***This is a slightly edited version of a comment I posted on Facebook in response to this post describing Barack Obama as “the greatest failure to the Black race” ***

I’ve always said that we as black people should take some lessons from the Jews on how to bounce back after oppression. Jews have always been victimized since long before Adolf Hitler; yet somehow we see so many of them successful in everything from media, banking, law, tech, and other fields. I think it’s because of some fundamental culture differences between them and us.

1) As a race, they stick together and look out for each other. Jews support each other and take pride in the success of their fellows. Compare that to us as blacks where we have the “crab inna barrel” (Jamaican idiom) mentality that hates to see another black person achieve great things (so much so that some of us believe that our biggest successes like Jay Z and Barack Obama have to either be crooks or in the Illuminati or some other equally ludicrous conspiracy theory to be where they are) — because god forbid that a black man/woman actually achieved success through hard work.

2) The Jews also didn’t sit and wait for “reparations”. I cringe everytime I hear this word uttered by a black man. Reparations for slavery? Jesus Christ… When the Jews had all their money and artwork and valuables and land stolen by the Nazis leaving their descendants with next to nothing they didn’t get much of it back. They also didn’t cling to delusional hopes that one day someone would give it all back to them. They worked to achieve everything they’ve accomplished since then and we need to do the same thing as a race and stop expecting reparations or anything else fair from an inherently unjust world.

3) They value things like hard work and being educated. They’re interested in learning about how the world works and how to be productive in it. They don’t get distracted by things that affect so many of our race like the drugs, sexism, and the “hype” perpetuated by some of the music we listen to (among other things). Getting a good education and learning to how to hone and monetize your natural skills/talents is the only way I’ve found to be successful in this world.

We need to make a collective decision to stop being victims and stop sitting around bitching and waiting for handouts. No government or president or law is going to change us (much). We have to change us.

Be happy when a fellow black man or woman achieves great things and support them. Help each other. Stop fighting each other and making it easy for those who would divide and destroy or oppress us. And most importantly — for those among us still waiting for reparations for slavery and “affirmative action” to improve our socio-economic position — grow up and work for what you want out of life instead of whining like a child about what you think the world “owes” you. I’m not saying we don’t deserve those things — I’m just saying we need to go about it differently.