I thought about this…and came to one logical conclusion. First, I don’t find it correct in any way, shape or form to segregate people for any reason whatsoever. However, when I hear my white brothers and sisters complain as if they have just had a toenail removed without anesthetic I can only say that I feel not one ounce of sympathy. My response to them simply begins with a question:
How does it feel?
All of the fear, anger and hostility you feel when a government official actually EXCLUDES you from something need not be anything but a lesson. Discrimination is bad. Treating someone as an unequal just because of their skin color is horrible. Earmarking money that is designed to exclude a race is abhorrent. Creating policies around skin tone is ludicrous. Lumping people who will revel in the spoils of power by race is wrong.
Now we get it. Now we simply know how it feels.
Perhaps this feeling we have now will better serve us in the future when we are serving drinks at a banker’s convention and there are only a handful of whites in the room. Perhaps this feeling we have now will serve us better when a black man turns us down for a job we know we are qualified for, only to leave the building and not see one white face in the crowd except for the janitor. Maybe we will get it when colleges don’t take our applications and the black man wants to eliminate quotas. Maybe now we will question the righteousness of our getting paid less than the black man for the same job. Perhaps we will wonder why there are so many more white men in prison than black men, and yes perhaps we will even blame the black man for our problems.
We may remember when we had the ability to cause change in such a consciousness. We will remember the opportunities we have squandered to end color as a means of advancement or repression. We may even shed a tear at the understanding we could have ended it all by just not making others have to work for such equality. Perhaps we will then understand that equality is not work unless there is inequality in our hearts. and the only way to truly be equal is to have such blind love in our hearts.
And perhaps there is opportunity in it all. Perhaps our own Dr. Martin Luther King will emerge; someone who rises above his God-given condition to preach peace and love and non-violence as a way to achieve greatness. Perhaps we will feel anger when he is gunned down by a black man with a sniper rifle. Perhaps in our sadness as seeing such waste we will learn hatred above all else.
Perhaps we will now have the opportunity to face down water cannons aimed at us by black firefighters. Perhaps now we get the opportunity to stand up to the black man’s German Sheppard as they gouge holes in our legs. Perhaps now we can walk arm in arm with some blacks who seek equality into the Washington Mall to hear a speech that changes our lives.
Perhaps now we will get our chance not to surrender our seat to a black man on a bus, or can look to take a beating from a white cop just for walking down the street at night.
And even perhaps we will want to be reimbursed for the injustice. True, our culture never was enslaved at the whips and chains of others, but bondage takes so many forms it is impossible to tell the difference. Maybe at this moment we could begin to understand what pain our history has inflicted, how our refusal to understand such pain only creates more of it. At how our lack of remorse, lack of caring, and lack of a sense of justice only creates more and more pain in those this history has caused so much pain.
Perhaps we will vote for the political party that seems to want to assist us in our condition, even while those different than us not sharing in our despotism will rail against that assistance as furthering our demise. Perhaps the pains in our stomachs and the cries of our children will makes us a slave to such programs, another form of bondage that transcends the physical and now delves into a desperate sense of spiritual dependence.
But wait, I am full of it. Just another liberal in a long line preaching guilt and earmarks, socialism and falsehood. Such is what your mind MUST tell you, or else this could just all make way too much sense. YOU NEED TO DISAGREE, because you are not there yet, you do not understand the sting of it all. Those of us who have never felt the tinge of pain at the hands of the whip or the coldness of the steel of bondage can never understand things from such a perspective.
So, let’s just cry some more about what Reich and Rangel said. Let’s whine about it, and be all offended by it. We haven’t faced an ounce of the pain and suffering we have caused, so I feel no sympathy at all for my own kind. An old friend once said to me “karma’s a bitch”, and we can only hope it doesn’t pay us nearly what we are owed.