"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable." ~ John F Kennedy.
I want to believe that there are still people in America who are capable of rational thought. I do.
We are a country of every color, every religion, every belief system and that is what makes the United States so amazing. How have we find to this point where we decide who is a ‘have’ or a ‘have not’ by their skin color or religion? We don't have the right to judge that. What makes a person a good person has nothing to do with the packaging and everything to do with what is inside and how that person treats others.
We live in a place, in a lifestyle where we are the minority, sure. The kids have honest memories (and not just recollection of stories we tell them) only of life in places where people of every color live, work, learn and coexist. Here, it is more a striation of society based on wealth than on color. There is always some way, isn't there, to separate groups from one another? And isn’t that the thing, we are NOT all equal. We are not, it just isn’t possible, unfortunately. But that that doesn't mean that someone who has less than we might is bad or unacceptable. It just means they have a different lifestyle than we do.
Black is beautiful. White is beautiful. So is red and green and yellow and purple even. Well, Kermit for sure, but maybe not Barney, though. (I'm sorry if you don't get that).
I read somewhere that the difference between black children and caucasian is that black kids are taught their skin color is a beautiful gift that they have been given and they grow up all of the amazing cultural acceptances that come along with it. Those of us without these gifts do not know or understand these gifts; it is not our place to have access to them. Those of us who are not blessed with dark skin don't understand the history or legacy that comes with that; we, instead, have our own legacy to bear. But. We also have our present and future and instead of focusing on what happened before, we have the power and the responsibility to be more right, to be more accepting, to be more human than perhaps our forefathers (and mothers) might have been. \
I've learned something about what I taught my boys: by raising them to not see skin color, to be more concerned with how people act, and how people treat others, and the actions that they take, I am actually doing a disservice to those who consider their skin color a gift and of importance as part of their heritage and legacy. Now my kids are old enough to teach me the error of my ways, and tell me how one's character is of huge importance, sure, but for many of their friends, so is the color of their skin.
Racism isn't just hate. It is also apathy. And ignorance. It is accepting that change and growth will take effort and time and choosing to instead opt for the easier path already set before us. It is not making deliberate efforts to not just 'go with the flow' and instead actively improve the situation for all H U M A N S around us. It is turning our heads away when we are uncomfortable. Beyond the discounting and dismissing of human lives, racism also does not produce any winners.
In the past few weeks, enormous amounts of posts, articles, and suggested resources for anti-racist rhetoric have been pushed out there. This is yet another one, right? I don't generally focus on what NOT to do, but allow me to argue a few points: Please don't just support someone (political leader, activist voice, etc) just because of their skin color; please do so because the words they are saying improve upon the situation at hand. Please don't just listen to the voice you hear first or the one that is the loudest; often white privilege gifts those who have the most polarizing extreme of opinions with the microphone. And please don't just sit back and listen; actively participate in this reformation. Let's be cognizant of what we are trying to do with our words and our effort. Much like our destruction of the environment, our war path on Humanity is leaving a killing field in its wake. Our children have an enormous amount of restoration to do. Wouldn't it be better if we could set an example that we are proud of for our children?
I believe and hope that there are still people in America who are capable of rational thought. I know that includes you, my friends.