I had a most unsettling discussion a couple of weeks back with another commenter on one of my favorite blogs. We started off discussing Cosby and it turned into a discussion of our own beliefs about White responsibility versus personal responsibility.
You can check out the terribly long back-and-forth for yourself if you're so inclined, but basically my argument was that we as black people, though victims of slavery, oppression, civil rights violations, etc., still have choices to make everyday that can lead us down various paths -- good or bad.
The other commenter felt that we have no personal responsibility for whatever plight we find ourselves in whether it be addicted to or selling drugs, poverty-stricken, teen pregnancy, etc.; he felt that whites were 100% responsible for these and any other issues we face since "they" brought us here.
Even thinking about things that way makes my head spin. Though physically free, that ideology is tantamount to living in mental bondage. It's just so hopeless, and it saddens me so deeply. And it also frightens me that people actually think and live that way, because that means you have nothing to live for, and probably wouldn't value my life either.
If I'm missing something, help me out. I ended the discussion with the guy, mainly because it disturbed my spirit, and secondly because I felt that rather than hearing me, he tried to paint me as some overly optimistic Pollyanna who thinks that everyone has equal opportunity to rise up. Of course not. But I do believe with every fiber of my being that past circumstances do not necessarily define your present or future life.