Who has not laughed at Eddie Murphy
or tapped their foot to Scott Joplin
or to our recently departed icon of rock'n'roll Chuck Berry
or lived daily with some invention of George Washington Carver
or marveled at the cosmos listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson (I knew he was a Vulcan)
or wondered if Michael Jordan has to get pre-flight clearance?

They are us. Period. Having saved your Confederate money did no good.

First a disclaimer.
Should this author ever refer to African-Americans as "black" (as in Black Lives Matter) and it offends- apologies.
He lived in Jamaica a number of years and they referred to them selves as "blacks". Obviously, they were not African-Americans.
In fact, they seldom referred to their race and were more proud they were Jamaicans.
It is also necessary to remember the description has evolved over the years.
In this author's youth, they were referred to as Negroes (Spanish for black) or "colored people".
Something to do with Nigeria or or the Niger River back in colonial days
During the era of consciousness, the sixties, they became "blacks" and proud of it.
After Alex Haley and "Roots", a consciousness of origin appeared and they took note of where they sprang from and became Africans.
Today, they are politely referred to as "people of color".
From "colored people" to "people of color". Ain't the English language something?
(Are they now lumped in with all the other "non-whites" and marginalized?)
If you are reading this and picking apart semantics instead of addressing issues think about it for a second.
What about the "n-word"? Loaded with intent and none of it good. But they reserve it to use for themselves sometimes. Go figure.
An anecdote.
This author went to visit Germany in 1980. His girlfriend (German) admonished him NOT to use the "n-word" as it was very offensive.
Agreed. Advice well-taken. What is the German word for folks of sub-Saharan African origin? Neger.
What is the Swedish word? Neger. What is the Russian word? Neger. What is the Dutch word? Neger. What is the Norwegian word? Neger.
From these the most tolerant, humanitarian societies on the planet. Again what's in a word? Intent? Obviously.

How to address this dilemma we've visited upon ourselves?
First, educate the dickens out of them (or into them if they appreciate Dickens).
Hard to oppress an educated person.
Second, adjudicate them fairly. Absolutely equal access and treatment under the law.
Give them equal access to monies to brighten and improve their neighborhoods. Slums breed slums.
There are many areas to address, but start with education and equality.

Lift them from poverty? Ain't gonna happen.
Poverty is the new norm for everyone regardless of skin color, race or ethnicity. Equal rights for all. None for all and all for some!
Doubt it? Just ask any rich person how much more they want. (All of it.)

Some have suggested reparations. That's a non-starter.
First, because of the entrenched power base and second where is the line drawn?
Women were an oppresssed minority until even more recent times. Are they owed reparations?
Are black women owed double? (That might be a good investment.)
Better to eliminate privelege and enforce equality. That will more readily get traction.

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