A look at ‘the man in the mirror’

 The likelihood of an African American being granted the chance to exhibit their maximum potential on a job that he or she is not only passionate about, but provides them with food, clothing, shelter, or the other quintessential things needed for survival are highly unlikely or slim to none. Es­pecially if they dare make any mistakes. It’s as if you have only one shot to “do the right thing" if you are born Black in America or considered to be a minority, regardless of you possessing the ability or proper skill sets that meet the company’s qualifications. Hav­ing the capabilities of execut­ing your required duty, and significant experience, seems to just not be enough or suit­able in the eyes of corporate America or the United States in general.

Being Black, especially in America, provides you with no room for mistakes, flexibil­ity and minor opportunity’s, to learn from and improve what you’ve done wrong. Often times we’re just terminated, depending on our profession. Whether there’s inequities’ exercised within the realm of sports, the healthcare sector, communication, marketing, or any area in which Blacks are often discriminated, marginal­ized, or even unequivocally viewed, juxtaposed to their White counter parts, and this being an on going cycle that America has yet to break. “It’s as if someone is always keep­ing an eye on the minority,” waiting to find some incon­sistency on their behalf, to damage their reputation.

There is such competition on a daily basis in the work place, and the rat race contin­ues. As an African American born and raised in the U.S., I’ve always been told that I have to be two times more qualified for the exact same position as my white counter parts. I have to not only meet all occupational expecta­tions. Usually, when it come to Whites in the work place, they’re often times afforded multiple times of trial and error, and are able to remain in their field and not jeopar­dize their professional career. It is not unlikely, for a White person to have taken another underneath their wing and shown them the ropes or the tricks to the trade, so that they aren’t the talk of the company.

When will the assistance from those who don’t neces­sarily resemble you, bring you on board, and show you how to be the best that you can be without blackmailing you, and making you the laughing stock of the company? When can there be a meeting that’s place, theirs no symbolic bottles of water, pens, or extra lens placed on the table? When will the African American or minority, that manages to get hired at a fortune 100 or higher, not automatically be the go to person for race related questions during Black history month? Reaching be­low the surface, does many of these nuances begin to evolve by the media not being so nar­row minded to change racially perpetuated stereotypes?

In America, it seems as if there is huge problem with diversity. They are so worried about results, for the love of capitalism. In order to truly bring about the greatest change in America, it is going to have to inevitably diversify itself, as whites are slowly becoming the minority group in this country.

The importance of more diversity in the U.S. is being realized by larger groups of people everyday. For example, during the “Critic’s Choice Awards,” Actress Jessica Chatain was slammed for her diversity speech, which totally shocked her when all she was simply trying to do was use her time onstage to make a plea to Hollywood executives and actors on the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. to discuss those in attendance to “stand together against homophobic, sexist, misogy­nistic, anti-Semitic and racist agendas. Although her speech was heartfelt by some, it was envied by many more. Which goes to show you that a lot of people aren’t interested in breaking the chains of visual or mental slavery. Primarily because Whites benefit from it, and it’s a double sided coin. Secondly, the response from anti-intellectual Whites, when discombobulated about why Blacks are unsatis­fied in America, is “It’s not that bad. They have Barack Obama. They’re good.” Or, “They’re not getting lynched.” They’re not acknowledging the institutional racism that impacts our daily lives. It’s not that there is something wrong with being held to a different standard, but if that standard is perpetuated due to internal feelings that one may have towards a certain group of people, then that is absolutely an issue.

It is not only time to level the playing field and close the achievement gap between Blacks and other minorities in White America, its time to begin having the tough con­versations that no one wants to talk about. Moreover, being afforded the same opportuni­ties and being treated equally is not only ethically right, but should be a moral standard. Especially, with everything that African Americans and other minorities have contrib­uted to this country.