Dreams   Leave a comment

I know a lot of people think “white” people ought to just keep our mouths shut about racism and Martin Luther King, Jr., but here’s a news flash for you … we’re all Americans and free speech applies to everyone on any issue. I’m part-American Indian, so I am not completely “white”, but I identify as “American”, so I’m going to address my comments as a “white” person.

MLK had a dream of a post-racial America where the content of a person’s character would be all that we cared about, where his black children could play with my white-and-American Indian children and Opinionated Man’s Asian children without anyone thinking it strange.

Guess what? The second part of that dream has been fulfilled. It already existed in some parts of the United States when MLK said the words, but it was not as pervasive as it should have been in a society founded on the simple principle that God created all of us equal, endowed with certain unalienable rights. That was wrong and white people repented of it 50 years ago.

Today — most of “white” America has long ago walked into post-racial America. We don’t care if our kids play with other races, we welcome neighbors regardless of their skin color, we have coworkers/employees/bosses who are different from us and we don’t care — or even notice. Some of us (who didn’t read Dreams From My Father) voted for Barack Obama, not caring if he was half-black or because we hoped his election would finally end the whole racism debate in this country. That would be my brother, who is as Indian as I am and really hoped his black son-in-law would stop looking for racist qualities in his “white” father-in-law if he voted for a black president.

Wow, what a miscalculation that was! Today, we are further from MLK’s dream than we were in 2007. Why? Because minorities took the election of Barack Obama as an excuse to make judgments about “white” people based not on the content of their character, but on the color of their skin. I’m not saying everyone. I know blacks, Hispanics and Indians who see past that superficial emblem, but far too many blacks, Hispanics and Indians with access to microphones and television cameras look at the exterior and see a racist for no other reason than that the person they’re looking at has white skin.

STOP!

Think about what you are doing!

There comes a time when you have to lay aside the grievances of the past in order to move forward into a healthy relationship. You don’t forget, but you move on. Conversely, if you poke and demand recompense from people who mean you no ill, eventually, they’re going to feel that you mean them ill and they’re going to act accordingly. We’re at that point now.

The only thing holding us back from being a post-racial society are those who, for whatever reason, are unwilling to accept that we already are a post-racial society.

Let it go, folks! That’s all that stands between us and the dream!

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