Wednesday, May 29, 2013
And I quote, "The problem with black people [nowadays] is that they want to continue to harp on the past. They complain about slavery as if it happened to them." I was told to just "get over it." I was told to get over something that I didn't even bring up. I was told to get over something because I corrected and explained to a young man the difference between saying "I will be a servant to you" and "I will be of service to you." I was told to just let the past be the past. But when a mother is inflicted with illness so is her unborn child. So, the illnesses that my foremothers and forefathers endured were all but passed down to me. Things can't just be swept under the rug because the lump of its presence is still visible.
Recently, Tiger Woods was publicly hit with his second "fried chicken" joke of his career and I contended with hearing people say that they didn't see anything wrong with it. But intent is eveything. I read an article about Blacks being suspended more than double the next demographical group. So again race is brought to the forefront. Instead, the focus should be so that no child is suspended and that everyone is receiving an adequate education.
But this is not about me being black and being sensitive to the plights that my people face. Instead, it is about the sensitivity to race in American society and the insensitivity to the experiences, cultures, and uniqueness of different races.
So the question stands, "When will the issue of race cease to be a dominating issue in America?" In many moments, I want to say soon, but realistically it may never occur. As long as we live in a society where we tolerate people instead of embracing people, race will continue to be a thorn in our side . As long as we continue to expect people to forget history instead of understanding their history, there will continue to be a divide.
If history is meant to serve as a learning lesson for future generations, then the past must not be forgotten but understood. The race issue is not about being politically correct in front of cameras and declaring that 'no one sees color" because in real life color is the reason. But instead of hiding from this fact or throwing a cover over the issue, we must first accept the fact that it drives our everyday lives. It is relevant in medicine, but it is taboo in society because it is a difficult and sensitive topic to discuss; but it is only difficult because the conversation comes from a place of guilt and anger instead of compassion and understanding.
Telling me to forget and get over it, is the reason why I won't forget and get over it. It is the reason why I look for understanding because we can't learn from the mistakes that are forgotten. There is no clean slate. However, there is a building process and before the process of getting over something can occur, there must be a concerted effort to build relationships with all ethnic backgrounds. Until then, race will always be a dominating issue in America.