Thursday, February 26, 2009

When Are WE Going to Get Over It?

A black friend of mine sent me this article a couple of days ago…. And it touched my heart. Sitting with it in my consciousness for a couple of days, I have decided to share it. Below the article you will see my reply to my friend.


Andrew M. Manis: When Are WE Going to Get Over It?

For much of the last forty years, ever since America "fixed" its race problem in the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, we white people have been impatient with African Americans who continued to blame race for their difficulties. Often we have heard whites ask, "When are African Americans finally going to get over it? Now I want to ask: "When are we White Americans going to get over our ridiculous obsession with skin color?

Recent reports that "Election Spurs Hundreds' of Race Threats, Crimes" should frighten and infuriate every one of us. Having grown up in "Bombingham," Alabama in the 1960s, I remember overhearing an avalanche of comments about what many white classmates and their parents wanted to do to John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Eventually, as you may recall, in all three cases, someone decided to do more than "talk the talk."

Since our recent presidential election, to our eternal shame we are once again hearing the same reprehensible talk I remember from my boyhood.
We white people have controlled political life in the disunited colonies and United States for some 400 years on this continent. Conservative whites have been in power 28 of the last 40 years. Even during the eight Clinton years, conservatives in Congress blocked most of his agenda and pulled him to the right. Yet never in that period did I read any headlines suggesting that anyone was calling for the assassinations of presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, or either of the Bushes. Criticize them, yes. Call for their impeachment, perhaps. But there were no bounties on their heads. And even when someone did try to kill Ronald Reagan, the perpetrator was non-political mental case who wanted merely to impress Jody Foster.

But elect a liberal who happens to be Black and we're back in the sixties again. At this point in our history, we should be proud that we've proven what conservatives are always saying -- that in America anything is possible, EVEN electing a black man as president. But instead we now hear that school children from Maine to California are talking about wanting to "assassinate Obama."

Fighting the urge to throw up, I can only ask, "How long?" How long before we white people realize we can't make our nation, much less the whole world, look like us? How long until we white people can - once and for all - get over this hell-conceived preoccupation with skin color? How long until we white people get over the demonic conviction that white skin makes us superior? How long before we white people get over our bitter resentments about being demoted to the status of equality with non-whites?

How long before we get over our expectations that we should be at the head of the line merely because of our white skin? How long until we white people end our silence and call out our peers when they share the latest racist jokes in the privacy of our white-only conversations?

I believe in free speech, but how long until we white people start making racist loudmouths as socially uncomfortable as we do flag burners? How long until we white people will stop insisting that blacks exercise personal responsibility, build strong families, educate themselves enough to edit the Harvard Law Review, and work hard enough to become President of the United States, only to threaten to assassinate them when they do?

How long before we starting "living out the true meaning" of our creeds, both civil and religious, that all men and women are created equal and that "red and yellow, black and white" all are precious in God's sight?

Until this past November 4, I didn't believe this country would ever elect an African American to the presidency. I still don't believe I'll live long enough to see us white people get over our racism problem. But here's my three-point plan: First, everyday that Barack Obama lives in the White House that Black Slaves Built, I'm going to pray that God (and the Secret Service) will protect him and his family from us white people.

Second, I'm going to report to the FBI any white person I overhear saying, in seriousness or in jest, anything of a threatening nature about President Obama. Third, I'm going to pray to live long enough to see America surprise the world once again, when white people can "in spirit and in truth" sing of our damnable color prejudice, "We HAVE overcome."


It takes a Village to protect our President!!!



Thank you for this…. And I personally am sorry that it’s even necessary. I grew up I in Texas, and had the benefit of a wonderful black woman in my life who taught me much about the sameness of black and white – what we shared as human beings – as well as giving me a context to see a different point of view from many of the white people in my life. Although it was not a ferocious and obvious kind of prejudice in my family and social setting, it was there as an undercurrent – a subtle kind of “us” and “them” mentality.

There have been many times I have been ashamed of the people who call themselves Christians and preach hatred – and most of them are white. And there were times, when I lived in Denver and worked in a predominantly black neighborhood, that I experienced racist hatred from blacks to whites.

It’s so sad that this type of perception and consciousness happens at all. And I admit to being astonished that the kind of rabid racism that I was aware of in the deep South of my childhood days still exists. But still, I am so encouraged by the changes in consciousness that I have seen in this country during my 63 years, and I am so proud that we have, in fact, elected Barack Obama. I LOVE this man, and his wife, and his family, and every time I see them I burst into tears of gratitude for the whole thing. I cried throughout the Inauguration, and I cried throughout his “not state of the Union” speech the other night.

And I, too, pray every day for the safety of Barack Obama and his family, for increasing cooperation from the members of Congress for his programs, and for the raising of consciousness of ALL people. My feeling is that the light is increasing at a faster rate than we might think from the surface appearance of things.

Grateful Woman Shakura MoonSinger
“I believe the American people are decent people. They get confused sometimes because they get bad information or they're just busy and stressed and not paying attention. But when you sit down and talk with them, you're struck by how tolerant and loving they are.” ~Barack Obama
“I'm determined to disagree with people without being disagreeable. That's part of the empathy. Empathy doesn't just extend to cute little kids. You have to have empathy when you're talking to some guy who doesn't like black people.” ~Barack Obama

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