We Own It

OpEdENOUGH

It should be that and more. All of us, no matter which side of the aisle we claim, should be scratching our heads and questioning what in the hell is wrong with this country, with our moral center and ultimately saying, ENOUGH.

We aren’t, that we aren’t leaves me wondering why.

Far too many of us are walking by the murder and mayhem created on our streets by those sworn to ‘serve and protect’, we are looking the other way, pretending not to see, to not hear the voices of the mothers, fathers, sons and daughters as the cry out; ENOUGH.

Far too many of us are turning our backs on the women and children, hungry, homeless and without hope for a better life and begging, please, help us, no more, ENOUGH.

Far too many of us are shrug our shoulders at the tens of thousands of veterans returning from wars we should never have fought only to be thrown out on the streets, without jobs, without proper care for their physical injuries or their mental wounds, none of us says ENOUGH.

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Far too many of us are passively accepting the millions of men and women locked behind the walls of prisons for decades for non-violent crimes, because they couldn’t afford the cost of justice in America. We don’t question, we don’t challenge the profits made by the private prison industry, we don’t question the children sent to prison for decades, we don’t say ENOUGH.

Far too many of us watch as state after state pass laws to disenfranchise our fellow citizens, ‘Voter Rights’ and ‘Freedom of Religion’. We simply watch, we simply shrug and sometimes even justify these Jim Crow era laws, maybe because we don’t understand or maybe because they don’t apply to us, we have the right ID, we are Christian or we don’t fall into one of the other categories these laws are trying to attack, to brutalize, to keep out of active participation in our communities and our process. Certainly, the last election showed the level of apathy we are capable of, we failed to say ENOUGH.

Far too many of us shake our heads and ‘tsk tsk’, as our only acknowledgment of the racist animus leveled at this President, how it has changed the conversation in Washington and created even greater polarity, frozen our system, cost us millions if not billions. We refuse to say it aloud; refuse to acknowledge that we, as a nation, continue to be divided by racial animosities and segregationist politicians. While we might not all be racist, we vote for those who are, we allow them to make our laws, accept their leadership and refuse to say, ENOUGH and NO MORE.

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Far too many of us watch as SCOTUS perverts our Democratic Republic, we shrug and say there is nothing we can do. We fail to demand an accounting. We fail to demand change. We fail to vote, to get up off our apathetic and sorry asses and say ENOUGH.

What is it we are thinking? Someone else will do our job, that must be it. Someone else will stand-up for us, we don’t have to do it, we don’t have to risk it? We aren’t Gay, so their issues don’t affect us, is that it? We aren’t Black, so their issues don’t affect us, is that it? We aren’t poor, homeless, hungry so their issues don’t affect us, is that it? We aren’t women, poor, pregnant with no way to raise a child, a rape victim, so her problems don’t affect us, is that it?

There is a conversation we have to have in this nation, one that will be painful and ugly, without it though we will never heal and become what is possible. Until the day, we say Enough and No More, until the day we own what is wrong and start the conversation this nation will never be put to right, will never begin to heal. Until the day we acknowledge the true foundations of the United US-Constitution-toilet-paperStates of America and its continuing framework of racial bigotry, misogyny, colonialism and classism we don’t have a snowballs chance in Hell of moving toward the promise of our Constitution and The Declaration of Independence; they might as well be toilet paper.

When I say we, I mean all those of European extraction, White Folks. It is us, we own the problem and we own the action of ripping the scab off the festering wound. We own the standing up first and saying Enough and No More. It is our actions, our elected officials, our filthy rich who drive the continuing wedge into this nation; we own this history and this future. We own SCOTUS, we own Congress, we own ALEX and all the legislation making its way into the States to destroy hope. We own the police departments responsible for killing citizens on the street without repercussion.

We, American White Folks, own the history of Slavery, of Native American Genocide and Land Theft, of Jim Crow, of Segregation, of community destruction through the War on Drugs and images (8)mandatory sentencing; the list goes on but every one of them attacks families and communities of color in this nation, we own it.

We own the conversation that must start and we own the cure. The election of Barack Obama did not indicate a shift, what it did was cause all the racial hostility to come out of the closet. What it did was create even greater polarization, now we know who they are and where they are. Some of them are running for President, by damn some of them are running ahead of the pack. We have a chance to say Enough and No More, will we? We own the elephant in the room of our nation, we have ignored it for far too long.

We have the chance to start the conversation, to start healing the nation. Will we? I wonder, truly I wonder.

I leave you with this question are we ready for the change necessary to heal ourselves and this nation, what say you?

Comments

  1. Surely we are capable of change even I these dastardly times. That is no longer the question. Black folk and people of color are sick and tired of talking about change and leading the discussions about how we shall overcome and/or educating whites about the ills of white supremacy.

    The folk really needing to have the conversation, the same ones still afraid of losing their privilege were they to actually DO something, beginning with stepping out of their comfort zones. This is about privilege and position and unmerited entitlement.

    • Yes, yes it is and that is why I continue to say, “we own it”. We own the conversation, we own the shift, we own the admission.

      We own it.

  2. Change is a scary thing for most people, so it’s hard to say what will make society better. I taught To Kill a Mockingbird for six years and students loved to go on and on about how much better race relations were… enter the day Obama got elected as President. I went home and cried after hearing so many racist comments coming from students that day.

    • Yes, there was an awakening and people suddenly came out of the closet, children repeated what they heard at home. It was a terrible day. I find members of my family say the most terrible things. I wonder what they are thinking, how they face themselves.

  3. Sad to day, I’m not sure humanity can change … after all, selfishness is a very human trait.

  4. I think many people are scared of change and scared to really admit how bad things are…

    • Well yes I suspect many people are afraid of change, hell Christy I am afraid of change. I am guess all of us are afraid of change at some level. This doesn’t excuse what is happening in this nation though.

  5. I was high school teacher in minority hood 33 years. I tried.

  6. Excellent post!

  7. Beautifully stated, Valentine. And you hit the nail(s) on the head, as always. Listen up, American voters: VOTE VOTE VOTE! We’ve got to get these “people” out of office – those who are ruining our country with their foul dogmatism, illiberalism, illiberality, illiberalness, intolerance, intolerantness, narrow-mindedness, opinionatedness, partisanship, sectarianism, and small-mindedness.

  8. Brutally honest, as always, Val. But I’d expect nothing less from you anyway. As long as conservative Republicans rule the U.S. Congress, we’ll keep suffering the effects of this “trickle-down” economic bullshit.

    I also don’t trust the police. They no longer serve the individual; they’re here to protect the community as a whole, and if they must kill someone or violate somebody’s civil rights along the way, then they’ll do it. Police vehicles used to have the phrase “To protect and to serve” emblazoned on their sides. Notice it’s not there anymore?

    • I hadn’t really noticed that one, will have to pay attention. That is a frightening thought. At least though they aren’t trying to fool us.

      It is an entire system that has to change, all of it. We can’t just blame the Republicans in office today, this has been going on for far to long to blame just them.

  9. Brilliant. Well put. Thank you for saying this and keeping us all honest. The needle moves slowly, but it does move. Maybe not in our lifetime, but one day, this too will be a thing of the past. In the meantime, keep at it. America seems to be these day, a sleeping giant. But that won’t go on forever.

    • If we don’t wake up Monica, America will slide into poverty, obsurity and open rebellion. We do not have the time to wait for people to shake off their apathy and fear.

  10. In a way, I am glad those who are racist are more visible now and that there is polarization. This is a better place than having people deny the existence of racism in this country. This past denial by White folks in power has led to pealing away of affirmative action selections for college entry; and the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act. Now those same deniers can no longer pretend that the insidious nature of racism in this country is not reality.

    Now these same deniers will have to deal with the consequences. Those who keep protesting are doing a lot of good. They keep reminding folks that this shame of racism cannot be swept under the rug. They will have to be reminded regularly.

    All the different systems have contributed to this downward spiral from college minority acceptance rates; prison privatization and conglomerates with huge numbers of minority prisoners; death penalty sentences disproportionately born by minorities; unfair policing and judicial sentencing towards minorities; high number of unarmed minority deaths by police. The list goes on and on, but it is up to each one of us to pierce any level of denial that we come across by talking about it; by blogging about it; by becoming active in the political system; and by registering voters for the 2016 elections, etc. We can all do something.

    • Truthfully, yes we can all do something but until the conversation starts at the highest level of this nation we can’t move forward. Until there is an admission of guilt, yes I said it, an admission of guilt, as a nation we will continue to circle the drain.

  11. So much to be done. You and I and a lot of others want to do it, want to get it done. But are there enough of us thinking “Enough”? I hope so. And I hope that it is darkest now, before the dawn.

    • I hope so Elyse, I do. I believe there are more of us than them, it is simply a matter of getting all of us to come out of the closet, off of our comfortable couches.

  12. That slide show of the racist Obama slams is horrific. I can’t imagine what it’s like inside the mind of someone who could put such ugly and bigoted things out there.

  13. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    The vote is the answer.

    • It is more than voting Jackie. At this stage of the game, it is far more than voting. We tried that already.

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        What else can the average person do to help? I really want to know.

        • I think Jackie, we open the door and we demand answers. We reach across the aisle wherever we are, we demand change. We stand up to bullies, whether they are the bully on the street or the bully on social media, wherever we see them. We start calling it out and when we have to we call in reinforcements. We stop turning a blind eye. We engage, we march, we walk, we talk. We do what is uncomfortable.

          • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

            I have called people on issues and what it got me was unfriended by family, friends and acquaintances . I still post things on African-American history and racism. I march in spirit only because I am disabled. I brought my children up to be inclusive of all people. We even chose a house on a street with people from around the world because I wanted them to see difference as normal.

            Not accepting something like police brutality is something we all should fight — but how? Writing letters, signing petitions, attending public meetings? How do you get a single mom to find time and money to advocate? Where is the breadwinner getting minimum wages going to get time off work to march or attend meetings when he needs every hour of pay to cover bills?

            Venting will not change peoples’ hearts so the only thing left is the ballot and getting people off their behinds to the polls. The people on the losing end need help and education to even know who they should be voting for.

            I think you and I both are frustrated at the abuses and are at a loss as to how to effectively change the way things are. We need practical solutions and advocacy, not venting.

            • As I said Jackie, we own it. Those of us who are of European ancestry, we own it. We are the ones who must start the conversation and we are the ones who can and must open the doors. We are the ones who must use the privilege our skin affords us to kick wide open the doors to City, State and Federal elections. We are where the change starts, we don’t have the right to make excuses. If we aren’t willing to stand up, then nothing changes.

  14. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

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