Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people.
On an almost daily basis, many of us are told that we should “Get over” the past. That people who committed the atrocities of history were from “A different time.” To you, the people saying this, I ask you, how do you think time works?
Changes weren’t made because every single lawmaker and citizens woke up one day and said “Oh hey, this is wrong. We should change this law now.” No, it was the people who walked, fought, petitioned and died for those changes that made time stop standing still.
You claim that you shouldn’t be judged by what your ancestors did? Okay, that’s fair. Tell me, do also want to be separate from any ancestor who did something good? You don’t want to be associated with slave owners but what if your ancestor was an abolitionist? You want to give them a name check now? You don’t want to be associated with your police officer Grandfather who was pictured with fire hoses and dogs in Birmingham but what if your Grandfather was a Freedom Rider? You want to stand tall and proud by Grandpa now?
The idea of “A different time” is an absurd one. There have and will always be good people and bad people. There have and always will be people who are just trying to get by and people who want their name on the front page of the news. Things don’t change because of time. Things change because of people. Every single thing that you’ve decided that people should “Get over” was once something that was considered “No big deal.” Ya know, during THAT time.
Tell me, what things are you calling “No big deal” today?
What side are you standing on? Good and evil isn’t a thing of the past. It isn’t something we should be trying to “Get over.” It is passed down from parent to child. Over and over again. We should be studying it every day. We should be looking over every second to see what went wrong and how people made it right. We should be using our past to protect ourselves from being doomed to repeat it.
Frankly, anyone who says that people should “Get over” the past, that things happened in the past because “It was a Different Time” or that they shouldn’t be judged by what their ancestors did, is a person who is happy to repeat the evils of the past because they are in a position to have the upper hand. At least, they think they are.
Beware of those who condemn the past and believe it has nothing to do with the present.