“Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again?”
We try to pretend that people simply won’t shut up about racism in America. We try to shrug it off that it’s just a bunch of self-absorbed people unable to move past our nation’s sordid history. We say, with an edge in our voice, “It wasn’t my people. I didn’t do it.” We close our eyes. We don’t look. We don’t listen.
And what fools we are.
In our silence, we pull the scar off over and over again, allowing the undercurrent of racism that surges through our nation’s veins to flow back to that wound. It never heals. We are being shoved back to a time when the fight for civil rights spilled blood…
Don’t believe me?
Here’s some proof: Donald Trump is surging in Republican polls and walking all over our disenfranchised as he marches on towards the White House.
The White House.
Make American Great Again.
Former Klu Klux Klan leader, David Duke endorsed Donald Trump this past week, quoted as saying on the David Duke Radio Program, "Voting for these people, voting against Donald Trump at this point, is really treason to your heritage." I perused Mr. Duke’s FB page for about five minutes in an attempt to pull some quotes but could not stomach sifting through his feed. The hatred and disgust is clear and evident. The fear of the “white race” being wiped from America, I assume, is his main drive to “Make America Great Again”. One post read that supporters were rallying behind Trump because the white race is dying in America.
And it’s 2016.
Listen up friends, THIS is why social movements like #blacklivesmatter is important right now. These are reasons to fight to preserve Black History Month. This is why talking about racism in America is so important. If we continue to pretend that black folks just won’t “get over it” then what happens next in our nation is on us.
People have been telling me, “But don’t all lives matter?” Of course! Yes! But we do not ask Chinese Americans to put aside their culture. No, in fact, we enjoy their food. Same for all ethnic groups that have made this nation their home. We eat tacos and hamburgers and Indian fry bread, curry and Pho. We love jazz and hiphop. Do NOT pretend that white Americans have not enjoyed every bit of the culture American immigration has given us. So why do we think that African Americans should not have a month long celebration to educate young black students about African Americans that have become iconic heroes?
Upset that you don’t have a White History Month? Take a look at what you do have?
President’s Day, which up until our current president, was nothing but white men.
Christopher Columbus Day (white)
St. Patrick’s Day (white)
Easter (because, for some reason, Jesus is white in our Sunday School books)
Fourth of July (Independence that was won even while Africans were slaves in our fields)
Thanksgiving (Because Native Americans were kind enough to save our butts when we couldn't survive those first harsh winters)
Christmas (because once again, Jesus is white in our Sunday School books, as is Santa)
Racism is a serious problem. It is not over. And it would be wrong of us to assume that it isn’t gone simply because black people won’t let it die. African Americans have more stacked up against them than the average White American. They outnumber us in poverty, incarceration, high school drop outs, teen pregnancies, police violence, homelessness and more. This is why racism is important. This is why it still exists.
IT ISN’T BECAUSE THEY ARE BLACK.
THIS IS NOT THE COMMON THREAD.
IT’S BECAUSE WE WON’T OPEN OUT EYES…
All these years later.
All these years later…
We have never stood up to the voice of racism that is loud and clear in this nation. We have never stamped it out. We have never fought back. Instead, we have chosen to be silent. We have chosen not to listen, see, hear and stand by them—lifting them up. Maybe it’s because we simply don’t know what to do about it, but pretending it’s not our fault isn’t the answer. It is.
And now, we’re scared that our own race is dying out.
So we rally behind a racist. We hail him as the next great leader that can save our nation.
Don’t be confused. Don’t wonder how a man like that could possibly sit in the White House, because it was the condition of our white hearts that allowed it to come to be.
If that’s not how you feel? If that’s not what you want for our country, the stand up and say so. Do something. Get loud enough to be heard. Take the hand of the black community and demand that America raise her standards. We can do something. We can change this. We can heal the scar!
NOTE: This post in no way condemns police officers in this country. Police are important. They save lives. They deserve a place of honor. However, they are a key factor in racism in America, as they were in the 1960's. Not all people are bad. Not all police officers are bad. Some people are very bad. Some police officers are very bad. Also, many of the links in racial statistics paragraph contain information that shows racism is also deeply affecting the Hispanic community, a target of ugly hearts as well. We can do better. We need to do better.