Black Lives Matter
No American of any complexion is free from “feeling” oppressed or discriminated in some manner. But, when we discuss how to create equality, giving others equal rights is NOT discriminating against someone who already has that right. It IS giving the other person access and expression equal to your own. Having to give another human being the same thing you have is not an oppression on you. Fighting against someone else having the same way of living as yourself because you believe it diminishes your own rights is oppressive and discriminatory. This must come to an end!
White Americans are invaders to this land and displaced the existing civilizations that were here centuries before us. The early European invaders were a combination of peaceful and brutal. Ultimately, however, European conquest did ravish the Native American populations. We can still see the damage from so long ago. 401 years ago, the first slaves were drug to this land. They were not an invasion force; they were forced here against their wills by the invading Europeans. Ripped away from their homes and families, Africans were sailed across the oceans under inhumane conditions to do the manual labors for and die at the hands of masters. They were brought to this land to be traded and sold like property and to have a piece of paper attached to their body no different than if they were a house or car. Africans were brought here to grow a multi-generation labor force of their own genes. Families would be ripped apart when a black child was old enough to be sold to do laundry. When a neighboring plantation needed a new cook, the wife of a male slave could be sold or traded as thoughtlessly as if she were a bag of flour. These truths are all from the American History taught to elementary and middle school students in this country’s education system. They are “taught” but they don’t seem to be “learned.”
No American today, regardless the color of their skin, has a piece of paper attached or is considered property under the law. But, for too many of our Black Americans, they still feel that oppression. They feel that oppression because it is real. Many Americans with a skin color other than black, but predominately White Americans, continue to ignore this history and this heritage that is Black America’s. We have groups of White Americans firmly believing they are superior to other races and actively seek to make the black community feel inferior. Members of these extreme groups infiltrate society and sow great seeds of divisiveness and maneuver themselves into positions of power and influence. Our African American and all Black American brothers, sisters, and cousins are real people and have every right to an equitable existence.
There are White Americans who are racially and ethnically color blind. They do not see Black Americans any different than themselves. I believe this is where all of us wants to be heading. That at some point, it will not matter the color of your skin, the sex or gender of the person you love, the religion you practice, or any other difference. We will eventually be one society that sees everyone equally beautiful regardless their differences.
WE ARE NOT YET THERE!
The limitation that racial and ethnic color blindness suffers is that it is difficult for us to see that we are not yet there. Allies need to wake up and listen. We need to see the work to be done on our side while talking with the Black American community to better understand. There is work on both sides, but this is a White America problem more than it is a Black America problem. White Americans — directly through their divisive words and actions or failing to speak against these acts of discrimination, or indirectly by remaining ignorant to the reality of Black America’s pain — are inflicting our problem on Black America. It is time for serious change and for that change to continue. White America needs to stop getting complacent when we make some improvement. White America is not done with its part until every black life matters. Both White and Black America have much work to do together so every Black American feels that their life matters. This is going to take a lot of work, but White America is responsible for the majority of the work because we are the majority and the legacy our ancestors have left and the legacy we will leave behind do not have to be the same.
Reach out with your heart and make a change. Stop behaving like the invaders we were and become examples of equitable co-existence. Call out discrimination and divisiveness. Exemplify inclusion and togetherness. Create belonging!
To the future,