Where Is Our Pride?
In the United States we say that we have (or have had) pride in our country.
What do we really have pride in?
Are we proud of what has been done and continues to be done to the Native People who lived/live in “our” country? Can we honestly say that genocide was not committed in the 1600’s, 1700’s, 1800’s, 1900’s? Can we honestly say that today, in 2021 we are making amends in any substantive way to the Native People who still live in “our” country? How are we helping me it (also) their country?
Is our pride for our founding fathers?
George Washington had 18 slaves when he was 18 years old.
Thomas Jefferson’s “wife” for much of his life was his slave.”
“Democracy” to these men was only for landowning white men.
Are all these types of things meaningless, related to the good that they did?
Slavery was welcomed by northern commercial interests who profited from it.
Are we proud of Abraham Lincoln “freeing the slaves”?
“I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and Black races. ... There is a physical difference between the white and Black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.” (A.L.)
“Progressives” like Lincoln commonly wished for Black People to be moved “back” to Africa.
Black People were abandoned in the last half of the 19th century. Both southerners and northerners did not treat them as equals in meaningful ways.
Where is our pride?
Feminist leadership in the early 1900’s as well as the 1960’s sought “women’s rights”? When did they focus upon the needs of Black women? Early on, they differentiated themselves from Black men. They were not equating their needs with Black Men. (Well off) white women deserved equal treatment.
Lesbians were “destroying” the 1960’s Movement, making “equal rights” impossible. They needed to be invisible. Bayard Rustin, a core Civil Rights leader, was “hidden”. His “indiscretions” (being gay) made blackmail, always likely.
Where is our pride?
In 1954 The Supreme Court by a 9-0 vote determined that segregation was illegal. Today, schools are more segregated in significant ways than they were in 1970. “Black Lives Matter” are threatening words to many white people today. Why?
I could go on and on and on and on – with many more examples. Anti-Semitic statements are made by congressional representatives, and they are not condemned. The rapes of many women are covered up and justified by many men – “she asked for it” (sic). LatinX children have recently been separated from their parents and caged.
Where is our pride?
-My point is not that we should be hung up in guilt and shame.
-My point is that we have a long way to go.
-My point is that scapegoating the rioters of January 6, 2021 – ignores those who pushed them into doing what they did.
-Too many Powerful People (mostly wealthy white men) stoke hatred – today.
-What will it take for us to be “good”, yet alone be “great”.
We owe a lot - to a lot of people!
Black women – were responsible for electing 2020 Joe Biden and the Georgia senators who gave the Democrats control of the senate.
-When will we recognize how much we – white men – owe Black women?
-When will we – as white people – recognize how racism needs to be our priority for far, far longer than the coming days and months.
-When will we – white people – understand that we are not dealing with “a few bad apples”.
Structural racism – structural sexism – structural economic inequality – are right in front of us – despite our repeated denials. Lasting change requires more than punishing individuals.
Structural change is challenging! Structural change is difficult!
We can not change the police, without changing ourselves!
We can not end the segregation of our schools and neighborhoods with a few, simple laws.
The answers – are not easy to face!
We need to listen, to really listen!
We need to confront our fears!
We need to value more than our families, our neighbors, and others who are close to us!
Most importantly – we need to open up our hearts – and really become – the loving, caring people that we like to think we are.