Should Black People Be Thankful for Slavery? One White Man Had a Lot to Say
The Big Lie has emboldened anti-Black racism. Let’s unpack this.
As a Black woman, I often search for safe digital places. And as one of the cofounders of Writers and Editors of Color, I’m really thankful to have found a supportive community. But, outside of that network, I often face disgustingly racist threats and verbal assaults. On Saturday, a White man told me that I was a dumb n-word, that he hates Black people, and that we must leave America. And as if that wasn’t enough, he said that all Black people were lazy, steal, and use drugs. Of course, he said all of this riding high off internet-sanctioned anonymity.
So, you may be asking yourself what a Black woman did to provoke his response. I was advocating for us to have a national conversation to “examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.” Someone initially said that Black Americans were not seeking restorative justice from the Jim Crow era or Redlining — just slavery. But, the language in HR40 shows that, if passed, Congress would also evaluate discrimination stemming from the slave trade. That nuance seemed to set the White man’s hair on fire.
“Black people are disgusting, lazy, and just looking for a handout.” Furthermore, he contended that I should be personally thankful for slavery because it gave Black people jobs. It’s disturbing that some people think like this. Still, when we have White conservatives fighting to eliminate Black History and narratives from public libraries and school curriculum and White moderates unsure of how to approach critical race theory, racism thrives in the margins.
Hearing this man, it became clear that McConnell is not the only one who thinks that Black people are incapable of being full-blown Americans — it’s a conservative talking point. Rather than accept Black people as equals, White men like him hold dangerous views and thrive in spreading disinformation across the internet. As a 33-year old Black woman, I know I should be used to racism by now, but I’m not. Racism stings every time, like salt in an old wound.