“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” – Gwendolyn Brooks
As we celebrate Black History Month, let us remember why the celebration is important. It’s more than honoring the many accomplishments and sacrifices made by African-American men and women, it is also about the goals and dreams that were the motivation for the fight for equality, not only for African-Americans but for all people of color.
Those dreams laid the foundation for many movements toward the advancement of equal rights and fair treatment for all and from all … at least we keep telling ourselves that. The sad reality is that there is much work that needs to be done.
We continue to live in a dark place when it comes to race relations. The mentalities of so many continue to enjoy the ignorance of being superior to people of color. Where we see progress in one aspect, we see a deterioration of others.
An argument can be made that since we had a black president and currently a black vice president that it is enough proof for the equal treatment of people of color, but is it really enough or is it just enough to pacify the masses?
We continue to see poor treatment from law enforcement toward people of color. The recent cases of Daunte Wright, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Elijah McClain, Tamir Rice, and the list continues to grow, highlighting the need to continue to fight for equality.
Even with those accomplishments, there must be a point in time where we can all say, “We have a president who just happens to be African-American or Chicano or Asian-American or LGBTQ+” or anyone who is more than qualified for the job.
The problem is that we cannot only blame others for the issues of inequality. There comes a time where we must stop expecting apologies from people who refuse to and start moving forward toward a progress that can only happen once we remove hate in our hearts and souls.
There is so much anger in our society and it is understood and valid, but it has gotten to a point where anger distracts from the ultimate goal of progress, not only in race relations and unity but also within our own communities.
Unity has to start from within before the concept gets lost forever. Yes, plenty of progress has been made and yes, the fight for equality must continue but we must unite entirely with those who have the same goals so that our voices can rise up in unison over those who, in desperation for fear of change, try to drown us out with noise pollution … and we must do it with love because as the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”