Me and a friend of mine were having a conversation over lunch the other day. the topic was world peace. all he wanted was for past wrongs to be forgotten and everyone just get along. I explained to him that this isnt the way the real world works, especially when those past wrongs are still effecting many people today. He claimed I was playing a victim, but i assured him that my feelings were not unique to just me. told him I would write something down to articulate to him the reality of it. let me know what you think:
Peace is the goal. Yes, peace is the goal for all of humanity, but in order to achieve peace amongst groups of people who are of different shades of skin, we must first fix the problem of today. Many would like to believe that there is no problem, and that only by introducing, and re-conjuring up an issue do we create a problem. Unfortunately this is not true. Just because you don't experience the issue as bluntly as others, doesn't mean the issue doesn't exist. The world doesn't just disappear when you close your eyes. No, we must recognize, and accept the problem in order to ever work towards the solution of peace. Because logically, one can not properly fix a problem unless they have clearly identified the problem first. So whatís the problem?
It is simply that people do not see each other. People do not see each other for who they are. Instead, people categorize themselves based off of physical characteristics, and then place attributes on anyone fitting that physical description - we choose not to see each other. We would be more satisfied knowing my skin color than knowing, my favorite color. We rather guess my annual income than ever stop to learn what values I hold true. This backwards way of living will not due. We need to begin to understand one another. And that is going to take accepting, and respecting some hard truths about reality. To begin, I will share life from the perspective of an African American Male. For that is what I have lived, and what you must accept. I only ask when you read about my world, that you step outside yourself and place no biased on the African Americanís reality. So sit back, and just imagine.
Imagine an entire group of people who share nothing with the world. Who are unique for all the wrong reasons. Irregular, because they have been called the criminal class their entire lives. Anomalous, because they were the main participants in the first type of recorded slavery that deprived the slaves of their original names, culture, traditions, and equated them with pieces of property. A group that is distinctive, because even though "racism is not a big deal anymore", you are still looked down upon, innately because of the skin you had no control of being born in. and then imagine a people who has grown to realize that they have been told throughout all of their formal education that they have not contributed anything worth more than a mention in a chapter concerning this world. That everything else constructive was done by everyone else. This leaves you with a group of unwanted, undervalued people, who dont understand that they can do great things. Malcolm X said it best: "As long as you are convinced you have never done anything, you can never do anything". When you tell a group of people all their lives that they have never done anything positive in this world, then you only work to take away their hope to accomplish anything positive. And as long as the African American believes this, Then it will influence their self-confidence and pride in a negative way. A lot to swallow right? Remember, I didnt say be critical of, I said to just imagine such a people. I further challenge you to pretend you ARE part of that group of people and not just an onlooker of the situation. Suddenly a lot of ďAfrican American ProblemsĒ begin to make sense.
Now compare this with anyone with less melanin who can pass for a group that is associated with everything good. That has a lineage of acknowledged kings, queens, and accomplishments. You literally can not be successful without memorizing, regurgitating, understanding, and being able to write essays on information concerning this group of people. Because if you dont learn everything about this group, then you are cheated out of any American education; both public and private sectors. Imagine a group of people with a lighter, passable, complexion to not be considered a problem. I can go on and on about the innate privilege that comes with being passable as white, but the point is this; A white personís sense of pride, confidence, and foundation is based off of a recorded history. While African Americans have to go through independent study to re-establish those same senses in order to gain that same feeling. Remember, It is imperative to understand the inequalities and differences mentioned earlier in order to fix, and move past them.
I believe many Americans are willing to seek compromise in the wake of any adversity. Unfortunately, many look at the situation from a position of unconscious judgment or self- loathing of why the past wrongs canít just be forgotten, only after one side has been emotionally, psychologically, and physically beaten. But that ideal makes no sense. We donít just forget. And It makes no sense to try if everyone is not even going to put forth an equal step to see things from one anotherís perspective. Peace is the goal, and One love is the motto, but that requires a respect and acknowledgment of the struggles from both sides. I have offered up mine in hopes you will understand it.