The celebration of Dr. King on the brink of Black History Month gives us a chance to authentically reflect how we are progressing as a country on the issue of equality. We are drowning in media coverage about the injustices perpetrated on the current minority communities. The Black Lives Matters movement captures headlines nearly every week. The aftermath of U.S. slavery continues to debilitate our efforts to merge the gifts and talents of all cultures and improve our quality of life. In the United States, we already have enough for everyone to live a decent existence. But far too many prefer to be petty, angry, fearful, mean, scared, paranoid or evil. They are willing to lie, steal and kill to defend the disturbed concept of superiority. It boggles my mind that with all of the information available, people still choose to hate. A Canadian friend once told me they consider racism a form of mental illness. From everything I've seen, heard and lived, I must say I agree. But what I know is, there are more good people than bad. If it weren't so, our world would be in chaos. And Flint would be on fire.
Problem is, our expectations for black/white race relations are far too high. On both sides. Black people were given the right to vote in this country a mere 50 years ago. 50 years.That ain't shit. How can anyone possibly believe things should already be equal? It's illogical. We've got 400 years of slavery's bad karma on us. It's going to take at least half that amount of time to straighten things out. That gives us until 2165. Now I'm not at all advocating the efforts should slow down. But thinking in these terms allows us to put into perspective the spectacular amount of growth that has happened in a ridiculously short amount of time. As a country, we are doing great. Nowhere near perfect, but certainly poised to get it right if we work hard enough. Amidst all of the ignorant rhetoric, I've heard truths spoken that can expand our ability to tackle our racial issues effectively and permanently.
I stumbled upon this interview with Brian Lehrer on Huff Post Live speaking on white privilege. Whether or not you agree with Brian Lehrer's views, his intention to find solutions cannot be denied. The beneficiaries of privilege are acknowledging the inequity in greater numbers. As Americans continue to come together on this issue, we will expedite the rate at which our country heals its wounds. I think Dr. King would be proud of where we are and the work that is being done . And perhaps he would agree that while it is fine to be optimistic, we must remain realistic on how much further we have to go. Now is the time to work harder and smarter. Everything is at stake.