I have to confess that I have tried to isolate myself from things that are going on in the news. I have tried to keep my mind focused on my own beliefs . My own morals . And my own perspective. BUT! I’m a reader and I’ve found myself reading post after post and news story after news story requiring some sort of an apology for something that someone has done. Specifically to the black race. Most recently there has been a campaign for no apologies after all they weren’t a part of slavery . Well let’s look into this a little closer. I’m not trying to change minds. Or excite view points . I just want to add my opinion to the whole thing.
I actually think the last thing we want as Black Americans is an apology. Remember when you were kids and your sibling or a friend hit you and your mom made them apologize to you. And then they mumbled out I’m sorry. It really didn’t change anything and you were more than likely still mad or upset for a few hours to say the least. Either way the apology was never heartfelt . When you were older and could comprehend better sometimes those apologies led to a talk and most of those talks included a question and answer period. I don’t know about anyone else but in my house …Every . Single. Thing. Was. EXPLAINED. With maps and workbooks, thesis statements, bible verses and such. And tho all speeches weren’t the same , there was always one question that stood out the most to me… Do you know why you’re wrong? See unless we see that we are wrong …NOTHING will ever change. And that apology when you still don’t understand how deep it hurts. This hurt runs deep.
Here’s what needs to happen in the coming weeks, days and months in my opinion:
- We need to recognize that confederate symbols represent racism as they were always used as a symbol of the old south, a symbol that the KKK used to wage white supremacist terror campaigns against black people. Mississippi is the last state that still has that symbol to be a part of its state flag. No one wants a reminder of the old south. Especially if its directly connected to racism and oppression. Let us not forget those who led these campaigns…General LEE, Nathan B. Forrest, Jefferson Davis…this list goes on..those symbols are disrespectful to the black race.
- We need to recognize that there is a problem with race relations. Its a problem that we cannot solve over night . But its definitely a problem. We need to seek crisis management . We need to relearn skills and words to use at this time. It is not the time to destroy things without realizing that this symbol that we are destroying is symbolic of a bigger issue.
- We need to realize that slavery happened. And though most of us have not had the opportunity to trace our history back I have been able to trace my history back and after my grandfather there is my great grandfather who’s father was born into slavery. Do you see how close that’s connected to me ? Only a few generations of freedom is between me and my great great grandfather. And before him there is nothing. My great great grandfather’s name given to him by his slave owner…a name that was passed down generational. A name I still carry today.
- My father was the first class to integrate our local high school. 1971 was the first integrated class of Tupelo High School. That year he learned how far behind he was from his peers. Imagine attending school all of your life and finally reaching the 12th grade preparing to graduate only realizing that you have the education of a 9th or 10th grade student. After slavery there was JIM CROW. Separate was never equal. This educational gap became a economic gap as well. My father was a first generational high school and college graduate in his family ( his sisters graduated as well) . He defied the odds but how many others were afforded that same opportunity?
- There were laws in place that discriminated against fair housing . These laws still exist but now we don’t call them laws its just plain discrimination. This set the black family back 20 years or more .
- I said 3-6 because after those years of slavery and the years of JIM CROW and the years of discrimination we need reparations. Make amends by paying money to those who have been wronged . In 1952 West Germany paid Israel the sum of 3 billion this money that was paid was able to rebuild their community. In 1988 The Civil Liberties act of 1988 granted reparations to the Japanese who had been discriminated against because of race prejudice. At total of 82,200 received money in the amount of $20000 ( today it would be around $40000) . We need to work on that .
- Let’s stop saying that we do not see color . We do. Let’s learn to respect the color we see.
- Defund the police will take many years to figure out . I say that we need better police training . I think we need understand where power begins and ends. And in my opinion a police officer is only there to protect and to serve . Not to serve and kill. We also need to identify that everyone is not a threat . I don’t want to be in fear if I call the police. I have resisted the urge many times because of fear of the outcome.
- Stop trying to hurt people with your words. Stop trying to ruffle feathers. If you don’t understand protest. If you don’t understand the word defund , if you don’t understand black people…don’t try to hurt them with words. And facebook post , twitter rants and such. This is causing more of an issue than its helping . Learn to listen to both sides . And above all learn to have compassion for more than just yourself and your race . Learn to be compassionate to all .
- Keep Fighting . Keep the momentum…change will happen if you keep moving …Basically