Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.
There is a difference between a hand up and a hand out.
- A hand out occurs when something is given to someone in need with no expectation of return or reciprocity. This can be short-term or long-term giving. The point is the giver doesn’t expect to get anything back.
- A hand up occurs when something is given to someone in need with expectation of return or reciprocity. This can also be short-term or long-term giving. The point is the giver fully expects the recipient to take that thing and make something more of it.
Black people have been accused and stereotyped as habitual recipients of both.
To which I respond:
Black people have faced hundreds of years of systems actively creating rules and regulations designed to keep them lacking opportunity and resources. If hand outs or hand ups have been given along the line to make up for a lack or to level the playing field … so what?
Throughout history, restitution and reparations have made to individuals, groups and their descendants for atrocities that have happened to them due to the ignorance and negligence of their government. Despite the many such atrocities which have happened to Black people in America, no reparations or restitution has ever been provided.
Why aren’t we more concerned about this?
Or why aren’t we at least as concerned about this was we are about the number of Black people receiving help from or participating in public assistance programs? Why aren’t we as concerned about this as we are about Affirmative Action policies?
And why are we more concerned about this than we are about the continued lack of diversity, inclusion and understanding that persists in our country? Why are we more concerned about this than we are about unarmed Black men being murdered by police?
Perhaps if we address these other issues with the same voracity and critical eye as we debate hand ups and hand ups, the latter will no matter. Perhaps if we correct and resolve these other issues, the hand ups and hand outs will no longer be necessary.
While success despite the odds is possible, getting there without help is extremely rare. Nearly impossible. We have to stop pretending as though our society truly allows everyone to pull themselves up by the boot straps and succeed to new levels without consideration to their race, gender and socio-economic status.
Let’s worry more about fixing the problem of prejudice and racism and less about who is getting help to overcome the effects of it.
Tune in tomorrow for Day 13 – “Crabs in a Barrel”