"It is clear – there remains, some 400 years later, a substantial imbalance in the racial equality of America."
The United States of America was founded on a promise.
The founding leaders gathered on July 4, 1776, to officially approve the nation’s Declaration of Independence. The Congress, assembled at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, PA, to scribe and ratify the document that would explain why the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain, were now deemed independent sovereign states.
However, to avoid a repeat of British tyranny, the information of this document had to convey the freedom message they desired accurately. Therefore, one must ensure to note, that this document was by no means penned on a whim. There were great intentionality and deliberate thought placed in the following words:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This document is historic, iconic, revered, and also it was a lie.
Almost a hundred years earlier, in the same city where this document originated, a British vessel named Isabella docked at port to deliver the first 150 African slaves to the pillaging “settlers” of America.
Some 400 plus years later, and the impact of that docking, is still violating the foundational core of our republic, democracy, civility, and land. The effect of that docking is seen in systemic racism, gentrification, criminal justice irregularities, police brutality, the crack epidemic vs. the opioid epidemic, mass incarceration, and the still desperate need for affirmative action, to name a few
"This document is historic, iconic, revered, and also it was a lie."
It is clear – there remains, some 400 years later, a substantial imbalance in the racial equality of America.
So, the question – is it possible for America EVER to have racial equality? Will there ever be a day in America where black and brown skin people will be treated the same as white people, in every way? Will the manifesting day of Dr. King’s dream ever come? Will these United States ever agree that the color of one’s skin ought not to evade the content of one’s character?
Sadly, the answer leans more towards doubt than fulfillment.
You see, to witness a real change in this area, it demands that all parties involved recognize that there is a need for change. Yes, America was founded on the principles of freedom and an escape from tyranny. However, in our acceptance of these facts, we must also note that it was further established on principles of racism, oppression, and ethnic cleansing. That is, the founders were just as governed by the liberty pursuit, as they were by racial dominance
"You see, to witness a real change in this area, it demands that all parties involved recognize that there is a need for change."
If these are the principles America started on, we must obviously conclude that there was never racial equality in the “all men are created equal” phrase. We must admit that even from the early onset – racism has plagued this nation, with no visual or intended end in sight.
Without a doubt, strides have been made and will continue to be made; however, that’s the problem.
Strides STILL need to be made.
The equality of race can’t be reprimanded on the merits of its progress if the pseudo-celebration of its development only attempts to nullify and negate its goal. In other words, hunger doesn’t stop just because you’re close to the restaurant.
Because today we still have a problem.
"In other words, hunger doesn’t stop just because you’re close to the restaurant."
In 2020, one must prove his apartment residency if the luxury of the building is deemed too high for a “person like him.” In America, a couple has to be strategic in where they travel and move, if one is black and the other is white. In the United States, you can still be berated and treated as if you’re a criminal, if you elect to have a conversation in your native language (and to add insult to injury, I’ve never seen a video berating anyone who spoke French, German, or Russian). In the “Land-of-the-Free,” a league can tolerate sexual assault and domestic violence without flinching. However, if you peaceful protest police brutality, you’ll never play the game again. (It should also be noted that there are still some very willfully ignorant people, who further demonstrate and prove systemic racism, by professing this act to be a disrespect to veterans – of which I am one – and the flag).
The evidence is clear; however, the Senate is not the only ones who refuse to see it. Racism is just as American as baseball and Uncle Sam. The only way we ever reach equality, is we must first acknowledge inequality. And no, the problem is not satisfied with you becoming color blind (because that’s an insult); rather, the predicament begs for you to let down your “color guard.” It demands that all parties (the oppressed and yes, the beneficiaries of said oppression) acknowledge the error, and stop at nothing to pursue the termination of this tyrannical scheme.
Is it close? I doubt it.
Can it happen? Sure, it can.
Well, Kevin, could you teach us how? The answer to that is a firm no.
This land is a land of information and knowledge. Everything humanity desires to know is satisfied by some pursuit of it. I’d say if you want to aid in the repair, do the work to see the problem, the role you play, and how you can be a part of the solution.
As I close, I will at least leave you with this “demonstration” wonderfully demonstrated by an actor and ally, Joaquin Phoenix.
In closing, I love being black, always have. However, I do long for the day where I will ALWAYS enjoy being black… in America.
Kevin D. Jones, Sr.
Kevin D. Jones, Sr.
Believer - Leader - Flawed