The country has just celebrated Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865, (in Texas), slavery was said to have ended. The Emancipation Proclamation was declared by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863. https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm
98 years later, I was born into a society in which I was supposedly free. I was not.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all"
When I was in school, from kindergarten through 12th grade, we had to place our hands over our hearts and recite those words as if they applied to us.
I can remember when I was in grade school, on the route that we took home every day, we would pass a motel that had a swimming pool outside. Periodically, I would ask my dad (who is a 91-year-old wounded Korean War Veteran) to take me swimming there. His reply was always the same. "Maybe one day, baby."
It wasn't until I was much older that I learned that the reason my dad hadn't taken me swimming there was that he couldn't take me swimming there. There were no 'Negroes' allowed. (one nation under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all)
The history books in my day taught us that Christopher Columbus discovered America. It wasn't until I was an adult that research showed me that the Native Americans (Indians as they were called) were already established here.
Christopher Columbus was an immigrant. Because he was a white man and had the power to kill and uproot a lot of the Native Americans, he declared that he discovered a place that he actually stole. Thus white supremacy.
Later, the men of the Caucasian persuasion sailed to Africa and stole Negro human beings from their native land to be slaves (free labor) to make them wealthy with no thought of compensation for their labor.
As of May 1, 2020, there were still quite a lot of Americans that chose to perceive that systemic racism and oppression do not exist.
Since George Floyd's blatant murder by police officers in Minneapolis who have taken an oath to protect and serve and who are paid by taxpayers to do so, many previously silent Americans have raised their voices in protest and are finally saying that this total lack of respect for human beings with Black and Brown skin has to change.
The thing that I have not been able to wrap my head around is the fact that this didn't start with George Floyd. This has been happening for centuries, yet some in White America have chosen to ignore it in order to maintain their stolen status and subsequent wealth.
I don't like to think of myself as a racist. I am a fair-minded person that accepts people for who they show themselves to be. The late, great Maya Angelou said, "When a person tells you who they are, Believe Them."
I do, however, have a bias toward people who treat me unfairly and differently than they treat people who look like them, and people who make assumptions about me because of the color of my skin.
I thank God that my parents didn't raise me to hate [people]. I was taught that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and as human beings.
The reason for the protests that have occurred over the decades, in my opinion, is that Black Americans have been seeking in this country for hundreds of years to be treated as humans and given the opportunities that non-Black and Brown people have been afforded all of their lives. (one nation under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all)
We, Black Americans, are not here by our choosing. We were kidnapped and forced into this country. White America made us citizens when our ancestors were forced to have families in this country. White supremacists will tell us to go back to where we came from. Well, I have news for you. We came from here because of you, you didn't come from here. You're all immigrants!
America can no longer claim ignorance in the racism and oppression of Black people in this country. Your eyes have seen and your ears have heard. What you do now will define you in history. Be the human being that God created you to be.
Vote to remove those that have turned their heads to avoid addressing oppression and racism. The Constitution was written for ALL Americans. The last time I looked at my birth certificate, my country of birth is 'The United States of America'.
Thank you to all who have taken a stand and are speaking out in protest against the injustice taking place in this country.