From the 1600s right into the 21st Century, The United States of America has been embroiled in racial injustice and there appears to be no end in sight!
Of course, when we look at slavery and its abhorrent effects upon a group of people when controlled and abused by another–there is no way justice could prevail in that situation. Beyond the “supposed end” of slavery, the injustices continued throughout Reconstruction, Jim Crow and even the appearance of Civil Rights Movement which is still being judged today. Did the civil rights movement ensure equality, justice or fairness–not just by society but in the eyes of law and Supreme Court Justices? Or was it all an act designed to pacify people for a time?
Depending upon who is asked, the answers to the aforementioned questions will certainly differ. Though laws were written, supposedly to ensure equality, our society as a whole has either ignored the laws or circumvented them. All of the protests and rallies of the 1960s and beyond have yet to change the mindsets of those in our society who are determined to hate and belittle anyone who doesn’t look like them or act like them. The problem goes beyond being a political issue, but it is an inherent moral, humanity issue and it’s time, we all did something about it.
First steps are difficult when everyone is not on the same page, so it is imperative that we all get on the same page, working to achieve, “total equality and justice” in our society for all people, no matter what their ethnic origin is. The best way to get there in the first step is to start treating all people like human beings instead of subordinates who are inferior to one group. Anyone harboring hatred for anyone else because of their skin color, religion, or sexual orientation needs to take a good look at themselves in a magnifying mirror. It is amazing what one can see when we take a very close look at ourselves and see the flaws that others may not see–with a passing glance. Of course, when we see certain blatant behaviors that indicate the level of hatred that resides within a person, we know they haven’t truly looked at themselves to see what we see.
What does hatred look like? It looks like pure evil–arrogance in how we treat others, defiance in how we refuse to accept all human beings as human beings, and ignorance in not realizing that no one group of people is superior to another–no not one. The evil pervades with lack of knowledge and determination to hold onto beliefs instilled from childhood. In some cases, those with wealth assume they are superior to others because of their bank accounts, not realizing that no amount of money will keep them from the same fate we all face–death. Some are hate-filled because of their lack of ability to achieve what others have when they think their “privilege” should be more significant than someone else’s hard work. Some are hateful simply because they can be–without cause–to unjustly mistreat others.
So, how do we combat the hatred? There is no one answer to this question. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others thought peaceful protests would make a difference. Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes, taking a more militaristic stance against injustice was thought to be the answer. That didn’t work either. The key to combating hatred is two-fold. One way is to wait until those who taught hate, die and the other is to educate–all people–in understanding that love really is key to finding solutions to racial injustice and inequities. But the first “love” must come from loving self. When we love ourselves and want to see no harm come to self, we are generally more compassionate and accepting of others. Love, in its purest form, is seen in our service–what we do for others and how we treat others.
Loving others doesn’t mean we have to agree with them on all levels, it means we’ll acknowledge our disagreement and agree to disagree, civilly, without name-calling or attempts to denigrate with whom we have disagreements. Serving others does not mean we become door-mats, or subservient to others, it means we stand up for what’s right, not afraid to speak truths or denounce lies. Until we reach this stage of interaction with our fellow human beings, we will continue fighting for racial justice and equality and many of us, may not live long enough to see the injustice end.
But while we yet live, we must fight to see the injustices and inequities end for the future of America and in order to do that, we must acknowledge the fundamental rights of all people–as guaranteed in the Constitution and the natural order of humanity. We are all human beings–one blood–bleeding red and we should have the ability and access to voting our choice in any and every election, no matter where we live, without the interference of anyone who disagrees with our decisions. We should not have to continue fighting for the right to vote, but in this society, one filled with hate and deluded by lies, fight we must, and we will.