Friday, August 22, 2014

Where Are We Headed

If you read my blog, you have seen my picture. I'm white and I'm old. It is undeniable. The evidence is out there for everybody to see. I cannot appreciate the experience of living as a black person. Especially living in a rundown area of a big city. 

I have had some black friends in my life. Not many as I live in a predominantly white area. I went to college with some black kids. In my high school class, there was one black. A girl, who was one of the most popular kids in the school.

I have always lived in the northeast. When I was in high school, I traveled some in the south. That was back in the days of the Jim Crow Laws and the KKK. It was a frankly, staggering experience for me. I knew about it, but to experience it was a different matter. As I was young and inexperienced, I didn't know how to deal with it. I did know that I didn't much like it. 

This was all before Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. It was before Selma and the marches. It was before awareness was raised for the majority of the population. I like to think that I would have had the courage to handle it differently were I more aware, but at fourteen, who knows.

Just one brief aside here. The younger people of color today have either forgotten or were never told, it was the Democrats who controlled the south in those days and deprived blacks of their rights. It was the Republicans that got the laws passed to kill Jim Crow and assure voting rights. 

Since those days it seems that things get progressively more strained. What started out as healing has seemed to go just the other way. Obama promised to be a "post racial President". His actions, in office, have only acerbated the situation. Blacks have lost financial ground badly in the past six years and thing have gotten more antagonistic. The fact is, there are blacks who will always hate me because I am white. There are whites that will always hate anyone who is black. That will never change. You cannot control ignorance through legislation or any other way, for that matter.

If this doesn't stop and get under control, I fear it could get very bad. I do not want to see that happen. There is a void of unifying leadership that needs to be filled. Obama had the opportunity and was not a big enough man to carry the load. A white man cannot do it because blacks simply would not trust him. 

This person would have to be of such stature and honesty that all Americans would accept even words that they may not want to hear. For we are ultimately all Americans. Does such a person even exist? I certainly hope so. For if this person is just a fantasy of my imagination, where we are headed, may be straight to hell.

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