Much ado has been made in the last few weeks on the upcoming 50TH Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. Many people across the nation are singing praises of”Hallelujah, all is well within these United States!”
“We have a Black president in the White House, isn’t that proof enough that we live in a post-racial nation?”
“We’ve come a long way and racism (as well as sexism–that old bugaboo that so many treat as if it does not exist) is a thing of the past!”
But———–has this nation really come to terms with its sordid and sadistic past? Has America really become the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave?
Are we still faced with the vilification of blackness; has it really gone Poof! away, just like that? I do not see where it has.
I see much of the anger, rage, and pissed off response of so many people when race is brought up, that it no longer is a surprise to me after all these years, when the angered response comes from the fact that if race is not discussed, it will just go away:
Cartoon courtesy of Amptoons
Facts are, it will not go away, until it is honestly dealt with in how it affects so many lives via education, economics/labor, law, health, sex, politics, religion, entertainment, and war.
Has the possesiveness of whiteness gone the way of the Allosaurus? Has America become a nation where racial profiling is a thing of the past; where shopping while black, driving while black, living while black is no longer the norm:
Has America finally become a nation where the worship of whiteness no longer occurs? Where the possessivness of whiteness no longer validates one citizen’s humanity over another one, because of the color of their skin:
Sure, lynching spectacles no longer occur the way they did in this nation’s history, but, still in the present, the denigration of Black citizens; the character assassinations of Black citizens; the on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis of death from a thousand paper cuts still happens in the lives of so many Black Americans.
Can America truly celebrate itself as a nation which has come to terms with its violent mistreatment of her Black citizens? Can America say that “We are free at last, free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”?
Can America truly say that her Black citizens can live in peace and not be treated as pariahs? As non-citizens? But instead as full citizens of this country, no longer judged on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character:
Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Love is creative and redemptive. Love builds up and unites; hate tears down and
destroys. The aftermath of the ‘fight with fire’ method which you suggest is
bitterness and chaos, the aftermath of the love method is reconciliation and
creation of the beloved community. Physical force can repress, restrain, coerce,
destroy, but it cannot create and organize anything permanent; only love can do
that. Yes, love—which means understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill, even
for one’s enemies—is the solution to the race problem.
—Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957
But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of
the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can
transform opposers into friends. The type of love that I stress here is not
eros, a sort of esthetic or romantic love; not philia, a sort of reciprocal love
between personal friends; but it is agape which is understanding goodwill for
all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. It is the love
of God working in the lives of men. This is the love that may well be the
salvation of our civilization.
from “The Role of the Church in Facing the Nation’s Chief Moral Dilemma,” 1957
America still has not arrived at that beloved community.
She still has not realized that where one group suffers, all others in turn will suffer as well.
When it comes to health, according to the National Research Council report, it was found that American citizens are sicker and with shorter life spans than citizens in 16 other wealthy nations. Spending more on the military complex instead of social services that help citizens is a sign of callous disregard for the citizens of this nation. America ranks No. 1 for diabetes in adults over age 20, and No. 2 for deaths from coronary artery disease and lung disease. The Japanese smoke more than Americans, but outlive us; the French and Germans drink more than us, but outlive us. Much is spent on healthcare, but, it is not the amount that is spent, but how it is spent. Caring for the overall health of all Americans pays off in the long run. It is a simple matter of pay now, or have a hell of a bill to pay later in the future.
You cannot call yourself the greatest nation in the world when you still have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the light from out of the darkness.
Is America a true and just nation towards all her people, in the year 2013?
Only you, dear readers, can decide that for yourselves.