Thursday, October 04, 2007

Open Letter to Society ...

Dear World Leaders, Dignitaries, Politicians, Saints, Sinners, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists, Capitalists, Communists, Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Middle Eastern, Celebrities, Pseudo-celebrities, racists, classists, sexist, normal, abnormal, regular and irregular people and anyone else who may have been left out:
It has come to my attention that WE as a collective population have grown to hate each other and it needs to stop! For the past few months, I have seen some of the most outrageous events play out in the media and all I can say is if these things weren't happening, they wouldn't be getting reported.
First off, we need to stop being naive and trying to get everything sugar-coated. The sooner we admit that racism, classism, sexism and prejudice of all kinds still exist, the sooner we can begin the healing process and taking steps toward understanding each other.
I don't even NEED to further explain why the March on Jena was necessary, but I will. The bottom line in this whole debate is that there is a separate justice system for white folks and people of color, not just in Jena, but the whole country.
If that's not the truth, explain to me why Darryl Hunt can have two trials and still spend 18 years of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit? If it's not true, why did Geronimo Pratt spend 27 years of his life in prison on trumped up murder and kidnapping charges? If it's not true, why are more black and Hispanic men incarcerated more than any other group?
I'll tell you why, other people are afraid. They are afraid of what they don't know and what group of people are avoided at all costs? Black and Hispanic males, that's who. Meanwhile, those REAL criminals, many of whom are of the Caucasian persuasion, go free because they either have the resources to hire those folks who can get them off the hook or invoke their white privilege while we on the other hand have to pay that old, Colored Tax.
If that's not enough, we are passing this hate along to our children and masking it as education. Take the "noose lesson" at Grambling State University's Alma J. Brown Elementary School. The "adults" in this situation used "mock" nooses to "teach" the children, all kindergarten and first-grade students, why the noose was a symbol of racism.
Maybe it's just me but I think the same thing could have been taught with movie scenes. I can think of a couple off the top of my head - the Ving Rhames hanging in Rosewood or the hanging of the little girl in A Time to Kill. Here's a novel idea, why not Google a few pictures to show these children how horrible hangings are. But they wouldn't do that because it's "too graphic."
I'll do you one better, two teachers up in New Jersey assigned their sixth grade students social studies projects where the students had to create an advertisement IN FAVOR OF slavery. According to a story from a local news station, the students had to defend the use of slave labor to run a newly built plantation in South Carolina. Students were told to come up with a '"catchy" name for the plantation and give three reasons why slave labor is the "best idea" and they were even encouraged to add illustrations.
Here's an even better story, at a high school for the deaf and hard of hearing just outside of Washington, D.C., our nations capital, a black student was held against his will by six white students and one black student. The student was let go after being held for about 45 minutes and after the seven students used markers to draw swastikas and "KKK" on his body.
Regardless of what happened, it was wrong. This entire incident is nothing more than the proverbial chickens coming home to roost. Frankly, if we spent more time educating our kids at early ages about our ACTUAL history, there would be no need for these incidents to keep popping up.
As much as we'd like to believe that these incidents are isolated, those of us with some common sense can see that all of these incidents are indirectly related to the miseducation and the desensitization of our children and ourselves.
After a while, we'll be back to square one - segregated getting separate, but unequal shares of everything this great nation has to offer. Look around ya'll. Is this what our ancestors fought for? Is this why our foremothers and forefathers were attacked by dogs and fire hoses?
I think not! It's time we wise up, start the healing process and take the first step toward equality, in justice, in the economy and in life in general - together.


A fed up, black, female, Christian hippie who wants justice and equality for all, in all.

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