“Access Denied”

“Access Denied”

I’m not sure how many black Americans feel about all the uproar from those who don’t fully understand, why Black Lives Matter, or what it means to have been denied access to so much in this country that has made the, “wealth gap” between black Americans and white Americans so great. Simply put, from the time African slaves were brought to this country, we have been “denied access” to the basics that promote prosperity for the general populace.

For those who do not claim to be racist, I would like for you to take a walk-through history–via an actual book or Internet research to understand how the denial of access has kept people behind. For those who know and understand–I hope you’ll speak up to confirm what I say and I’m going to use the plural pronoun, “we” because my ancestors were part of the journey and the multitudes who were denied access.

  • We were denied access to the native language of the many tribes brought to this country. Fear of what was being said, and not understood by white slave owners, forced African tribesmen to forego their native language to learn a new one–in captivity.
  • We were denied access to learning to read or write the new forced language because the white slave owners knew, that once we learned how to read and understand the environment and how it purposefully kept people under control, we would rebel and fight for the freedoms we rightfully deserved as human beings.
  • We were denied access to protecting women and children from being molested and raped by white slave owners who “raped the women” to expand their wealth of slaves without paying for more. Many of those women were raped in front of the men they had been given to for “procreating more slaves” and the men were prohibited from doing anything to protect their women.
  • We were denied access to having our inventions patented because we were not considered “full human beings.”
  • We were denied access to raising our own children when the “master” thought it was more beneficial to separate black children from their mothers so they could benefit economically.
  • We were denied access to joining the military to fight in early wars and had to join all black regiments (check the history for yourself), there was more to the black regiments than the Tuskegee Airmen than many have no knowledge about.
  • We were denied access to buy land or houses in specific areas and had to use white allies to purchase for us and then were denied access to equality of living in peace and freedom because white neighbors didn’t want us around them.
  • We were denied access for the opportunity to go to school with white children (segregation).
  • We were denied access to use public transportation in the same way as our white counterparts.
  • We were denied access to college education and therefore established our own after a number of black people, sat in hallways, on the floor, grappling to understand what was said by white professors so they could also get a higher education.
  • We were denied access to hotels, bathrooms, theaters, and restaurants and when were given access–we were seated in out of the way places so as not to upset or offend the white clientele.
  • We were denied access to be accurately portrayed in the movies, and in television shows as a people with their own rich culture.
  • We were denied access to economic growth–bank loans, mortgages, and other businesses. When some dared to defy the status quo and established their own access to economic wealth (Black Wall Street), angry, bigoted white people burned down the town and killed many of the residents.
  • We were denied access to equal justice in all areas of our “so-called justice system. We were never given opportunity to prove innocence because were always judged guilty simply because of our skin tones.
  • We were denied access to the same amenities of our white counterparts on trains, in bus depots and on buses.
  • We were denied access to community amenities–the swimming pools, the tennis courts.
  • We were denied access to healthcare and dental care and funeral homes–we had to establish our own which were not equal to the access others had.
  • We were denied access to cemeteries–I guess dead black folks were a big threat.

So, I get why some people are up in arms with the current environment and awakening of reality–black people have a right to be angry and to protest the injustices suffered by our ancestors and what many are enduring right now–access denied–to being treated like a human being, American citizens, with justice for all.

The following is taken from a post on Facebook in response to someone bemoaning the fact that Black people wanted their own television station and colleges and universities–they did not understand why, so I responded. There was so much more, but at the time I read their post, only two things struck me to remember.

For Blinded Eyes–Historically

This morning, I woke up at 3:00 am and could not sleep, so I started scrolling through Facebook posts and ran across a post that got my attention. I cannot remember who wrote it, but perhaps, if they read through this one, they will know who are.

 

I do not remember all of it, but there are two things which struck me the most. You see, the post was bemoaning the fact that the author did not see the need for: BET (versus WET) or Black colleges versus white colleges. I wish I could remember more, but at 3:00 am, I guess I am doing good to remember this.

 

BET–the Black Entertainment Television–why? Because for years, there did not appear to be any room for black entertainers on most television networks. Most of the network productions portrayed black people as clownish or stupid, illiterate, and poor, with a few exceptions. The reason BET needed to be–because the WET (White Entertainment Television) (the author’s words, not mine) was all there was–and still does not adequately portray who black people are. But I want the author to remember think about this–exactly how long has the television industry been around and exactly how many shows accurately portrayed the black community? How long did it take for black entertainers to be taken seriously and given serious roles in the entertainment industry?

 

HBCU–Historical Black Colleges and Universities exist because for generations–white colleges would not allow black people entrance. The few black people who got into the hallways were left there–outside the classrooms, straining to hear what was said so they could keep up with the workload, but never accepted as part of the class. Historically, and apparently now, that attitude still exists today in some people who think black people are not good enough to get where they are.

 

I would ask the author and any who agreed with them to do some research and remember that the slaves were not allowed to learn to read, then they weren’t allowed into white schools, colleges, hotels, and when they were allowed into restaurants, they were seated “out of the way” of the white clientele.

 

If anyone is still reading this–that is a miracle, but I want to say this much. Instead of bemoaning or complaining about black people wanting equality and justice, remember what was done to us–and all the “access denied” that we endured, and yet, many of us have managed to do so much more than some white people who always had access to whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it–and we did not. My response is not meant to stir up more racial hostility, but to hopefully cause some to wake up–and understand, we are just trying to obtain what you’ve always had–“access to doing better.” Whenever I see a lack of understanding about the history of black folks in America, I will address it and I would hope that–it would open the door to conversations that matter and will make a difference to all.

I do not have a problem addressing issues when I see them, but I will take the time to respond in a coherent manner, that does not promote any further racial tension. What I will not do, is to ignore the obvious ignorance that some have displayed simply because they want to deny history, or never understood it.

access denied

 

 

 

For Those Who Have Forgotten!

For Those Who Have Forgotten!

Hatred is not new. It is a time-honored emotional tradition–stirred by frustration and lack of hope–usually directed at those who are vulnerable and unable to defend themselves against the angst of hatred by others who feel threatened by them–the under-educated and ill-informed.

Whenever there are people who feel they are superior to others and those others are inferior–hateful attitudes reign over common sense and love. This phenomena is seen clearly in a review of this country’s history.

This continent–particularly what we call America–was inhabited long before colonists came to the land by the Natives–and since they did not know what they were called (only the labels we gave them) the colonists declared them hostile and barbarian. The colonists lied to them, cheated them out of their land, massacred their people and then put them on reservations–claiming the land for themselves. But that wasn’t enough.

Then, since there was so much work to be done in the new land, the colonists had the bright idea of obtaining free labor and went across the oceans–deceived and lied to the chieftains on the continent of Africa, getting them to help capture naive natives to that land, chained them and forcefully brought them to these shores. These African natives–treated more like animals than human beings were considered barbaric and uncivilized and of course, the only ones who could civilize them were those with white skin. They were forced to abandon their true identity to accept one forced upon them by their captives. They built America and helped to make it a strong nation–and many had the scars (physically) upon their backs to prove how those who didn’t understand them–treated them. And then they were regarded by the less fortunate white people (the under-educated and ill-informed) as threats to their livelihood–hated, lynched, burned alive and their women raped–simply because they had no voice in a lawless land. Their descendants were left with the stories of horror and mental scarring of what hatred does. But that wasn’t enough.

Though there were some who eventually saw the wrong perpetuated upon a people who did not come to this land willingly and tried to right the wrongs–they did little to stop the rampant acts of hatred–continued killing and destruction of whole towns (Rosewood, Florida and in Oklahoma and others) and families–anger and hatred stirred more because those who did not have the privilege of money and status were angry about those of color who achieved it.They hated seeing people of color live in houses rather than hovels, wearing decent clothes rather than rags, and driving cars rather than walking. They hated little black boys (Emmett Till) and men looking at white women so those black boys were taught to walk looking down instead of up and when they dared to bump into a white person, they were beaten or lynched. Jealousy, anger and hatred are emotions that keep killing and no one wins. Since black folks were not considered part of the human race–worthy of having access to the basic amenities–including recourse in a justice system–there was no justice, no trial by peers, and no one listened to a black woman proclaiming rape by a white man, but look around us–some of us are living proof of the rape our ancestors suffered.

And after all that time, over 240 years later since we became a country recognized by the world, we still see the anger and hatred by the masses of those who are under-educated and ill-informed target people of color with just as much hatred as it was in the beginning. When will it stop?

The hatred won’t stop until we all realize that we are one race–not many races–who were born with different skin colors–but still belong to the human race. And until we start treating one another like human beings and stop thinking anyone is superior to another, we will continue to see the violence and hatred perpetuated towards people–primarily by the under-educated and ill-informed because they refuse to accept the fact that long before people of color started to rise and achieve–they had access to everything we were once denied. They hate for no reason other than their own inability to accept responsibility for themselves.

This has to stop! Wake up, America! We’ll never be great or achieve the greatness some think we have lost until we learn to live and love unconditionally–accepting one another for who we are and not who we want people to be.

A mantra for living in peace and harmony should not just be–Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, Brown Lives Matter, Native Lives Matter, Police Lives Matter, but All Lives Matter!

If we think we can achieve greatness without remembering our history, we only fool ourselves for we cannot move forward until we know–where we were. And going backwards–is simply not an option! If we refuse to know and remember our history, we are bound to make the same mistakes and end up going in circles–never ending the cycle of hate, and replacing it with love.

I will keep this conversation going until someone–many someones–make public proclamations that the hatred must stop and we must learn to love–unconditionally!

Let’s Be Honest!

Let’s Be Honest!

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:13-21 NIV

What the world needs now–is love–God’s love–overflowing the banks of our hearts, flooding our souls, saturating every fiber of our beings until all hate and fear is washed away.

But before that can happen, we must be honest with ourselves and everyone else.

There is brewing–just below the surface–a volcanic eruption of hate and when it spills over onto the masses, we will witness such carnage as we’ve never seen–unless we are honest about where we are–our attitudes–towards other human beings.

We cannot ignore the hatred that exists towards others: White people hating black people, hating Native Americans, Black people hating white people and black people, White people hating White people–all people hating anyone–red, yellow, brown, black or white it does not matter–what the color of our skin is–we are all precious in God’s sight!

Where there is hate–LOVE cannot reign in the hearts of people, for if we have not received His love, we have no love to give. And anyone–absolutely anyone–hiding behind any banner–Christian, KKK, law enforcement, mothers, fathers, grandparents–teachers, judges, politicians, political candidates–anyone who promotes hate is guilty of the blood flowing from inciting the masses. They are guilty and should be ashamed of themselves for their promotion of hatred–building walls of division instead of bridges for relationships–and for every person that is grieving the loss of a loved one because of someone else instigating the hatred–you, too should grieve–for you have grieved Holy Spirit by not obeying Him.

If this sounds like a rant–against hatred–so be it. I’m tired of so-called Christians supporting those who promote hatred and fear. I’m tired of so-called Christians, sitting idly by doing nothing, but quoting scriptures when they don’t apply them on a daily basis. I’m tired of so-called Christian leaders supporting fear-mongering instead of promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  We will never win people to Christ by creating an atmosphere of fear and hatred and the promotion of bigotry–it is love that overcomes the evil that pervades the land.

Can we honestly say–without hesitation or doubt–that we are capable of loving all people–no matter their circumstances or positions in life; no matter what color their skin or are we doomed to suffer the consequences of our inability to love–unconditionally?

Let’s be honest with ourselves and with others. God already knows the truth. Then, after we admit our shortcomings to live–promoting peace and harmony–let’s repent, get off our behinds and do something about it–show somebody who looks differently than we do, thinks differently than we do —and pour on the love. Can we do that?

Watch this–https://youtu.be/HrAvdqVFyjc –it’s about ten minutes–and think about what is being said and if you agree–that it’s time for a change–join me in promoting love of all people!