The cries of “Black ingratitude” ringing out here lately are nothing new among Whites.
Anyone familiar with post-Civil War history knows about a similar attitude displayed by many former slaveowners. There were slaveowners who were actually stunned that their slaves took off from the plantation upon emancipation! They couldn’t believe that the former slaves didn’t want to remain with them – not even for wages.
Not only did they berate Blacks for “ingratitude,” they even voiced feelings of betrayal. They had actually come to believe that their slaves had formed some kind of unwavering devotion to their enslavers. One slaveowner in particular couldn’t believe that a slave woman who had been his concubine actually took off, once she had a chance to be free.
The newly freed Blacks actually valued freedom over their ties to their former owners. The former owners just didn’t get it.
“After all I did for them!”
And now, here we go again. “After all we’ve done for them!” Only this time Blacks are not grateful enough for their civil rights.
Not only should we be grateful for having the Constitution apply to us, we should be nice to Whites for their generosity in upholding these rights that they’ve granted us. Smile, be nice, be polite, don’t ruffle White feathers. A sentiment my grandparents would instantly recognize, were they alive.
And for God’s sake, don’t let on that you’re upset or unhappy! Don’t display any of the dreaded “attitude” under any circumstances. Smiling, happy, easy-going, ever mindful of White reactions – that’s how they liked us then, and apparently that’s how some of them want us now.
Why? To make themselves feel better.
Heaven forbid that a Black person act as free as any White person. No, Blacks must always, in perpetuity, tailor their behavior to White demands. Is that what some of you are saying?
Look: if someone is causing you harm in some way, you have every right to tell him to stop it, or to take action to make him stop it, if need be. But what makes you think you have the right to dictate what someone’s attitude should be, or what his demeanor should be? What makes you think you can demand that someone be nice to you – all the time?
If you have authority of some kind over someone, I might see it. Do you think you have some kind of natural, God-given authority over Blacks?