Thursday, February 4, 2010

Freeman Says What Most Blacks Won't, and a Little History For You

Morgan Freeman stated in a recent interview that he finds Black History Month to be "ridiculous". When asked how we can get rid of racism, he plainly stated "stop talking about it."

As someone who can be classified as a "minority", I can agree with these sentiments. I do not need a special month dedicated to the history of my hispanic heritage (though there is one). I also find the concept ridiculous. History is history, and the history of blacks, whites, hispanics, and everyone else in America should be integrated into "American History", plain and simple.

Speaking of Black History Month, here is a little history they don't teach you...

Ever notice that S.B. Fuller is never mentioned in Black History text? Of course you didn't, because you probably don't know who Fuller is. Fuller, who lived from 1905-1988, was a notable black entrepreneur who founded Fuller Products Company, publisher of the New York Age and Pittsburgh Courier, head of the South Side Chicago NAACP (the same area Barack Obama represented in the Illinois State Senate), president of the National Negro Business League...and believed that it would be through capitalism, not government intervention and socialism, that black people would move ahead.

See, Fuller rose from being a poor child in rural Louisiana who dropped out of school in the 6th grade, and built his wealth on an investment of $25 that he turned into millions over several years. Fuller believed that capitalism, if utilized by the black community, could lead to civil rights and equality a lot faster than if the government mandated it. Fuller believed capitalism is colorblind, stating "It doesn't make any difference about the color of an individual's skin. No one cares whether a cow is black, red, yellow, or brown. They want to know how much milk it can produce." Mind you, he made this statement in the 50's, when racism and segregation were still rampant.

However, he made comments that angered the left-leaning black leaders at the time, which have blackballed Fuller from almost all Black History lessons.

For instance, in 1963, when inducted into the National Association of Manufacturers (the first black to be inducted), he stated "a lack of understanding of the capitalist system and not racial barriers are keeping blacks from making progress." He also stated that "If the Negro had the amount of initiative, courage, and imagination required, he could control the retail selling in his own community. Since he represents 10 percent of the population of America today, he would be able to employe 1,065,000 people. There are 1,788,325 retail establishments in America and yet in New York City, where there are over 1,000,000 Negroes, they do not own over 15 businesses which employ over 10 people."

Now, Fuller didn't state it there, but he did believe that discrimination did play a role as well. In U.S. News and World Report interview, he stated that "The Negroes have been free for 100 years. But, during that time, the white man has not told Negroes the truth. He has always taught the Negroes that they were at a disadvantage. He never told Negroes that they should do business for themselves, that they should clean up their own community and that they should accept community responsibility."

(side note...don't we still use that term "disadvantaged" for minority youth in inner cities? Fuller believed this is not the method in which you empower minorities)

In the same interview, Fuller also stated "Negroes are not discriminated against because of the color of their skin. They are discriminated against because they have not anything to offer that people want to buy."

Fuller also used to talk about he wanted blacks to stop begging the white man with "a handful of gimmes and a mouthful of much obliged".

Fuller's statements were meant as a wake-up call to blacks to start pooling their resources and go into business for themselves and empower themselves. However, black leaders saw this as "blaming the victim". Despite the fact that Fuller was essentially stating the same things that Booker T. Washington stated several decades before, black leaders (and leftist whites) saw Fuller's comments as being against their agenda because it was pro-free enterprise.

Thus, since Fuller's beliefs did not fall in line with "affirmative action" or any of the other agendas of those who advocated civil rights mandated by government intervention, his contributions to society and civil rights has slid down the Orwellian memory hole.


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