Race relations in my country have always been a maelstrom. Not just because of Blacks being brought here by Whites as slaves but also due to the volatile nature of our socioeconomic condition. Ferguson, MO used to be an all White community until the “great white flight” of the 1960’s when inner-city Blacks moved into the neighborhoods. In order to understand what is going on in this local suburb read up on its past.
Good or bad (trust me everyone has an opinion), the past events have culminated into the currently volatile situation we now have almost at my front door. I am by far no expert on race relations. I only know what I’ve seen and heard with my own eyes and ears. I grew up with racism, was the subject of such prejudice and chose to overcome it.
I have seen racists slurs directed by both Blacks and Whites against each other. No one is innocent here. It takes a conscientious effort on all of us to remember that despite our skin color underneath we are the same. And because of this, we should treat one another with respect and dignity.
I know it’s easier said than done, but frankly I am sick and tired of the violence and abuse. Overseas we have Civil War, genocide, starvation, pollution, etc and here at home we have our own economic struggles, our poverty…the list goes on and on.
I grew up within a community that is still for the most part 99.9% Caucasian. I received real-time, real life diversity training at school from my peers, who didn’t know how to handle a bi-racial kid, all the way down to the Caribbean where cousins firmly told me I was not Puerto Rican enough, that I was a “Gringa.” So, here was this Midwestern Irish/Puerto Rican gal who lived in perpetual limbo. I was quickly educated on where “my place” was.
But I did not stay there.
I joined the Army
I went to College
I became a Mother
Maybe it’s easier said than done for some…I don’t know. Life is absolutely relative…but….if you desire to better yourself down to your community—–it starts with y.o.u. YOU need to pick yourself up and make YOUR community a better place and pay it forward.
Time for me to get off my soapbox.
I will leave you with this:
If we don’t start at home, where everything begins….nothing will change, and the ugly head of racism, self-entitlement, and violence will continue it’s cyclical course.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym