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Opinion

Dear White America: It's time for national reckoning
Race relations past, present and future
 
Published Monday, July 13, 2020 4:54 pm
by James, Ashley and Autumn Alston

Every time we have a tragedy in which a police officer or any white person kills or beats a Black person we wonder why?


Such as the killings of George Floyd, Jamar Clark, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and many, many others, our country typically spends the next few days having discussion forums about race relations. The forum always consist of a white male as moderator and the panel consist of mostly black academics being asked the question, what can be done to improve race relations; to ease the racial tension?


A discussion ensues and it's repeated a few days until the anger wears off then it’s back to business as usual. But this time it seems to be different. It’s time to confront the root of the problem.


We mourn the death of any police officer just as we mourn the death of our Black people.


We should discuss the problems and its causes and solutions of racism. But this time the roles need to be reversed. The moderators need to be black academics asking questions to a panel of white America, consisting of academics, CEOs, and people from the community.


The central question should be, why does White America feel as though they are entitled and superior to Blacks and other people of color, just because of the color of their skin? With the roles reversed, we can begin to have a serious in-depth conversation about race relations. It's like the preverbal elephant in the room. It seems everyone knows it exist but is afraid to confront the “White male superiority complex.”


The white male has always felt entitled and superior due to his skin color since the beginning. They kidnapped us from our native land and broke up the Black family unit by killing some and shackling others to be brought against their will and put into slavery.


The white male prospered on free slave labor which was responsible for building the foundation of this country for hundreds of years. The constitution was written by white males who believed that Blacks were three-fifths (or less) of a human. From the ‘20s through the ‘50s the government, comprised of White males were responsible for the period known as Jim Crow. During the 1960s when blacks protested for (their God-given) rights, of fairness, equality and justice, our great leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a white male.


From slavery to Jim Crow until present day the white male has always been the underlying thread or common denominator throughout history resulting in inequality and suppression of Blacks. Blacks have endured killings and tremendous amounts of pain and suffering for hundreds of years. No other race in history has ever endured what the Black race has had to live through. When you have been thought of as subhuman, inferior and treated like animals for generations, it begins to be handed down like it’s in our DNA.


Black children are being born today subconsciously believing they are inferior due to generations of slavery and Jim Crow telling them that. Just as white people have been entitled and privileged for generations. White children being born today subconsciously believing they are entitled and privileged due to the color of their skin. It’s now in their DNA.


The question could be asked, is White America against people of color? People of color, Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, etc. simply want be treated equally. It’s time that White America face reality. They are no better than any other race, nor are they lesser than any other race. We are all equal in this melting pot we call America.

But again, at every forum the white male is always the moderator asking questions to a panel of Blacks as to what can be done to ease racial tension and improve race relations after a tragedy. It’s like the slave master asking the slave while he's in shackles, what can be done to make his life better while knowing all the time the answer lies within himself (White America).


Let’s not lose sight of the fact that during those times in history, there were actual crimes committed as well as crimes against humanity, such as enslaving humans, raping Black women, forced labor, not allowed to vote, not allowed to use the public bathrooms, being incarcerated under false pretense, job discrimination, housing discrimination, unequal access to education, and most of all, lynching.  


Make no mistake, we are in a new civil war between the “haves and the have-nots. You must decide which side are you on. There is no room for waffling. Be aware of the wafers, for they’re actually on the side of the haves in an attempt to sway you over to their way of thinking.

The have-nots are striving for a more perfect union while the haves are striving for a more perfect division. Our government has failed its duty to provide equality for all. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.

Remember, history will judge and record each and every one of us as to which side we were on when it came to fighting for the mere survival of America. Were you on the side to keep the status quo, or were you on the side fighting to uphold the promises of the Declaration of Independence, that “All people are created equal and deserve the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

        
The time is now for us to put White America under the microscope. We must ask them the hard questions and we must demand straight answers. What can be done to bury the past forever?

White America must confess, admit and reflect inward and ask themselves three questions:


• How could my ancestors for generations kill, capture and enslave another race? What kind of mindset would do such a thing?


• Do I have my ancestors’ racist DNA in me and if so, what can I do about it?


• What can be done now to put the past to rest?


A. White America needs to genuinely own up to and admit to the treatment they have inflicted on Black people for generations, then congress needs to show contrition and apologize nationally to Black America. “Congress needs to act and pass a written document acknowledging white America’s past behavior and consider erecting a national monument to Black America for their contributions to this country.


B. Most importantly, there needs to be compensation in some form to Black America for the generations of mental and physical torture, death from slavery, Jim Crow, systemic injustices, inequality and suppressing upward mobility which has been promoted and institutionalized by our very own government for generations.


Remember, the scars both physical and mental that black people have endured are deeper than the deepest ocean. Black people are like the headless horseman who is restless and will never be at peace until he finds his head. There will never be peace between Blacks and whites until White America admits and acknowledges their systemic racism and biases against Black people. This country is like a big sore with a scab covering it but never heals. We must pull the scab off the wound and let the puss drain out before the wound will ever heal. Then and only then can we as a nation heal and bury the past forever.  


White America has enjoyed white privilege at the expense of black American’s freedom for over 400 years. White America has proven they have no credibility. It will take generations of contrition and doing the right things in order for white America to rectify 400 years of pain and suffering that were inflicted upon Black America.

The good news is Black America has survived through 400 years of slavery, Jim Crow, genocide, humiliation, torture and lynching not because we’re lucky but because we’re a forgiving race whose DNA consist of hope, faith, integrity and most of all grace. Prove to us White America what you’re made of.  


James, Ashley and Autumn Alston live in Charlotte.

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