Some White Folks are Afraid of Equity

by By Burnett W. “Kwadwo” Gallman, Jr. M.D.
Burnett W. “Kwadwo” Gallman, Jr. M.D. Burnett W. “Kwadwo” Gallman, Jr. M.D.

The period after the Civil War, known as Reconstruction, was a perfect example of what AUSA (Afrikans from the United States of America) could achieve. After only a few years, out of more than fifteen generations of enslavement, our Ancestors created successful businesses and thriving towns. They were able to invent and organize and excel in this land in the face of persistent racist persecution and other hinderances.

Were the white people who saw them as inferior pleased to see they had been wrong about our Ancestors’ successes? Nope. This can be seen in the destruction and massacres in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Black Wall Street), Rosewood, Florida; Wilmington, North Carolina and the literally dozens of other AUSA communities that were doing well, but were destroyed by white mobs who murdered men women and children. They burned, pillaged and looted homes and businesses that had been built by these brilliant people of Afrikan origin.

Today, AUSA inventions are credited to the companies for which they work. In fact, many items we take for granted were invented by AUSA.

There are many journalists and politicians who are working actively to prevent equity. In the past we were taught to demand equality, but have found that equality doesn’t work when some need more than others. If the poverty line is $10,000 and one person (A) has $8,000, another (B) has $3,000 and a third (C) has $5,000, giving them all an additional $5,000 will not bring them all out of poverty. That is equality but not equity.

What is the difference between equality and equity? Equality means that each individual, or group of people, is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and needs and gives the resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

In the example given above, person B would not be brought out of poverty and would need more than $5,000. So, if the goal was to reach more than $10,000 (say $11,000), person A would only need $3,000, person B would need $8,000 and person C would need $6,000. Then they would all be on equal footing.

Many politicians and “talking heads” on TV are against both equality and equity. Why is this? I don’t claim to know the answer, but it does seem to me, given the violent history of many white people’s reactions to AUSA success, that fear is a major component. Fear of what? Again, I don’t know exactly, but obviously, there is something about us we don’t know, that they do know. Whatever it is, it apparently scares them to death.

Why, then would they put so much time, effort and money into keeping us from knowing who we are with their efforts to ban books and control what students are taught about us? Perhaps they think we will do to them what they have done to us? Historically when our Ancestors were enslaved, it was illegal in most Southern states for Afrikans to even know how to read. Wow! And now there are AUSA who proudly say they don’t like to read. Score one for the fearful racists.

In traditional Afrikan societies (and even among AUSA years ago), we tried to help others and frequently shared what little we had with others. It was called reciprocity. I’m not being idealistic because greed and jealousy have always existed, but they were the outliers, the exceptions to the rule. Even those greedy and jealous people “knew better.” Most of us existed, in part, to help others.

I have spoken to people in the rural south as well as in the northeast, midwest, and far west and AUSA people always seemed to form a “village” wherever we found ourselves. My brother from another mother, Joe E. Benton (Maa Kheru) often describes his “village” in Seattle, Washington that supported and nurtured him while he was growing up. My other brother, Baba Derrick Jackson still describes his “village” in Harlem, New York that nurtured him. My brother and former business/practice partner, Ronald Johnson shared his “village” in Croom, Maryland (Prince George’s County), when my wife and I lived in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia) area. And, I can never give enough praise for the “village” in Hartsville, South Carolina that nurtured me.

Seeing what is happening today and reviewing what has happened to us in the past (our history here in “the land of the free”), we had better create new villages, because in the coming years it seems as though survival might get difficult. Who are we to depend on?

Food for thought.