As Black History month nears, and with Martin Luther King Day this past week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way white people (Caucasian for you “politically correct” people) treat minorities. It’s challenging writing this because I don’t want to offend anyone, but at the same time, this is coming from my historical knowledge, observation, and conversation; please, correct me if I am wrong.
Throughout my day, I interact with a diverse group of people–African Americans, Asians, Middle Eastern, etc. There’s diversity in my classrooms (though still, mostly white). there’s diversity on the buses, at work, at stores, everywhere. But it wasn’t always like this. Fifty years ago, we (the United States) were just beginning to overcome absurd prejudices against minorities. Can you believe that black people were spit on, beaten, verbally assaulted, threatened, and considered to be the lowest of the low, because of the color of skin?
I can’t express in words the confusion and disbelief I feel when I think about this way of life, and how much more confusing it must have been, and still is, for those who were/are treated that way. To feel human, is to be human– no matter where you’re from, no matter what you look like, no matter how you speak or what you believe–and in each of us is an innate sense to be accepted and to be respected and loved.
I can’t say that we have overcome this prejudice, even though it’s 2012 and we’re fully integrated, and our President is African American–the truth is, it still exists. Racial jokes and stereotypes are fluent throughout our nation. Discrimination exists whether it is legal or not; it’s in our attitudes and the back of our minds–I myself struggle with stereotypes and judgments, but I’m working to eliminate them. My goal is to see every person the way God sees each person–with love and with respect to the feelings, gifts, and dreams within each individual.
I hope that this note, although long, will encourage you all to appreciate what we as a nation have overcome, and what we have left to complete in order to treat every human being humanely.
Thanks for reading 🙂