The Coded Racist Language of Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson | Dame Magazine

Now, it must be said that neither DeVos nor Carson have expressed anything remotely radical: Their attitudes fall within the paradigm that the best way to fix the Negro Problem is to vehemently ignore it.Long before DeVos was ever considered for the position as Secretary of Education, states like Texas have long tried to put a spin on the atrocities of slavery by referring to it as “unpaid work” or a simple side issue of the War of Northern Aggression. This is to say nothing of the way U.S. History is taught in so many classrooms across the country—apparently Black folks dropped off the face of the Earth from 1865 to 1955. What were we doing? Sitting around eating watermelon while White folks made America great until Rosa Parks decided she was too lazy to move to her ass to the back of the bus? That’s what we do, according to White America, act divisive when we don’t feel like doing any hard work.Whether this nation admits it or not, our country lives and dies by the parameter of White savior, the Lazy Negro, and everything in between. It plays out in how we view ourselves as well as how we view one another. Non-Black American POCs measure their success by their proximity to whiteness—just how far can one distance themself from the those gosh-darn Negroes and their yucky African slave blood? It’s how a White person has the audacity to claim their immigrant ancestors have showed strength and resolve that the enslaved ancestors could not because all my Black ancestors had to do was “a little bit of manual labor for a bit” and they couldn’t even do that right.It is this narrative that allows, and even encourages, the exclusion of Black communities and any group unfortunate enough to fall within its spectrum from American perks. Because it is our insolence and aversion to hard work that states that we do not deserve the opportunities that the land of opportunity offers, and it was this narrative that drove Ben Carson to not only claim enslaved Africans were immigrants, but in the very same speech, to make this simple statement: “We do no favors for anybody. There are no extras for anybody.”

Source: The Coded Racist Language of Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson | Dame Magazine