Whew…looks like I jumped right over June. That’s not truly the case. There was just so much going on in the world, and in my life, that I struggled with (1) whether or not I wanted to vocalize what I was seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, (2) if I decided to vocalize on this platform, what I wanted to share, and (3) how I wanted to approach the things I chose to vocalize.
I don’t have to go into detail about the tragedies that have come to light, and continue to unfold, or how tumultous the times are presently. With the frustration of racial disparities coming to a boiling point AGAIN in our nation, we find ourselves demanding change.
Subcutaneous change is all we’ve ever gotten so I, personally, am not going to hold my breath waiting for the changes that will make the most impact to come to past. That leads me into the topic I have chosen to discuss which centers around the call to change statues, logos, and such as a way to oppose racism and/or white supremacy. Now, in some of the cases, I completely understand the sentiment. We are surrounded by the names, images, and other likenesses of people in the nation’s history who did not treat all equally, who performed or condoned despicable acts, and who vehemently opposed progress that would benefit all people living on this land. And, yes, there is something to be said about living in a nation that embraces such symbolism where you, as a branch on the tree of those who had to live through the worst of these otrocities, are reminded daily of the vileness and inequities ingrained in the very fabric of the society you live in. So, as I said, I completely understand the sentiment in some cases. However, in the grand scheme of things, those changes are near the very bottom of the list of changes that need to take place. To me, they are not impactful enough to devote more than a glancing attention to at this time. It would be more meaningful to me if, instead of taking down statues, everyone committed to providing a blatantly truthful narrative about these people and events these symbolic images represent. Tell George Washington’s full story to include owning slaves, questions revolving possibly fathering a child with a slave, and his true view on equality for all. Tell Abraham Lincoln’s full story to include how his move to abolish slavery was less about a diehard objection to it and more about showing the other team who was boss.
Then, there’s the changing of images on food products (i.e. Aunt Jemima syrup & Uncle Ben’s rice), taking descriptive words out of names (i.e. master bedroom), removing episodes from shows (i.e. Golden Girls mud mask episode). None of these things are relevant and at least one of them doesn’t belong anyway. But these are examples of addressing everything except what is relevant, necessary, and most impactful.
The focus should be on holding people equally accountable for their actions. The focus should be on providing education, training, and reform to public servants. The focus should be on revamping the judicial system. The focus should be on ensuring all people have the same access to all resources. The focus should be on changing the narrative in this nation, and around the world, so that it doesn’t revolve around skin tone. The focus should be on doing better.