*Sigh*, I didn’t want to write this. But, I feel like I need to put my opinion out there. Many people may feel very differently from what I feel about this topic. I would hope though, that this will help people see a bigger picture of what is going on in the world. I am coming from a place that truly cares about people. I am not writing this as a person who is wanting to argue, nor do I want to make anyone choose sides. I just want people to see, what I believe is, the root problem for all of this craziness that is going on in the world.
This is actually very scary for me to write. I have grown up my whole life knowing that discrimination is a very real thing. No matter what the person’s skin color or religion was. I saw people who judge people based on outward appearances or ideologies. I think that too many people are just focused on one type of discrimination. Black vs white. I understand that the United States has had a bad rap for this particular type of discrimination. There are those who call for action to be taken against the “white man” for the years of discrimination that has taken place. I am not saying it does not matter what horrible things were done to the “black man” in the past. I am not saying that things don’t need to change. What I am saying is that we are looking at the symptom of the problem, not the root. The symptom is racial discrimination, the root is discrimination as a whole! The human race has, since recorded history, judged each other for not, looking like, thinking like, or speaking like, each other. Only dealing with one type of discrimination will not solve the overall problem of judging one another for just being different. I really hope that this fact is seen for what it is. I understand that bad things have happened and are still happening. I understand that there are bad people in the world. I understand that injustice exists. I am not saying that we shouldn’t do anything about it. What I am saying is that only focusing on part of the issue will not solve all the problems we are facing today.
I really hope that we as a society can see the truth behind all of the narratives that are being pushed at us. I know that many people will disagree with me but, if you really think about it, why is it that every society in recorded history has had some sort of slavery or push to judge another society for being different? I remember hearing friends of mine and family members saying things like, “Look at them, they aren’t from here are they?” or “Jessica, why are you hanging out with THOSE people?” or “Those people don’t think like us so we need to be careful.” Statements like those are what I remember growing up with. I never understood what the big deal was. I didn’t see why it mattered. The truth is, we as humans like feeling comfortable. We do! We want to be around people who look, think, and act as we do! We want to feel like we are always right. We only want to hear things that we agree with.
Judging groups of people based on a few people is wrong. Whether it’s black people, white people, Latinos, police officers, Asians, Indians, etc,.,. Yes, I didn’t put everything on that list. Please understand that if I wrote every single type of group of people this would turn into a book… Anyway, it reminds me of an old saying I first heard from my dear grandmother, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!”. Yes, there are bad people in every group! No, we shouldn’t make an entire group of people pay for the sins of just a few! Also, feeling guilty for the sins of your ancestors is wrong! You are your own person. You should only pay for your own sins! I should not have to pay for the fact that my mother has hurt people in her life! I shouldn’t have to pay for all the different family members who have done terrible things! I didn’t do those things and condemn the actions of those people! I shouldn’t have to live my life paying for the sins those family members committed! That’s like making me go to jail for a crime a family member committed!! Sorry, I just feel really strongly about this point. I just don’t understand how this is something that people want to push. I understand that we need to recognize that there are people in my family history who did bad things. But, I am not my family. You are not your family. You are your own person! I am my own person!
*Sigh*, I know that there will be people who see this and say that I just “don’t understand” or that “you don’t get to have an opinion because of XYZ!”. I really hope that people will one day see the words that the great Martin Luther King Jr come true.
Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a dream speech, –
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense, we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. The land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men, and white men, Jews, and Gentiles, Protestants, and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”Martin Luther King Jr. Speech
I know that this isn’t my normal post but, I feel like someone needs to say it. I pray that one day everyone will be able to love each other and see each other for who we truly are.
As Always, Be Strong and Courageous