Tag Archive | "Barack Obama"

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A Movement of “Justice for All” is Happening Because of Trayvon Martin

Posted on 19 July 2013 by mdepeine

It is very hard to say in a few words what many have experienced as a result of the Zimmerman acquittal that occurred on July 13, 2013.  That day will hopefully go down in history as one of the days that changed America for the better.  Essentially, what the verdict said to “Black America” and other Americans who understood, is that it is now “open season” on black young men; black young men “have no rights.”

It seemed that with each passing year after the landmark Civil Rights legistlation of the 1960s there were attempts to get things to go back to “the way they were.”  There seems to be a movement in America that keeps trying to inch back to a time when you could kill a black man or any person of color and you just didn’t have to answer to anyone!  You had the all white jury.  You had the klansman as the judge and you had the laws that backed you up.  If any black person ever dared to take a case to court against a white person, the court procedings were a matter of “formality.”  The white defendant knew with certainty that he or she would not be “betrayed” by the system already put in place and he would not be betrayed by his “peers.”

There are people in America who are nostalgic about such an attrocity.  They long for the days when they could “take matters into their own hands.”  When they did in the past, they were held in high regard by the white majority.  These days, these same people are doing their best to “cloak” their motives in ways that are being communicated in somewhat “politically correct” language even though they have the same goals and motives on their hearts as the people of the past did.  So you will here things like “victim’s rights.”  You will here the emphasis on “the right to bear arms.”  You will hear about “the urban problem.”  You will hear about the “crime” and the “drug problem.” You will hear words like “thugs,”  “felons,”  and “welfare recipients.”  All those terms have have been carefully and strategically “placed” on the black  the community and other people of color.  They have become “code words” that say “We don’t like blacks but we have to deal with them  in a ‘smart’ way.”

As a black man who is a man of God, I know that God made us all.  He made us all so very interesting.  He has allowed us to have all kinds of skin, hair and eye color.   God loves diversity.  If He didn’t, He would have made all of us into one color (you pick one); eyes and hair the same color as well.  God would have made it so that we all have the same hair texture, the same length capacity and so on.  But, because we are so caught up in our pride of wanting to be better than the other, we would have found another way to discriminate.  He made us all human and we found a way to discriminate about color.  If we couldn’t discrimiate about color, we would probably discriminate about ear size and shape, or maybe tone of voice, feet length, height, torso height; you get the point.

This whole racism issue in America is “silly” but it is also hurtful and deadly at the same time.  Many American laws were crafted to oppress and control blacks and other people of color.  There was never a decision by the majority in the United States of America to voluntarily give equal rights to blacks or anyone similar.  Remember, blacks came from being treated as animals and property to demanding that they be treated as EQUAL!  To many whites of those days it was a preposterous demand.  “How dare they think that they could now be considered equal to us?”  That was the ringing and repeated question and the recurring protest, even in the present day.  Yes, many whites are still thinking, “How dare they ask to be equal, after all, we don’t lynch them anymore.  We don’t enslave them.  We even let them use the same facilities (for the most part) with us.  We have let our kids go to school with them.  In some cases, we have not killed them for mixing their blood with our blood (eventhough that has happened since the days of slavery when white men raped female slaves), something that certainly required death in the past.”  So I kind of get it.  Most white Americans never wanted the EQUALITY, they just went along with the laws that were put in place by “force.”  Then, they just had to live with it until they could find a way to undo those laws.

You see, America as a nation has never embraced the idea of EQUALITY.  It never said “You know, we were wrong for enslaving these people and treating them like animals and our property.  They are our equals and we need to do right by them.”  America has not said that and until America says that and learns to have a change of heart, there will always be Trayvon Martins, Amadou Diallos, Sean Bells, Jordan Davis, and many others who will get killed because their lives are “not equal” in the eyes of White America.  Until we do campaigns, laws and other activities that address racism, we will have Superior America versus Inferior America.  You will always have “two Americas.”

After the Trayvon Martin verdict, as a Christian, I know what God wants.  I know His standard.  I also know that this body that I have, that has the outer covering of color, the color brown; this body is really just a tent (2 Peter 1:12-14) that houses the Spirit of God.  We impose various characteristics to the “tent” that we have and others have.  We attribute “like” to some tents, “hate” to others and to some tents we say “stay away from those tents because…”  The fact is, however, we all are just spiritual beings living in a “tent.”  We have made the “tent” more important then what God intended it to be.  As a Christian, I know that when I die, like everybody else, I will put this tent away and God will give me an eternal body.

So, as a Christian, I also know I serve a God who is just.  I would not have known what justice is if it was not for what God has shown me in His word, the Bible.  I know He hates injustice (2 Chronicles 19:7) and oppression (Isaiah 58:6).  It bothers me that some who are “Chritians” can “miss” the injustice that occurred in the Trayvon Martin case.  The young man was profiled by an average citizen, not a law officer (still illegal to do so).  The citizen, George Zimmerman, pursued Trayvon and eventually shot him in the heart and killed him with that one shot.  All the “code words” that I mentioned above were applied to Trayvon to criminalize him because he, after all, belonged to the “inferior America.”  By the time the case was done, those who just looked at the so-called “facts” seemed to feel justified in acquitting George Zimmerman while dishonoring and devaluing the life of Trayvon Martin.

The American criminal justice system is set up to look at the “facts” for the most part.  There are a lot of biases that are inherint in the system.  Here are some:  Most judges are white, most jurors are white, most laws were written by whites,  most police officers are white and the list goes on.  The bias in this system is simple; a white judge, police officer, or juror is readily “connected” with a a white  defendant or plaintiff.   They can relate because they could say, “Wow, he could be my father, my brother or my son.”  When both the defendant and plaintiff are white, perhaps a greater emphasis is on the facts of the case, however other biases (economic status, nationality, etc.) can be at play. When faced with a black defendant or plaintiff, the connectivity (translated here as bias) is nonexistent.  The white judge, police officer, or juror can’t picture this black defendant or plaintiff (black youth, in the case of Trayvon) as a possible father, brother, or son.  That is too much to ask.  The only thing these people tend to do in the case of a black defendant or plaintiff is “apply the law of the land.”  Just the “facts” and only the “facts” are looked at.  The idea of a human life being taken, the hurting parent, wife, husband, the future, the pains, none of that comes into play because there is no connection and there is no relatability.  It is hard to understand motive and the implications of the crime in question when there is no connection or  empathy.  If a case is not made to “humanize” the black defendant or plaintiff,  then, the so-called “facts” and statutes will inevitably “do him in.”  I am almost certain that the mostly white jury that acquitted Zimmerman did not say to themselves:   “Wow, this could happen to my son if I don’t convict Zimmerman.”  They could not say such a thing because this does not happen to white young men.  The empathy was so far removed from this case but that’s “normal” in America.  This issue must be addressed if we are to have somewhat of a fair justice system.

Regardless of the “laws of the land,” we are all human beings.  It is unfair to have a sytem designed to empathize with whites while it serves to alienate and disenfranchise blacks and other people of color.  That is simply unjust by any real sense of the word.  Anyone who does not understand what I have said so far should approach (preferrably during the day in an open environment – they may thing you are behaving like Zimmerman?) any black person and ask them:  “What has it been like for you living in America as a black person?”  The older the person, the more they can tell you.  If you feel brave enough and you really want to understand, then ask them this question:  “What did the acquittal of George Zimmerman mean to you?”  Don’t try to tell them how to think or look at the facts, just use this to get a glimpse of the “world” that a black person lives in.

As a Christian, I don’t think it is enough to say to other Christians, “Hey the world is evil and that’s just how it is.”  That is a very true statement and I absolutely agree with it and believe it.  But, as the light of the world (Mathew 5:14-16) Christians have to try to empathize with those who are hurting like God empathizes.   Christians must validate people’s pain and see how they can relieve those pains.  There were many “Christians” in the time of slavery, lynchings and state-sponsored terrorism against blacks.  Some of those “Christians” made it worst for the oppressed when they should have stood up and said “This is wrong!”  God’s standards are not limited to a church gathering.  He wants the whole world to know His standards.  If I could say a few things to shed some “light” on how the world is treating innocent people then I see it as my duty to shed light.

We feel so great when a popular and well-liked celebrity takes on a good cause and speaks up on behalf of an oppressed group.  It means something to us.  If God parted the heavens and said, “This injustice has to stop and everyone must do their part to stop it!” We would be impressed.  He essentially did that when He sent Moses to free the Jews (Exodus 3:1-10) from the Egyptians.  If all of us look hard enough, we will all see that our American system, as it is, is very flawed, biased and deadly.  It is time for all of us to do our part to redo this system and remove the “perks” for some but serve as a death trap for others.  Americans have not decided to be EQUAL.  We must effectively tackle this issue and help as many  Americans as possible to see that EQUALITY is the reality…anything else is a myth.  God did create all men equal in His sight.  Our diversity is there to experience the various qualities of God, that is all.

Every man and woman with a conscience should do something to keep this discussion going and expect significant change.  Everyone who believes in EQUALITY must step up and lend a hand to create a movement in America that will not be stopped.  Pressure must be applied to this dysfunctional system that is full of bias.  Federal standards need to be put in place to protect all citizens in every State of the United States of America.  It should not be left up to individual states to decide the value of the life of American citizens or that of the aliens who live among us.  Let Trayvon’s tragic death serve as the catalyst that gets us, in America, to discuss and tackle this issue of race openly, from the White House to the alleyways of Bronx, NY.  Every corner of this country needs to be free for every American and denial or dismassal of this issue cannot be accepted anymore.

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Wanted: Legislators With HEART!

Posted on 22 December 2012 by mdepeine

As I listen to the back and forth supposed “talks” about the “fiscal cliff” and now “gun control” there is a common theme that keeps coming to mind.  I listen to all the poll results and all the questions asked of the American people and still the same thing keeps coming to mind.  When I look back at the election results from November 2012, my mind still pivots back to the same thing:  Where is the heart?  Where is the backbone? Where is the part of this process that says “Do what is right for the American people!”  Where is the part that says “You were sent to Congress to do what the American PEOPLE want!”

Instead, we have Senators and Representatives ignoring what the PEOPLE want.  Poll after poll shows clearly that the majority (over 55%) of Americans want the rich (those making over $250,000 a year) to pay a higher tax rate (repeal of the Bush tax cuts).  Poll after poll shows that Americans do not want cuts to program for seniors (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) in order to protect the rich.  Now, with the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the PEOPLE want real and meaningful gun control.  Yet, as with the other issues, Congressional members are still slow to take meaningful action that would be in the best interest of most Americans and especially our American children (rich, poor, black, white and all in between).

There has been extreme negligence and malpractice in Congress for the past 4 years.  Instead of things getting better it seems “It is business as usual” or should I say “no business as usual!”  Historically speaking, this current (112th) Congress has been one of the least productive.  Which begs the question, “What are they being paid ($160,000 salaries and higher Congress by the Numbers | HobnobBlog) for?”  Why are so many American dollars, taxpayer money being spent to employ a group of people who are not working for the benifit of the American PEOPLE?  That is illogical, ineffective and plain counterproductive.  When we look at the areas of least effectiveness in the country, we have to look at the Senate and the House of Representative.  We have to look at the Republican and Tea Party members that are more concerned about their donors than they are for the American PEOPLE!

I am simply amazed that the PEOPLE want something and the Congress does the opposite.  The Republican members can ignore the PEOPLE because, the PEOPLE’S money did not get them elected.  They could “afford” to ignore the PEOPLE because they have enough business / lobbying support that can flood the airwaves with negative ads against their opponents to get them reelected.  They could “afford” to ignore the PEOPLE because their biggest concern is not what is “right for the PEOPLE” but more so, “What can I do to keep my donor sources happy with me.”

So you have the Grover Norquist influence.  He gets Republicans to pledge that they will not raise taxes (not matter what) or else face severe consequences.  Norquist has the influence and the money.  Those who “cross him” and vote for raising taxes will face almost certain “political death.”  Grover will do everything in his power to cut off any funds (businesses and super PACs) that could have gone to the “insubordinate” Congressional member’s reelection campaign.

You also have groups, like the National Rifle Association (NRA), who want as many guns out in the field as possible.  The more guns out there, the more money that could be made.  The more people feel unsafe and threatened, the more guns, they are hoping, people will buy.  The NRA wants lax gun laws and laws that encourage people to use guns freely, like “Stand Your Ground Laws.”

John Boehner, the Majority Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has not been able to come up with a reasonable, “fiscal cliff” deal because, in my opinion, he is too afraid to do something that will cost him his job as Speaker of the House. He goes back and forth between his Republican constituents and the White House but still can’t bring his side to see the importance of doing what is important for the American PEOPLE.  I don’t see any real leadership in him.  I don’t see any real heart.  I just see a man who wants to make sure he is voted Speaker of the House in January!

Where is the heart?  Where is the backbone?  Where is that quality that says, “I will do what is right, regardless of the consequences.”  If John Boehner had “heart” he would have just gotten 25 or so Republicans on board with his plan and help the Democrats sign into law the increased tax rates for the rich and take the heavy burden off the middle class and the poor.  Now, getting only 25 Republicans would have left out the majority of the Republicans (241 in the House of Representatives Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives – Congressional Profile) and it would likely cost John Boehner his position as Speaker of the House.  But, he would have done something meaningful and right.  He could bring some honor to Congress by such a self-sacrificing act.  Congress would have people perceive them as not just a money-hungry, business-friendly, rich people focused group, but instead as a group of legislators that care for the American PEOPLE who count on them to get them to work and help them live decent American lives!  That would really show HEART!

In the area of gun control, it is time for Republicans to listen to the cries of the many mothers and fathers who have lost their children to gun violence.  Thousands of children (about 3,000, http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/protect-children-not-guns-2012.pdfr, see also Child Gun Deaths Nationwide Number Nearly 6 Newtown Massacres ) are killed (homicicides, suicides, accidents, and undetermined) in America yearly by regular guns and automatic ones.  How much more blood needs to be shed before these Congressional members develop a conscience that is bigger than their lobbying groups’ interests?

Something is really wrong in America when the NRA’s (corporate) wishes are more powerful and influential than what the American PEOPLE want.  Polls show that 72% of NRA members favor gun control measures that will reduce the likelyhood of mass shootings ( especially like the one we witnessed at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newtown, Connecticut) while the NRA executives do not favor it.  So why is the NRA’s desires or influence a consideration in how we save our children?  Why are they even a part of the conversation?  Why is there a “middle man” between what the American PEOPLE want and what their legislators need to do to meet those requests?  Why is our American Democracy being highjacked and undermined by these groups whose only concern is to maximize their profits and earnings whether it is at the cost of our children or not?  This must end!

We the PEOPLE should push for legistlators,  lawmakers, that have HEART.  We can’t accept this any more.  We cannot let people with an aristocratic mindset determine the destiny and the will of the majority of the American PEOPLE.  We cannot sit idly by while so many Americans’ wishes are being overlooked and ignored.  This is a government, last I checked, for the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE and of the PEOPLE!  The American government is not a government for big business, by big business and of big business.  Let us put the PEOPLE back into the center of all this talk and demand change immediately or we will wake up one day and find ourselves in a country that does not belong to US and hardly reflects our values or desires as a PEOPLE.

Let’s get legislators with HEART elected and let’s demand that simple things like the fiscal cliff issues and gun control get settled as the American  PEOPLE want them settled.

 

 

 

 

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Romney, the Flawed Candidate

Posted on 18 November 2012 by mdepeine

Republican leaders are still in denial as they attempt to assess their “beating” by the Democratic Party in the 2012 Presidential Elections.  Barack Obama and his team clearly connected with Blacks, Hispanics, women and the young; while the Republican Party remained committed and connected to its base, white, older males.

I have read and heard Republicans say that Mitt Romney was “painted” as a plutocrat, a wealthy executive who outsourced businesses, and was disconnected with the average American.  These Republicans are convinced that Romney was “painted” that way.  However, the realty is, Romney was really an outsourcer of jobs to China.  He made tons of money from what many perceived to be heartless and ruthless acts against failing businesses; businesses that had average wage earners.

Romney did not help his case when he was recorded making the comments about the “47 %” of Americans who support President Obama and do not want to take responsibility for themselves.  He further complicated things for himself and his image when he spoke about women in such a detached way when he referred to a “binder full of women.”  Romney alienated a lot of young people and older ones when he threatened to cut funding for PBS and he even mentioned Big Bird!  His stance on immigration came across as heartless when he said that the Hispanic immigrants should “self deport.”  Romney, in an article titled “Let Detroit go bankrupt,” stressed that Detroit needed to seek private investors when there would not be any to be found (2008 financial crisis).  Finally, after the election, he said that President Barack Obama won the election because he gave more “gifts” to minority groups.  Here are more interesting comments (http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/mittromney/a/Mitt-Romney-Quotes.htm) that Romney made to “paint” himself as out of touch.

No, the Democrats did not wrongly “paint” Romney as a wealthy, detached businessman; they simply highlighted those characteristics.  Romney, himself, cemented those ideas in America’s mind by being “himself.”  He could not get away from who he was.  No matter how much spin he tried to put on his campaign, no matter how much “flip flopping” it was clear who Mitt Romney really was.  He was not in touch with the American people and his campaign illustrated that.

To say that Romney did not effectively rebut Barack Obama’s attacks is not enough.  Most of Romney’s campaign was like a man attempting to use his hands to seal several leaks in a pipe with just his hands; plug one hole and rush to another one, and then back to the original one.  Romney helped to confirm the attacks just by “being Romney.”  The truth was spilling out of Romney even when he didn’t want to admit it or tell it.  Romney was a very wealthy politician who was clearly out of touch with the average American, plain and simple.  No amount of spin could have overcome that glaring deficit!

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Voter Suppression in Florida, Pennsylvania and other Crucial States (Election 2012)

Posted on 25 September 2012 by mdepeine

How is it that in the year 2012 we have elected officials all over the United States devising ways to keep people from voting?  There is a presidential election occurring on November 6, 2012 and Republican politicians are “bending over backwards” to suppress the vote.  They have claimed that there needs to be provisions put in place to prevent voter fraud (less than 1% cases documented).  This could not be further from the truth!  Millions of Americans, mostly blacks and hispanics, are in jeopardy of losing their right to vote because of these last minute changes made to suppress the vote.  Here are some of those restrictions:

1.  The requirement of a state issued photo Identification card at a cost (in Pennsylvania, alone, that affects approximately 800,000 voters).  This change should never be allowed during a Presidential election year!  It takes years to correctly implement such new changes, not a few weeks before an election.

2.  The reduction of early voting days (in Florida, they had 15 days of early voting in 2008, this year, it has been cut down to only 8 days) will create even bigger lines than what we saw in 2008.  Our elected officials should be looking for ways to expedite the process, not create extreme “bottleneck” and regression to “days of old” when only the “privileged” got the “right” to vote.

3.  Most government agencies could not produce the volume of ID cards necessary to allow all eligible voters to vote in time for the elections.  A situation was created that makes it physically impossible to make the new IDs that would be necessary to allow all voters who wished to, the opportunity to vote.  This is grossly unfair!

4.  In some cities, Florida will have a voting sheet that will be as long as 10 pages per voter (with several referendums to decide on)!  Imagine the extra long lines that will create and the discouragement and frustration it will cause to many seniors and people who cannot afford to miss hours of work (poll tax?) to wait to vote.

How could a party that seems to pride itself on protecting the US Constitution create such scenarios to disenfranchise so many Americans?  This smells of extreme hypocrisy and a gross lack of patriotism.

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Summary of 2012 Democratic National Convention (Key Speeches)

Posted on 15 September 2012 by mdepeine

Below is a link to a commentary I made on CNN iReport about the powerful speeches given a the Democratic National Convention.

Democrats Know How to Do a Convention! – CNN iReport

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Michelle Obama’s Speech at the Democratic National Convention: Powerful!

Posted on 05 September 2012 by mdepeine

Michelle Obama managed to give America a clear summary of what matters to the man she is married to; President Barack Obama.  She shared the story about their common family struggles;  how their parents were working class Americans.  She shared about her father’s illness (Multiple sclerosis) and how he did not miss days of work despite his condition.  Michelle shared about Barack Obama’s mom and her struggles as a single mom.  Michelle also shared about the “glass ceiling” that Barack’s mom and other women often have to contend with.  She accentuated that with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which says that there needs to be “equal pay for equal work.”

Michelle stressed that “Success is not about how much money you make but how much difference you make in people’s lives.”  This is so important to note.  I appreciate that kind of thinking because too many people focus on money and not on how to help their fellow man.  She shared how Barack Obama is about helping people.  She mentioned how both her and Barack would not have been able to attend college without financial aid.  So it made sense for Barack to push for legislation that increased financial aid at reduced rates for college students.

Our lives are a collection of hopes and dreams, Michelle said.  She stated that Barack wants to fight to give people access to the American Dream because he himself is living proof of the American Dream.  What he received he wants to give back to all people.

You got a sense that Barack is a man of deep character after listening to Michelle’s speech.  She mentioned him being a  man of truth and integrity.  Michelle also said that “values, visions and experiences make you who you are.”  The most memorable words were when she asked “Does the presidency change who you are?”  She answered, in reference to her husband, Barack Obama, “The Presidency reveals who you are!”  She said that Barack Obama is more committed and more determined to see to it that the needs of the people are addressed and that the middle class is strengthened and the American Dream is within reach for everybody.

This was a speech for Americans from an American who loves her country.  Finally, Michelle said of Barack:  “He knows we all love our country.”  This was a very inclusive and unifying speech.  Anyone who values these things addressed by Michelle will likely vote for Barack Obama.

 

 

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2012 Democratic Convention – Julian Castro

Posted on 04 September 2012 by mdepeine

Julian Castro’s speech was very sound and inspiring.  I really liked the way he said that attaining our dreams is like a “relay.”  One generation passes the baton to another, but the point is, it keeps moving “forward.”

From the speech, you got a sense that Barack Obama cares for the middle class.  You got a sense that the current president considered the regular person.  Castro highlighted the “infrastructure” that’s necessary to help Americans reach their dreams, make them reality.  The investment in education is very important.  Also making money available for “small business loans” was key.  He juxtaposed the government loans with Romney’s statement:  “Get a loan from your parents.”  Not many average (middle class) people have that option.  That was very true!

 

 

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Taboo: Speaking on Behalf of Blacks and other people of Color

Posted on 30 August 2012 by mdepeine

When something is considered “taboo” it is something that you dare not mention or bring up.  A common response to you mentioning something that is “taboo” would be “Don’t speak of it!”  When something is “taboo” everybody around “knows” that only a fool would bring up the “taboo subject” in a public setting.  You don’t blurt out such subjects when you are in a crowded room.  You don’t bring them up when you speak from the podium.  You don’t mention these “taboo subjects” at a cocktail party.  You only discuss them in the privacy of your home and in your bedroom with someone you trust.

In America, I realize that “race, racism, prejudice” are “taboo subjects.”  These subjects usually come up when a “victim” of racism or prejudice wants some expression or justice in relation to what they have experienced.  Then and only then do I see these things become almost “acceptable” to discuss openly.  For example, race was discussed openly when we saw what happened to Rodney King.  It was also discussed openly when we saw what happened to Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Chavis Parker and a host of other black men who were killed  by the police.  Other than these extremely publicized cases, it seems that the topic of race, racism and prejudice goes back on “the shelf” until needed again.

Another taboo subject in America is a person’s color.  There seems to be this collective consciousness that says that “We are all the same and we need not make distinction about color.”  Ideally, that is where we would like to get to as a country.  Realistically, however, that is not where we are.  There are too many examples that “scream” of inequality.  Too many blacks, yes, I used the word, live in poverty. Too many blacks are not getting a quality education (elementary, secondary and college).  Too many underperforming school districts are being “ravaged” by bureaucrats in the name of “school reform.”  Too many black men are in prison and have no possibility of parole.  Too many blacks are in and out of jail and don’t even have the “right to vote” any more.  Too many young black men are being brutally killed by police and other security forces in the name of “justified force.”

Yes, God has created all of us as human beings.  We breath the same air.  We drink the same water (H2O).  We bleed the same way.  Our bodies get the same sicknesses and have the same organs.  Genetically speaking, Science has linked all humans to one common mother they call “Eve.”  So, we are all the same, but when you look at the history (include slavery), we have not all been treated the same.

So, I want to shatter this “taboo” and freely discuss race, racism, prejudice and skin color (all shades) freely for the purposes of highlighting a problem that must be addressed so that lives can be improved.  The non-victims of race don’t care to discuss race.  For the victims who daily navigate this society with the understanding that the dominant (white) race barely “sees” them or cares to “hear” them, this is a true reality.  Sometimes it is more real than the air that they breath, if that were possible.

Somehow, in America, it is wrong to speak up and say that “This was done to him/her because he/she is black.”  Those of color KNOW more than anybody when they are discriminated against.  An “outsider” can never define that for them because the “outsider” does not know what it is to really experience that racism or prejudice as a minority.  Yes, a white person will experience racism and it is wrong, but even that “offense” is a lot different from the person in the minority experiencing that offense.  The person in “power” who experiences racism could say, “Well, that’s your problem if you don’t like me because of my color, I control things anyway, you will still need to come back to me.”  On the other hand, the person who is not in “power” does not have the luxury of saying what the dominant, white person can say.  The one in the minority can say “Wow, another reminder of what I have to overcome to get somewhere in this country, I hope that he/she doesn’t close too many doors for me.”  This is just a glimpse of the thoughts that people could have.  One person sets the conditions for racism, one person is forced to navigate through those conditions.

Those who are afraid to address racism in America will call anyone who points out these trends a “race monger.”  They may call anyone who wants to bring to light these issues a “racist.”  The reality is, they don’t want to open up this “can of worms.”  But those who are daily victims of it, live in the “can of worms” every day.  They just want the “can of worms” to be addressed constructively as a country, as a nation.  Lots of good was done in the 50s and 60s during the Civil Rights Movement, but still a lot more needs to be done today, in the twenty-first century.

I believe that all Americans, Christians and non Christians, should put in the effort to address this issue of race.  The funny thing is, our best churches and fellowships are afraid to tackle this issue thoroughly, even though it exists there as well.

Let’s shatter the “taboos” of race discussion.  Let’s discuss what really is there and not speak from a point of view of only what we wish was there.  You can’t confront and fix a problem that you won’t acknowledge is there.  The first step is “admitting that you have a problem.”  So, we don’t have to live by those “fake rules” that say:  Don’t mention black or white, don’t mention racism, don’t talk about slavery and its impact on race relations today, don’t talk about reparation, don’t speak up for blacks, don’t help the poor, don’t talk about trends against blacks, don’t talk about inequality, don’t talk about the contributions of slaves, and a host of other don’ts.  You fill in the rest.

We must bring race relations in the United States to the table and confront it.  It affects every facet of our society and our daily lives in an adverse way and we pretend that it doesn’t.  Barack Obama spoke about it four (4) years ago in 2008.  That was the last major attempt to address “race in America.”  Tons of books have been written about the subject and hundreds of millions of people are adversely affected by it in this country alone.  Yet, can we continue to stand by and ignore such a big PROBLEM?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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