In the USA, when you say “black man” or “people of color”, immediately you think an African American man but what about the African Immigrant? What about the Latinos? The Indians? The Caribbean’s? Are we not people of color too?
These are all people of color, and people subject to racial oppression in the US. People would be more inclined to think of an African American person as racially oppressed in this country because:
- Black people that were born in the US were born into the systematic oppression here, and their lives are structured based on the oppressive system of the US. An African immigrant grew up in a different culture, and perhaps had a different type of oppression. My family came to the US from Curacao in the early 1900s with a distinct culture from what was in Brooklyn, NY…and probably had similar questions as to why they weren’t seen separately. By the time my grandfather was born here, it was made clear to him that he was black. There’s the school to prison pipeline, policing issues, etc that black children and adults in the US, more than any other non-white group in the US, have to deal with.
- Other countries have oppressed black people with slavery and ongoing marginalization, and the US has its own unique legacy of that. Black people were the only slaves in this country…were the only ones subject to Jim Crow laws…are disproportionately imprisoned. No other group faced this type of oppression. While other groups are certainly oppressed — and I’m not intending to minimize that oppression — black people are the most disadvantaged in this country.