It's totally out of hand now and I must yell STOP! Most anyone who responds publicly to "race" issues in our country is wrong. The Esquire Cover story that has garnered so much attention in recent days clearly shows this, but the reason they are wrong, while it should be obvious, simply escapes them.
Here it is so that you know for the rest of the blog post where I'm coming from. A friend of mine coined this terminology which I believe is true. Most Americans, without regard to skin color, are all "race-ists." To be a "race-ist" simply means that you believe in "race," that there is meaning associated with the color of people's skin. If you believe that, then that's the problem. Further, you then live with race-"isms" of your own making as a natural outgrowth of "race." I would like to do a survey and compare the frequency of the use of the term "racism" from the early 1900's to the 1990's.
"Race" has been the un-indicted co-conspirator lurking behind every one of these recent episodes as well as those historically. Think about how each of us and our ancestors has viewed the concept of "race." The 3/5ths of a man concept, the separate but equal, the forced desegregation, the one drop of blood makes you "black," the Jim Crow, the lynchings by the KKK, and every other incident that we experience, we most likely see through the lens of "race." Whose fault is that? Well, it's now yours.
Look at this. The Esquire cover was titled "An American Boy," which indicates that he is simply, "an American boy." In this day and age, because we can't get over the mistaken concept of "race," he has to be a "white" American boy. That comes from Esquire as well as from those in disagreement with the running of the article. To further delve into our "racialized" psyche, we bring up the fact that it is done in "Black" history month, as though the article would have been fine in 11 other months of the year.
But I believe the saddest part of our decaying society and our affinity for the villainous concept of "race," is that we have decided to consider a human being as no longer worthy of consideration on the cover of a magazine as an "American boy," because of his "white" skin color. I wish that we would all take the lead from one of our ancestors and decide to forgive and move on so that we could "live together as brothers, rather than perish together as fools."
Dr. King advocated for a society living beyond the ill-advised concept of "race" to the idea that character is the measure of a man. It's as though we have forgotten his eloquent words and the abuse that he took and led others to take in order for us to live in the relationships we have today. I'm afraid we've gone backward. Dr. King knew he wouldn't get to the promised land, but he had been to the mountaintop and he could see it. The character-based society he advocated for is where America was destined. However, just like the Hebrews coming out of Egypt, instead of them going into the promised land, many wished they had never left Egypt and wanted to go back. That appears to be what is happening in America today. We now seem to yearn for the days where there were "black" institutions because the "whites" would not allow "blacks" in theirs. We now seem to advocate for "pro-black" when Dr. King stressed that "black supremacy was just as bad as "white" supremacy." We now seem to desire to prefer "black" communities and segregation even though Dr. King talked about how we needed to be ready for integration.
It is simply amazing to me that we don't see what we've become. Am I the only one who sees this? An opinion piece from USA Today in response to the Esquire cover said this:
"A white male can be an athlete, a president, a poet, a terrorist and more. No other group of people in America is given this privilege so widely and without drawbacks."
Does anyone else read this and think, "where are you from?" If I was into identifying "black" and "white" people like most of "race-ist" America, I would retort immediately, "we've had 'black' people do all of those things." Of course, there would be a response that allows them to maintain their belief that "race" still prevents because after all, "blacks" are victims and there are no others. But the reality is that we are all victims. It's just that some decide to overcome it while others choose to advertise it. Every living soul is born with the ability to sin, hate, anger and all forms of moral depravity. As for me, as long as those things are not inside of me, even though they may be inside of others, they cannot prevent me from what I determine in my heart and mind to accomplish. This is the message that we need to spread. Though it would be easier to accept the myth that others have an unfair advantage, that can only be true when an individual is unaware of his or her purpose and instead envies the position and possessions of others.
The challenges of life are there to make us stronger; not for us to make excuses or complain about the ease of others. The privilege we all have is that we are living in a land where excellence creates privilege. And if we set ab
out our voyage of life to that destination, we would surely arrive in our promised lan
Today we need to ask ourselves some difficult questions. Do we still want to live as "white" and "black" people after the sacrifices of so many who paved the way for us to live beyond that concept? Are we incapable of understanding, communicating and living in harmony with others because of our skin color? Those questions are for the rest of our country and not for me because I realized the folly of this thinking long ago and determined that I would not become a "black" man because I was born into a society tainted by a history that wanted to make me a subset of humanity. Therefore, I can now live, learn, and love freely because I am a man made in God's image and that's a freedom you can't get from any Emancipation Proclamation.
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