10 Arguments Black People Need To Stop Making That Support Racism

10 Arguments Black People Need To Stop Making That Support Racism

By Tiffanie Drayton | Originally Published at Clutch Magazine. September 2, 2014

It makes sense that White people use completely illogical arguments to derail conversations about racism, because the current racial hierarchy reinforces White dominance and “White privilege”– so they benefit from it. What makes absolutely no sense is large swaths of Black people co-opting illogical and fallacious claims that reinforce stereotypes and the system of racism that threatens Black, and thus their own advancement.

This happens because Black people are not spared of the propaganda used to justify, excuse and even enable racism and White supremacy. Many have internalized these notions, reinforcing self-hate/ Black hate and readily spew these beliefs when discussions about race or racism arise. This undermines our struggle and history in a way so deeply troublesome and destructive to the Black psyche and Black community. For that reason, it is incredibly important to challenge such misinformation and provide both accurate and historical explanations for the current state of the Black community.

Here are some counterarguments to the most pervasive and disturbing arguments raised by Black people in support of racism and White supremacy.

1. “If Black people did not sag their pants or dress ‘ghetto’, they’d be treated differently.”

Black people have been terrorized, brutalized, discriminated against and disenfranchised despite their attire.

2. “It is not about race, it is about class.”

The socio-political and economic foundations of this country have created an inextricable link between both class and race. It cannot be forgotten that large numbers of White businessmen generated massive amounts of wealth from free Black labor. At the country’s inception, wealthy business owners and political leaders set in place legislation to disenfranchise Black people, so systematically that the Black community is still rife with an unshakable poverty.

3. “Let’s not talk about the past, slavery is over.”

The past has tremendous effects on the present and future. So much so that just about every Fortune 500 company was founded during slavery, right after emancipation or has ties to that time. Wal-Mart, America’s highest earning Fortune 500 company, was established with wealth generated during the time of slavery when Black people had no rights. The same could be said for almost every company on that list in 2014. This means that America’s biggest and most wealthiest businesses were formed in the past, yet still hold massive amounts of wealth and power in the present. This speaks to the massive wealth gap between Black and White families, which is estimated at a staggering $100,000.

4. “What’s keeping Black people down is talking about race/racism.”

Whether racism is discussed, or not, it still exists. If all slaves were mute, would slavery have disappeared?

5. “Black people need to stop being lazy and living off of welfare.”

The largest recipients of welfare in the United States are White people. Stereotypes the “welfare queen” were created and used as political propaganda by White elites to scare poorer Whites and dismantle social welfare programs (that they largely benefit from). Still, to this day, despite the large numbers of White people on welfare, it is still thought of as a “Black thing.” The Black unemployment rate is two times that of its White counterpart due to discrimination and lack of access to resources/education, yet 39.8 percent of Blacks receive welfare, comparable to the 38.8 percent of the White population that also receives welfare.

The majority of Black people are not recipients of welfare and are indeed employed. Even fewer individuals are dependent on welfare, because it is nearly impossible to be. President Clinton reformed the United State’s welfare program back in 1996 with a piece of legislation called the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act” that imposed a five-year limitation on cash payouts to the poor and created additional requirements in order to qualify as a recipient, including proof of employment search.

6. “The Black community does not have any dignity or self-respect.”

Says the poorly informed individual who currently benefits from the self-sacrifice and efforts of thousands of Black women and men who fought tirelessly for the freedom to be human in a society that constantly dehumanized (and continues to do so) Black bodies. Our resilience as Black people speaks to a degree of willed preservation that only a deeply prideful people could display.

7. “It’s Hip-hop destroying the Black community.”

The misappropriation of the cultural phenomenon called hip-hop exemplifies the systematic destruction of the Black mind, body and soul. Hip-hop started as a powerful means of self-expression denied African-Americans that has now been diluted for “mass appeal” to reap massive amounts of money for the music industry owned and controlled by mostly White men. As with Hip-hop, the only thing destroying the Black community is White supremacy.

8. “Slavery saved Black people from African savagery.”

This may sound like an argument only made by the Uncle Rukuses of the Black community, but such sentiments are far more common and prevalent than one would like to believe. Statements like this represent the truest form of internalized racism. Despite the widespread kingdoms and empires that constitute ancient Africa and the continent’s major contributions to humanity’s progress and civilizations including but not limited to: advances in math, science and technology, the development of agriculture and the creation of systems of government, some Black people still think Black progress exists at the behest of White men. In reality, White progress depended upon African contribution– all humans did originate from the African continent, after all.

9. “Black people are the number one killer of Black people. When we stop killing one another, we will be respected.”

Intra-racial crime happens within every race. The majority of White murder victims are killed by other White people (84% per the Bureau of Justice Statistics). Yet, White people do not have to stop all intra-racial violence before they can be respected.

10. “Black people need to stop blaming the ‘White man’ and take responsibility for themselves.”

Self-reliance has been a goal of the African-American, dating back to post-slavery Emancipation when, Blacks requested 40 acres and a mule as a form of reparations for slavery. At that time, recently freed slaves dreamed of owning, working and tilling their own land. However, that dream never became a reality after Lincoln died and the legislation that would’ve made good on that promise was repealed. Many Blacks were forced to return to the plantations from which they once ran to depend on low wages from White men.

When some Blacks were able to break away and form their own independent communities, some of which became very successful like Tulsa, Oklahoma (otherwise known as “Black Wallstreet”), White terrorists destroyed the city including 600 successful businesses, killing men, women and children and burning residences. By the time the government intervened, practically the entire town had been destroyed.

Today, despite attempts to own homes and start small business, Black people encounter roadblocks every step of the way. A study commissioned by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, found that even after controlling for credit score, Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs were less likely to qualify for loans– this inequality worsened during the financial crisis. Other studies have also found that Black families were more likely to be offered subprime, predatory loans that are easy to default on because of sky-rocketing interests rates after the first five years, despite qualifying for normal loans.

These examples speak to a system that disallows Black advancement and self-reliance, despite every attempt on the part of the Black community to realize that goal.

More By Tiffanie Drayton >>>
Tiffanie Drayton is a freelance writer focusing in race and gender issues and a proud New School University Alumna. Follow her on twitter @draytontiffanie.

This piece was reprinted by EmpathyEducates with the kind permission of the Author. We thank Tiffanie Drayton for another powerful and thought provoking essay.



  1. John Lindsay September 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM - Reply

    “39.8 percent of Blacks receive welfare, comparable to the 38.8 percent of the White population that also receives welfare.”

    JL: 39.8% of 44 million Blacks…is a much, much smaller number than 38.8% of 197 million Whjites.

  2. Tracy September 21, 2014 at 6:40 PM - Reply

    welfare was created for white women during the revolution Revolutionary War their husbands were out fighting for the country (along with black men,)and were afforded the right to stay home and raise their children I.e. welfare… When black women decided to were Allowed touse welfare they were considered lazy and it wasn’t a good idea for them to stay home and raise their children. “The BLACK HOLOCAUST” a documentary on YouTube Explains this FACT!
    look it up! YOU May Just LEARN Something

  3. Ellen September 22, 2014 at 8:24 AM - Reply

    This is a fantastic piece! Dispelling so many of the myths that are perpetuated over and over again, The one issue I have is in about the Walmart reference in number three. I am no fan of WalMart and what the Walton family is doing to,destroy public education is on the top of a long list of evils. However, when making a statement tying the family’s wealth to the time of slavery, references are needed into,order to give this argument strength. I could not find any link with family members or the corporation with slavery. There are many corporations that do have direct ties to slavery that would have been a better choice the purpose of this article. Even in this Google search, us companies with ties to slavery, it is easy to find corporations with proven and documented roots in the slave trade and slavery itself. Bank of America, Chase, mad many other Fortune 500 companies would have been a better choice to include in this article.

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