues may stem the seething emotional overflow that we see erupting in the streets when another Black person has been killed. Not unlike the impact of slavery, throwing people away can no longer be ignored because you don't want to offend others. Love is a three way avenue. If you love your group and know that you are hurting another group, can you claim Christian love? Time to talk race, now.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17
ADOS, Who Are You And What Do You Do?
ADOS – does not immigrant to a foreign land, work a lifetime and return home to retire
ADOS – does not remit money home or to a foreign land
ADOS – serves their country in the military. One out of five soldiers are ADOS
ADOS – in America, in 2016, the FBI statistics revealed that whites arrests are 69.6 % and Blacks 26.9% which includes Black immigrants as well as ADOS
ADOS – Juvenile crime is 62.1% white and 34.7% Black
ADOS – of the 110,489,000 people receiving welfare, 38.8 are white and 39.8 are Black
ADOS – 87% of ADOS is affiliated with a religion, 79% claim that religion “is very important in their life.”
ADOS – 40% of all Black households are middle-class (earning $35K-$100K) whites Americans are 42% in this classification
When a pandemic hits and the option to go back home presents....
ADOS ARE AT HOME