America has a history with racism, and it isn’t something that anyone can really deny. We can argue about the existence of slavery throughout time, and it is a perfectly reasonable argument, but it doesn’t erase the evil nature of this practice and America’s participation in it. The bald faced truth is that America as a whole supported the practice of forcing human beings to become beasts of burden for the benefit of others, and it was wrong. There is no getting around this.
At the same time, there is a problem with the race debate in this country, specifically when it comes to the things we are hearing in our modern discourse. Whereas we previously saw explicit racism in the form of slavery followed by segregation in America, we are now seeing a push to swing the needle the other way to make white people the target of a new form of systemic racism.
There was a time when the great leaders of the Civil Rights Movement dreamt of a time when all the people in America lived together in peace and harmony. Visions of children of all color playing together with no thought what their skins looked like floated to the surface from the famous speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this fantastic visual we saw the setting aside of the hatred of the past in favor of loving each other unconditionally. This is what America was always supposed to be.
The reality of today is that very few people really seem to want this ideal version of what our society could be. The goal isn’t about erasing racial inequality or bringing up those who have historically struggled. Rather, it is about exacting revenge on the ancestors of those who were the oppressors of the past. Instead of a peaceful nation inspired by overcoming the struggles of the past, we are more divided than ever as we are told over and over that one part of our community owes the other for things that happened before our time.
I really struggle with those who would push this agenda. For myself, I am nearly certain that my family never benefitted from any sort of slave labor or discrimination. My generation was the first to complete college and every generation before mine that I am aware of grew up poor or very lower middle class and stayed that way. I certainly owe no one anything, especially to anyone who has it financially better than I do.
Unfortunately, there are many opportunists in our society today who are all too ready to ring the bell of racism in an effort to extract some sort of personal profit off of the hatred of others. I believe that most people who follow the bad actors of today don’t really want what they’re being sold, but simply get caught up in the charismatic fervor of the scam artists who want them to believe that they are somehow still oppressed. They can’t see the truth because they aren’t allowed to.
At some point, we are all going to have to realize that revenge is not the way forward. All you a have to do is look at South Africa to understand. The indigenous population there was oppressed for decades, yet great leaders like Nelson Mandela contributed greatly to the healing of that nation. It wasn’t because of his political beliefs, because there was much angst from all sides. His influence was mostly that he forgave the people who wronged him and encouraged everyone else to do the same.
If we could replicate this sentiment in America, we could avoid the coming period of chaos that we all seem to be standing at the precipice of. We should be propping up leaders who advocate peace and reconciliation. Revenge only leads to continued cycles of revenge for generation after generation. We never make progress this way. Only when we start to forgive and move on can we finally start truly building the America we all really want.
The only way this can happen is if we stop paying attention to the negative people we see all the time. Stop allowing them to spew their hateful speech. Stop allowing them to identify us by the color of our skin. Stop allowing them to categorize us as the enemy simply because we disagree with their political opinions. Stop voting for people whose best interest is in sowing chaos rather than bringing us together. It is up to us, not them, to finally start healing our nation. It can be done, but only if we stop sitting on the sidelines.
What do you think about racism revenge? Are we starting a new period of hostile race war in this country, or can we stem the tide before it is too late? What can you do today to push back against these poisonous ideas? Evil is around us every day, but it only takes a little bit of light to push back the darkness. Standing up against bad actors isn’t as hard as we tend to believe, and simply saying no to these people might be enough to turn America back on course.
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