Believe me y’all, I’m just as tired of talking about racism as you are listening to it, but I’m going to continue to do so as long as it rears its ugly head in my presence and takes time out to speak personally to me. People can call it what they want, but the fact of the matter is, we’ve allowed a phantom of an idea, that we won’t even talk honestly and earnestly about, to compromise our existence. We’re at a point now where we don’t even recognize that it’s leading to our collective demise, while convincing some of us that it doesn’t even exist, and subsequently causing us to feel there’s no need to take any action to offset it.
I totally concur with Audrey Smedley who in the November 1997 edition of the Anthropology Newsletter, posted the following from her article entitled the ‘Origin Of The Idea Of Race’:
“Contemporary scholars agree that "race" was a recent invention and that it was essentially a folk idea, not a product of scientific research and discovery. This is not new to anthropologists. Since the 1940s when Ashley Montagu argued against the use of the term "race" in science, a growing number of scholars in many disciplines have declared that the real meaning of race in American society has to do with social realities, quite distinct from physical variations in the human species. I argue that race was institutionalized beginning in the 18th century as a worldview, a set of culturally created attitudes and beliefs about human group differences.”
Now that was Audrey Smedly talking, and as I said earlier, I concur with what she said. You see, when my wife and I arrived at the airport, on our way home from Strasbourg, France,we found that it was literally situated in three countries, France, Switzerland, and Germany. Yet this phenomenon did not diminish the unpleasant, yet not surprising reminders, encountered while in the airport, that racism abides far outside of our immediate surroundings. As I’ve stated in blogs before, my intent is to recognize a person’s humanness prior to assuming their racial stance, but it’s rather difficult when people stare at you as if you’re in a cage, they feign an inability to speak English with you but manage to communicate with another of Caucasian persuasion in that same language, all accompanied by innate and covertly unspoken tirades of ‘You don’t belong here”. What I see taking place all over the globe, is racially triggered responses instigated by socially accepted myths and presuppositions. What I see y'all, is people viewing other people only on the basis of what they heard about them.
I speak to all white folk when I say stop denying that you have privilege, unequivocally acquired by virtue of your skin color, and use that privilege to counteract some of the inequity that exists all over the world. Now I’m not asking you to risk life or limb in the process, but if you witness discrimination at least acknowledge its existence, and allow your sense of righteousness provoke you into doing whatever you can to address it.
I implore us Black folk to quit using the mindsets of “It’s the white man’s fault” and “We’re entitled to reparations”, as excuses for not going that extra mile, and vow, I say vow, to make a concerted effort to research, study, and brainstorm on what role we’re playing in not having what we believe we should, and then ascertain what we need to do in order to obtain what is rightfully ours.
I’m not omitting other cultures from the equation, because you too will have your opportunities to play a major role in this dilemma we all face on a daily basis, but take it from one of the most visible, viable, and major targets of prejudicial behavior, if we don’t do something now we’ll pay later on down the line. You see we all have our special somethings that will contribute to the well being of others, and if we don’t come to some type of collaboration on what that something is, we’ll all continue to merely exist while sacrificing an opportunity to share fully productive lives for ourselves and our posterity.
To comment or respond please click on the word comments at the bottom of this page, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org