“It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.” Barack Obama
In looking back on my life, I realize I want to be remembered as having made a difference in the lives of others. That’s it. All I really and truly want.
I hoped that by the 21st century the work I have done would have made a huge difference; it would have helped bring about an understanding of the Human Condition…and end, or closer to an end to racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance.
Upon the election of President Obama I (briefly) thought we had finally matured as a country and racism was on a death spiral. I have never been so disappointed in anything in my life as I was when it finally sunk into my brain that racism was once again in the forefront..it was slithering out from under our Nation’s closet doors and re-emerging into our daily lives.
I see our political parties diligently working against the people of our country in an effort to meet their own crazed agendas, spewing forth diatribes against each other. One in an effort to deflect attention from the commander-in-chief’s rampant misogyny, the other to regain power and control over the government. The hell with whatever would be good for the people.
And I grieve to think of all the lives wasted in the fight for freedom and respect…for that is exactly what we were fighting for. The freedom to live, work, educate ourselves, marry…for everyone. Not just the White race. Our fight was for inclusivity.
It grieves me to know that my African-American brothers and sisters are still thought of as lesser than…that my Hispanic brothers and sisters are still thought of as lesser than..that my Islamic brothers and sisters are thought not just “lesser than” but also “evil”.
I am angry. I am angry that we are still fighting the Civil War. I am angry that we are still fighting racial injustice. I am angry that whites are still denying their own racism and justifying their feelings with excuses of “it’s our heritage” or “it’s our history”. To put it bluntly, that is BS. It is wanting to feel superior and have a physical reminder of the ‘good old days”, and if it “keeps them in their place” oh, it so much the better.
I think about people I knew that fought the good fight..that put their lives on the line for equality and lost, and I think was it all in vain? Rebecca, that beautiful girl from Mississippi who was lynched simply for daring to sit in an “all white” restaurant. Johnathon, a lovely young man from Boston who came to register voters in Alabama and was on a firebombed bus. Sarah, from New York City……..who volunteered at a (Black) day care center. She was beaten about the head and died from her injuries. My broken arm, black eyes, broken nose and loss of hearing from a damaged ear drum..for working for the NAACP.
Was it all for nothing? Has our country learned nothing? I look at the world I am eventually going to leave behind, and I greatly fear that it is worse, not better than it was before I arrived. And I grieve.