Is Racism an Invisible Wall?
Recently, rapper Kanye West had a highly publicized meeting with President Donald Trump and said something that was extremely profound. During the meeting Kanye asked reporters, "Do you think racism can control me?” and then answered his own question by declaring, “That don't stop me, that’s an invisible wall.”
In my opinion, Kanye was trying to articulate that racism should never stop you from achieving your goals and desires. His statement expresses that you will always have a person, group, or race attempting to block you from achieving success because racism is embedded in our society. Specifically, Kanye and countless others throughout history have proven that regardless of the racist acts that were formed against them; it could not prosper unless they allowed it. In other words, successful people think of racism as an invisible wall that cannot stop their progress.
To put it another way, Kanye’s description of racism as an invisible wall is an oxymoron. An oxymoron is defined as a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear. An invisible wall is an oxymoron because a wall cannot be invisible. With that said, every wall (obstacle) must be seen as a designed structure you can climb, jump over, or demolish.
Surprisingly, using an oxymoron to get your point across is not new. In 1845, Fredrick Douglass used an oxymoron to title his monumental book, Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglass: An American Slave. Douglass’ book title is an oxymoron because it declares he was an American slave in America, which is supposed to be the home and land of the free. Generally speaking, Douglass’ declaration of being an American slave is not only sarcastic but it also represents that there is an undiscussable element (known as racism) that tries to stop you from succeeding in society.
Filmmaker and author, Michael Moore highlights that racism was established based on the thoughts of “stupid white men.” He points out that these men socially constructed America without Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, females, and homosexuals in mind. According to political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator Marcus Garvey, “All intelligent people know that one’s nationality (or group) has nothing to do with great ideas and great principles.” Therefore, your first principle should be to view this world as the place you can establish the success you want because you are the product of excluded survivors.
Another great principle to follow is that your come-up in this world comes by way of education most readily and regularly. The come-up (better known as the American dream) is your chance to earn wages to support not only yourself but also your family. It is your ability to create an opportunity to transform by being willing to grow and learn.
Over the years there has been countless individuals that were driven to overcome tremendous obstacles because they understood that every wall could be eliminated if you are willing to view it as invisible. For example, Malcolm X once admitted that there was a stage in his life when he was trapped at the very bottom of society and the only way he was able to escape was through education. Malcolm enlightened himself by reading in order to face and overcome the ugly undying wall of racism. In fact, he read so much that he was able to transform into a world leader.
Now, the question becomes will your thoughts and actions echo Kanye’s and the list of successful people that did not let racism control them or will you allow yourself to fall victim to something that stupid men designed to make themselves feel special? The choice is yours.