The following is what I wrote for my pastors
These are just some of my thoughts. There is so much to be said and evaluated. Bottom line, it feels nothing will change until people admit the problem of racism still exists. Too often I have heard, why can’t we just go back to the way it was. The way it was before George Floyd, I kept my Blackness under wraps. Now I feel as youth I have been given permission to be myself. To speak against injustices I have witnessed my entire live. I can speak truths and ignore the voice that tells me not to create an uncomfortable situation.
I am in a place of forgiveness. Forgiving myself for being ashamed of my blackness. So ashamed that I missed opportunities to teach, and to grow. Forgive myself for accepting hurts and carrying them through my life, and closing the door to loving, and trusting myself and others as Christ had wanted.
This is long.
In recent discussions I realize there are a lot of generalizations when it comes to understanding what is going on with the BLack Race and the struggles therein.
Generalization is another word for prejudice. Prejudice = pre + judging.
If an anvil is placed on a glass, the glass will shatter into many pieces. The historical oppression by White society here in the United States, has shattered the soul of Blacks, and each broken piece has own personality, and each piece needs to be addressed.
Historically blacks have been compared to animals: a horse, “mulatto” = mule + jackass, apes, sloths, the crow. We’ve been referred to as Inhuman. Ignorant. Lazy. Worthless. Yet grateful to the white man for… whatever?
We were told where to live, what to learn, what we could or couldn’t do. And even though our contribution has been more than most, we were never equally compensated.
Over time if you are continually told you are worthless, your world begins to reflect that worthlessness. This repesents one piece of that shattered soul. Walk through our Black neighborhoods and you still see worthlessness written on the peeling paint of buildings, the unkept yards and the broken down cars. You see it in the eyes of it’s children where it has been passed through many generations.
There are those who have risen and stepped outside the Black community through work and/or education, or ‘luck’. On the other side of the tracks one learns that imitating the white man is the best way forward. Change your hair, your speech, your clothes. Invest time and energy in the “European” ways so you can fit in. This is another piece of that shattered soul. The imitators kinda fit in, but don’t, because basically, they are still black. This is hurtful because there truly is nothing one can do to really fit in. Black is on the skin, in the hair and features. Many have tried, few have succeeded in covering (our beautiful gift from God) that White men deemed unacceptable. Blacks were not wanted in the schools or neighborhoods and money didn’t make a difference. All that was seen was the color of the skin.
When Blacks realized they would never be accepted in the White world, they began putting money into their own communities, building businesses, schools, churches and created a social system comparable to those on the European markets. In 1921, in Tulsa, one of the more successful of these communities, Greenwood, was burnt to the ground, killIng hundreds of people, including families and children. Burnt down because the neighboring Whites didn’t believe Blacks should be on the same social levels as them. That’s when the statues, and monuments honoring white suprematists were erected.White slave owners became lauded as heroes, so Monuments as reminders that Blacks needed to stay in “their” place. This is when laws changed with wording to ensure blacks could never attain wealth, through equal education or work to help them move ahead in society. Oppression through segregation.
History showed us that no matter how “sophisticated” the black person, no matter how well he imitates the white man, the black person is never considered equal. If we are in the white neighborhood, we are still asked to prove that we belong.
An angry, frustrated person is a big piece of the shattered soul. There is lack of trust within this system. Double standards stare us in the face. No matter the struggle to carve a place in this society, it never seems to be enough. Look at Obama, one of the most impressive people I have witnessed in the public eye. Handsome, intelligent, and kind. A strong family man, with the ability to honor his wife in front of the world. He showed us how a family can work together even under the stress of the politics. He won the presidency fairly, But because of racism his his citizenship was brazenly challenged, his beautiful wife called derogatory names and compared to an ape. He was openly disrespected, by colleagues on Capital Hill. It’s easy to explain the backlash on Obama as politics, but the root of the mistreatment is because of the color of his skin, and people’s aversion to it. The main thing that hurts our community is the fact that people don’t take ownership of their prejudice.
In recent conversations with some white friendsthe immediate response is, “this is all in the past’, yes it was, but we have not seen (contrition). Political correctness loosely veils racism, giving a false sense of security. The hurt from this lead to anger, probably even insanity. Because people can be so polite in their insults, the victim can think she’s going crazy. Not everyone participates in political correctness. Oppression hides behind the laws and phony “Christianity” which gives white people justification for bad behavior. But the laws were made to benefit White men and women, not Blacks.
Black people examined as a group and judged as a group. If people learned the true history, and take it to heart, it should be obvious why there is so much anger in the community. There is psychological damage. Blacks who don’t trust the White Man and remain in their own community are similar to the White Supremest, believing races should never mix. The difference is Blacks don’t take on the position of superiority, instead its an attitude of acceptance mixed with resentment. This attitude limits growth and stands in the way of loving as Christ taught us.
There are the Blacks that play the game and blend into the “white society”. Herethey may think they are okay until they hear the white neighbor say they called the police on the black “hoodlum” they saw walking down the street. At some point they explain their reasoning, and toss in, “don’t worry, I don’t think of you as black.”
There is confusion because often times as a Black blending into the White world, we push aside our “blackness” to fit in. This creates isolation from the Bllack community and we end up getting crap from both sides.
My sister said she didn’t want to buy into the Black Lives Matter concept because to her, as with Jesus, ALL lives matter. I believe it is more true to the heart of a Black person that all lives matter, because we have always known that. But I don’t believe a white American can truly say this.