The Whole World Is Watching

sad-black-woman.gifI know the issues that America currently faces with regard to racism and sexism have been addressed at many levels. While I’m encouraged by the conversations people are having (even the immature ones), I’m saddened with the reality that our country…our world…is saddled with such unnecessary burdens. I hate that we are so ignorant and fearful to learn about others’ cultures and ethnicities.

Beautiful people come in many shades and so many miss the opportunity to realize their full potential because they allow their fears to guide their reactions and actions throughout life’s journey.

I am concerned that the negativity expressed during the Democratic Primary season of 2008 ignited these fears. The mere fact that women and blacks have been classified, albeit not officially, as second-class citizens, by white men (and I recognize not all of them do so intentionally), has put us all in a predicament of sorts. What’s more, black women have had to choose which of the two scenarios — being black or being female — has been their biggest obstacle…their blackness obviously won that internal battle for most.

Recognizing that each of us is a product of our upbringing, the socialization of community, the exposure to external elements, and the injection of mass communication we either absorb or ignore. As time goes on, we pick and chose which influences to acknowledge, oftentimes disregarding that which would be most positive. Still, the pain we feel, even if only subconsciously, rears its head and triggers our defense mechanisms. Many times we refuse to grant permission to anyone who offers contradictory information—it just doesn’t seem to fit. Try as we may, we want equality but we seemingly set up barriers to allow it to “happen.” The chips on our shoulders, if you will, seem to get bigger and, if we’re not careful, the resistance to positivity grows, often beyond reach.

donna-perdue.gifSo then, here we are, somewhat separated…no, very separated. We’re afraid of what that actually means. Ahead of us is this wonderful opportunity to do something that will benefit us all. I pray, for my son’s sake, for your sake, for women’s sake, for men’s sake, for the world’s sake, that we get this right. The whole world is watching. A beautiful opportunity lies ahead for us to finally prove we are all that we have perpetrated to be. I pray we’re up to the task and will make ourselves proud.

– by Donna Perdue

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Comments

  1. Ursula Tyler says

    I agree that this a wonderful opportunity for the world to see that this great nation can actually live up to its promise to all that this is freedom country. If nothing else, to finally prove that this is the place where opportunity can be seized no matter your socio-economic status, race or gender. And at the same time it is freighting for some to see that the possibility that this country may be run by someone other than what we have become accustomed to. Yes, it’s true. And the backlash of that fear is already beginning to manifest its ugly self. I’ve personally noticed an increase in racial undertones in daily mundane activities. An African American male associate searching for summer work while on break from college efforts have been futile. He has no criminal record, he is well educated, from a home with both parent and he lives in one of Maryland’s better counties. Time after time he has been turned down with no explanations. He left his last job because he refused to be treated as a person of no value. Yes, Baltimore citizens are known for their poor driving etiquette, but help me too understand why lately no “non African-Americans” will allow me to change lanes or to merge? If I just speed up and take it, I get the finger and I am called the “N” word. It’s not that this hasn’t happened before, but it is a more frequent occurrence. The covert opinions of some concerning my race are more quickly surfacing with no fear of retribution. Is this what we have to look forward to? This very well may be a coming out party so to speak for some who will under no uncertain terms let me think that not for one second that I have any power over him because of the ethnicity of one man who seized the opportunity to become greater.

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