I have to make a statement about race. I know it’s a touchy subject for a lot of, if not all people. One side claiming to be pro-equality another pro-black. Don’t get me wrong, both sides are great and should be here without a doubt, but…like with most things, people take things too far. Since when has being pro-black meant you’re anti-white? Who voted for that? I swear I get the black newsletter every month and I missed that article.
Why must you be “anti” one thing to be “pro” another? It makes no sense. I am extremely pro-black, I believe we as a people have faced many hardships and still do and we should look for reasons to be proud of ourselves. I know I do. In my opinion, we have a rich culture that is unmatched. But when all the troubles facing black people today started coming to worldwide attention (finally), everything was looking better. We rallied together to show solidarity and to show why black lives matter, but then we started hating white people? What?
I get where the anger comes from, I really do. For a long time, we were held down by white racists that ran all forms of government and law enforcement. These are facts and today we are still held down by the powers that be, BUT that is not an excuse to claim ALL white people are evil. I just can’t get on that train.
I often write about the fact that I’ve never met my birth mother and her family. Because of that, I created a family of my own and it’s comprised of people from all walks of life. My mother and uncle lived through the civil rights movement. They taught me, never to judge a man without first seeing his actions and listening to his words.
I will always remember what my mother said: “I was cautious of the white people I met, but I never hated them, that makes me no better than the men and women with the rope”. That didn’t stop her from making friends from different races, not at all. She saw how she was treated because of her complexion and chose not to return the hate with hate. Instead, she treated everyone as the people they are.
My mother’s words and actions guided me all my life. She told nothing short of the dirty dark truth, unedited and not sugarcoated. Of the beatings, lynching, profiling, and beatings. We are children of history and we must learn from it or be damned to repeat it.
She has always said she is cautious of all people but never hated them based on the skin God gave them. Racism is a cultural thing not genetic. That my friends, is history. She taught me to rise above and be better.
I’m not saying, “yay racism is over and done”, or “move on”. Racism is absolutely a thing. I have been profiled countless times, to the point that it’s just a part of my life. I’m judged by my name, the way I talk, walk and see life. I speak proper English and pay my bills on time and that somehow makes me “not black”. Something black and white people say but that’s something for another day.
I have had wonderful people in my life who don’t look like me. The first man who took me into his house that didn’t share my last name was a white man. He was my best friend Sonny’s father. He never treated me as anything other than a son. He and my uncle are the only people I would ever call ”dad” because without them I wouldn’t be the man I am today.
Funny thing is, they both told me to be damn proud of who I am as a black man and as the unique guy I grew to be. I write this because fully loving myself as a black man should not have to mean I hate all white people. Those things aren’t connected like that. Can’t be.
My good friend, Ms. Barrow is black and proud, but loves a white man, who by the way, is just great. My best friend, whose father took me in, is mixed, should I hate half of her? My good friend Arthur is black, he’s married to a white woman and has children with her. My old neighbor Patrick is someone I can always openly talk about racial issues with and he might be more pro-black than most of my black power friends.
Being pro-black should mean you love black literature, music and history. A celebration of culture. Don’t get it twisted you should study the oppression and subjugation of the black populace as well. Without understanding how low we have been, we can’t fully understand where we are now and how much we have overcome.
My Family is comprised of White, Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc. I will never forsake my heritage for anyone, or to be liked. But I won’t hate or judge anyone without understanding who they are as a person. Not every black man represents all black people, same is true for white, Asian, middle eastern. I’m just asking y’all to think before you talk and talk to someone before you judge them.
But, that’s just my two cents
-Your Vocal Local Jason
Blog Contributor: Jason Shawn-Carl, host of the Comic Jaunt Podcast
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