One of the most puzzling and bizarre things that I have ever encountered intellectually is the unmistakable reality that the vast majority of African-Americans have absolutely no comprehension of what racism, historically the most significant obstacle to Black liberation, actually is. It is truly saddening to repeatedly witness African-Americans, the foremost victims of racism I must add, consistently reveal to anyone within earshot that they have no real comprehension of what racism actually is. The most recent African-American to publicly display their idiotic position on American racial matters is none other than Lil Wayne.
Lil Wayne, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana displayed his intellectual feebleness in regards to race matters when he responded to a Skip Bayless’ query of how he felt about the fact that the vast majority of those in attendance at his recent concert Westchester, New York, were white youth in the following peculiar way, “…I thought that was clearly a message that there was no such thing as racism.”
Although it would be preferable to dismiss Lil Wayne’s mind-boggling response, I do think that it would be an error to do such. The error in dismissing this dim-witted response is not found in the fact that Lil Wayne was anywhere near making a logical statement regarding the highly complex and volatile issue of American race relations, rather, the lack of comprehension that Lil Wayne efficiently displays in this largely inconsequential utterance most certainly highlights the unfortunate reality that the vast majority of Americans, African-Americans included, have absolutely no understanding of the major difference between:
Although it is routine for people to use the terms prejudice, discrimination, and racism interchangeably, they are quite simply not the same thing. Such lazy thinking is similar to someone saying that pizza, chicken wings, and cake are the same thing because they are all edible. This practice of what amounts to as ‘sloppy thinking’ is undoubtedly one of the most obvious signs that most Americans have little understanding of what the aforementioned terms actually mean.
Put simply, prejudice is the mildest of the three aforementioned terms as it quite simply entails and individual pre-judging another person or group. This should be considered the mildest of the three aforementioned terms as there is little action associated with prejudice.
The simplest way of understanding discrimination is that it occurs when prejudiced people put some form of action behind their bigotry. One must remember that the power wielded by single individuals is relatively limited when compared side-by-side with that possessed by businesses, corporations, and institutions.
Generally speaking, racism is a complex system that involves institutions including, but not limited to — financial, businesses, educational — that work to disenfranchise a group in a host of ways (politically, economically, socially, educationally) for their own advantage.
What makes racism so pernicious is that the reality of its multi-faceted attacks makes it nearly impossible to pin down. If one misses the operation of racism in their analysis of American race relations they could very well be convinced that racism should not be blamed for multi-generational racial inequality, rather African-American inequality is the true cause of Black suffering. The impact of racism upon African-Americans is real, despite what someone like Lil Wayne believes. Its effects are most tangibly noticed in the racial gaps that are found in areas such as: home ownership, net worth, and income earned.
I hope that someone, anyone, would explain to Lil Wayne the fact that the presence of whites at his concert is in no way a sign that racism has taken a death kneel. One only needs to look at footage of any Black concert prior to desegregation and they will see droves of young whites screaming and hollering their support for their favored artist such as Ray Charles.
In fact, the suggestion that racism has disappeared from this nation is equally asinine and ludicrous. I have always been instructed that I should always consider the source from which information and opinion emerges. In this case, the source is most certainly not worth paying any attention. This should be considered little more than yet another example of what occurs when some imbecile leaves their lane and attempts to appear intelligent. Hey Wayne, stick to non-sense such as rap and leave the heavy lifting for those who have trained for it because you’re most certainly an intellectual light weight with nothing to offer regarding anything substantial.
This is grown folk business, Lil Boy.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016