This isn’t a call for blacks to learn an additional language to communicate alongside the English we speak now. Even though Hispanics are an increasing percentage of the population- displacing blacks as the largest minority in the process- I’m not advocating the need to learn Spanish; though that may indeed prove helpful.
What I’m advocating here is something quite different and I believe more practical and much more pressing. Blacks are monolingual- we only speak one language and oftentimes it’s at our own expense.
The language isn’t English… it’s race. On occasion, we speak it very well and considering the historical presence of blacks in America, it’s understandable. From slavery to the Emancipation, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow segregation; from the Civil Rights Movement to the present day- our historical reality in America forced blacks to develop a polished articulation of racial language.
But in twenty-first century America, the language of race is no longer as welcomed or as understandable to hearers as it once was. The old black/white paradigm of racial semantics is no longer the reality as it used to be. The presences of Asians, Hispanics- and yes Africans, including other races and ethnicities have drastically changed the vocabulary of racial language. More and more, mainstream America is closing its ears when blacks speak the language of race- particularly when it’s spoken in the narrative of accusatory victimization.
If blacks continue the delay in conceding this new reality, and stubbornly refuse to adapt and learn other languages, they will become culturally and politically irrelevant.
Some argue that this irrelevancy has already set upon us.
Politically, black irrelevance is already a distressing, self-imposed reality. It’s the reason that one political party- very intentionally- takes black for granted, while the other political party ignores them altogether. It’s why both political parties are creating deliberate yet incoherent and destructive strategies of Hispanic outreach and capitulation, even though blacks represented a greater percentage of the electorate in 2008 (12.3%) and 2012 (13.4%) than did Hispanics (7.4% & 8.4%, respectively) CONTINUE TO THE FULL STORY