November 29, 2021

Why we Need to Acknowledge the Past—Not Erase It.

 

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I must put this disclaimer first before the words that will follow. I certainly hope and pray that I will not upset, ostracize, or anger anyone who chooses to read this.

If you’ve been with me this long, my gut tells me that you are a fair, rational, critical thinker who contemplates and processes information. A person who welcomes all viewpoints and opinions, even when they might oppose or challenge your own.

If I’ve described you, read on. If that portrayal doesn’t fit you, stop now.

~

I’m struggling with systemic racism, haters, and those who want to erase the past.

I’m trying to understand why we would remove Aunt Jemima from the label of the pancakes and syrup. Aunt Jemima was brought to life by Nancy Green, a storyteller, cook, and missionary, who was hired to promote the products.

Nancy Green was the first living trademark in the advertising world according to AAREG. Thanks to Nancy, pancakes became extremely popular. She won awards and earned certificates because her booths were so popular at fairs.

To me, she is an icon. She is an example of someone who made it—in 1893—and she was colored. Bravo! We should continue to celebrate—not erase—her from history.

Isn’t it an insult to remove Nancy from the label? Isn’t it disregarding her success, eradicating her accomplishments?

Now the Cleveland Indians are changing their name to the Guardians. Why? Isn’t it a compliment to have a sports team named after you?

For me, there are those who view things through a positive or a negative lens. There are those who unite, and those who divide. Those who search out problems, and those who see solutions. Those who say it can’t be done, and those who ask for a chance to try.

I can’t help but feel as if racism and civil divide are being fueled and enabled.

Maybe I have no place saying this because I’m not a minority, or gay, or classify as anything other than me. I do have Mi’kmaq (Micmac) ancestry, so there is that. And I subscribe to many education outlets to learn more about the Mi’kmaqs as a people.

I am a female, so there is that too. But I’d been fortunate to succeed in a man’s world and had no need to grow bitter. I didn’t feel repressed, belittled, or that I was anything but capable and competent.

When I failed, it was because I failed—not because I was victimized because I was a female.

Maybe I was lucky—or maybe many look for problems. Maybe they harbor bias or prejudice, a defensive nature, or an attitude problem.

Yes, there will always be those who keep others down, whether it is because of race, gender, religion, sex, sexual orientation, education, or, simply, because they don’t like you.

Haters will hate. Period. No matter what. It’s a guarantee.

And no matter how many names you change, statues you eradicate, or activism movements you participate in—it won’t change it. It may force some to comply. It may change a law or two. But those people who hate will still hate and still find a way to convince others to be victims.

There is a difference between a person harassed and a person who decides to become a victim. It is a choice. Whether rich or poor, black or white, male or female, and so on.

Don’t be a victim; rise above. Fight back with class, dignity, and courage. You can be the exception.

 

 

There are more decent than evil people.

Maybe if we all came together as a human race and make a conscious decision to remove the race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, education level, or any other divisive quality, we could actually unite.

I don’t feel guilty for what white people did long before I was born. I feel more than bad. I am disgusted. But I wasn’t there, and that’s not me or my family. We aren’t responsible, despite our remorse and pity.

I’m more upset by the fact that I now wonder when I walk down the street and say hi to a colored person if she/he hates me and thinks I’m a racist.

The current propaganda is infecting my mind, but not poisoning my heart. Inclusivity, diversity, and individualism have been honored and cherished by me since I was a child.

I asked my mother why all the dolls were white. Where were the colored and Asian dolls?

I studied international protocol to learn why people say and act as they do. Why Asians are superstitious about the 13th floor and why Latinos are fashionably late. And let it be known that those generalizations don’t apply to all—just some.

I want to know you. I want to learn about you, and I want us to get along.

But I can’t bring myself to respect those who choose to cower, fall victim, and want to turn us all against each other—those who incite and fuel hate.

My biggest weakness, which is also a strength, is seeing and weighing all sides. I can watch Fox and CNN. I can listen to liberals and conservatives. I don’t believe in vaccine mandates, yet I’m vaccinated and will continue to booster. I don’t hate or disregard any of them, because they all have something to offer and make points for us to ponder.

But I do love my country—no matter who is at the helm. I am a patriot. And I admire people of strength—people who have succeeded in the face of adversity. People who have thrived when others thought they wouldn’t survive. People from all over the globe, of all colors, nationalities, races, religions, and sexual orientations.

A woman like Tamyra Mensah-Stock who not only won the U.S.A. Olympic medal but was awarded the Fox Nation Patriot Award. Why had I not heard more about her before tonight? Because of the conservative lean? Tamara was exemplary as an athlete and an American. What an honor; what a role model!

And Winsome Sears? She’s Jamaican by birth. She was a U.S. Marine. And she is a black conservative. Why aren’t our political leaders shouting her name from the mountaintops? Crickets. What an honor; what a role model.

Don’t erase the past. Acknowledge it. Don’t get caught up in this political, racial, and social divide; build a better future.

Take a moment, breathe, remove any biases, and join the human race. Together, we will create the world—not only the country—we want to live in.

~

 

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