Dear Governor Huckabee, Certainly not by creed, but by centuries-long practice, racial prejudice remains a festering pustule on the American psyche. Your erroneous comments last week, asserting that the Dred Scott vs. Sanford decision remains the law of the land, make it abundantly clear how institutional racism remains ‘a thing’ in 2015. Granted, the most […]
Dear Governor Huckabee,
Certainly not by creed, but by centuries-long practice, racial prejudice remains a festering pustule on the American psyche. Your erroneous comments last week, asserting that the Dred Scott vs. Sanford decision remains the law of the land, make it abundantly clear how institutional racism remains ‘a thing’ in 2015.
Granted, the most pernicious behaviors associated with overt racism, most notably the estimated 4,000 lynchings between 1880 and 1950, have abated following the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the dwindling influence of organized hate-groups.
Nevertheless, the occurrences of mob violence against black communities remain horrifying reminders of irrational hatred on a scope and scale that surely must qualify them as crimes against humanity. This nation has failed to make amends to the descendants of the massacres in the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Rosewood in Levy County, Florida; or Slocum, Texas; just to name a few such travesties of justice.
For a nation that pledges allegiance daily to the fundamental tenet of living “with liberty and justice for all,” our history is far too replete with tragic incidents aptly modified by the descriptor “massacre.” The “#AllLivesMatter” response to the recent “#BlackLivesMatter” initiative is a specious, but flawed argument since discussion of such national tragedies are too seldom formally included in history curricula.
We must learn the truth of our shared history to evolve as a society.
Consider for a moment the internal contradiction of “#AllLivesMatter” in an America where citizens of color too frequently die in custody following apprehension for minor infractions. Empathy is a necessary attribute for healing the communal despair over ongoing disproportionate responses within the criminal justice system for a historically oppressed segment of the population.
Life among the melanin-challenged constantly poses ‘riddles within conundrums’ for those who hold enthusiastically to the constitutional ideal that “all men are created equal.” Yes, the author of that phrase held slaves, but Thomas Jefferson’s numerous attempts to alter legislatively the status of slaves and improve their lot in life were also consistently foiled by a tyranny of the majority.
Is there anyone reading this who has never participated in a conversation about race preceded by a surreptitious glance over both shoulders and opened with, “I probably should not say this, but…” only to see that self-administered advice ignored? Regrettably, such clandestine moments of sharing still occur behind the scenes when nobody perceived as an outsider is present.
Is it not time for us to rescind the passes issued when such exchanges occur?
The tacit acceptance of bias into the collective consciousness is an outcome against which all must struggle each and every day to prevent the sins of our ancestors from being visited upon our descendants. Only then will the 14th amendment have successfully relegated the rightly-reviled opinion of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney to the dustbin of history.
A Concerned Citizen