Tuesday, December 9, 2014

You Can Change What Product of History You Become

You don’t get to look to your interesting and rich heritage – whether it is the heritage of your family, friendships, geography, religion/philosophy, profession,  hobbies, nation, political party and more, and understand that much of who you are today is a product of all those things (and who/what those things have been over the course of all that history) . . . and also think that the racism which existed in every stage of our country was suddenly halted, screeching, to a stop - just short of affecting you. Nothing goes away that quickly, especially nothing that was used to build the literal and figurative wealth and structure of our nation. 

What took centuries to develop, implement and cement, took us only 40 years to rip out from the root? Come on! Be a student of history. Radical change like that doesn’t take place without revolution. And when that’s over you have to rebuild and STILL heal and evolve. The revolution of the 60s & 70s weakened certain abuses in our nation. It did NOT eradicate them and it did not solve the entire host of other problems that had also developed. Work has been done and that work is valuable but we all have to strive much, much harder. We are not done.

You know, this isn’t the first time I’ve said something like this. I remember speaking like this many years ago, except there was this pronounced difference: Back then I was trying to convince White people that Black people really aren’t as bad as White people think they are. "You've got it all wrong!" I asked them to consider how long it takes for an oppressed group to overcome such horrors, and to be patient.

I’m ashamed of that. Black people aren’t to be patronized and my perspective above refers only to problems that exist in the Black community. It does not even mention, much less suggest accountability for, the abuses committed by White people. That's how we've been taught to see things. Now, I’m trying to convince White people that they aren’t as unsullied as they think they are. I want them to consider how long it will take OUR people who've woven oppression into their culture, systems and yes, heritage . . . to finally get it all right.

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