“To other humans”….that is the defining clause. Many, many people world wide do not see all humans as human. That is what allows them to treat others as anything but.
When we look at history we see over and over again how a group who wants to be in power chooses to frame those they want power over as less than human. That’s what allows them to do the atrocities that will be “needed” to obtain such power.
Good God. Have we not evolved beyond this yet?
When I was in high school I was quite the jock. I was a 3 season sports kid. Living in NJ, I played with Brown, Black and white kids. We all got along together. Or at least in my clueless nature it appeared to me that we all got along together. As an older white woman I realize that I didn’t see their stories. I saw them as team mates or if they were on another team, then as rivals. But I didn’t think about it. To be honest I didn’t really recognize color until I had lived in Maine for quite some time. As you may or may not imagine, Maine is pretty white. A few years back, refugees from several African countries began to arrive to Maine as they fled horrific genocides and wars. I admit, I was happy to see them choose here for their new home. I was proud to see they thought Maine was a safe place to call home. I was also glad to see the much needed diversity, which I realized our state was missing. I don’t know if that is the wrong thing to say, but it’s how I felt. I knew some of the stories and the horrible violence they experienced and fled, so I was shocked, beyond shocked to hear some really racist comments coming from neighbors.
Fast forward to the past few years, since Obama’s presidency. The escalating and overt communication of racist thinking and behavior has once again left me shocked. What the heck white people?! What are white people so afraid of?
A while back I became a subscriber to the blog, Black Girl in Maine. It is written by a woman named Shay, who as you can guess, lives in Maine, while being Black. Let’s just say that her and her family’s experience is a tad different than mine. Well, not a tad, a ton. She has shared many stories of racism that she and her family have experienced by the “good people of Maine”. She shared of a time when she was called the n word while she was crossing the street. It was by a by a white guy driving a car. What the heck white guy? Just shut up. Seriously, what type of person does that? An entitled, racist person does that. That’s who. Another story was about her adult son who was harassed and arrested for shop lifting, which he wasn’t doing. He’s in a graduate program and was home visiting his mom. His “sin”? Shopping while Black.
I think back to basketball and track in high school. I think of everyone working together as teammates. And now I wonder if our coach was a master of management or did we really not noice or care? I bet if we were to talk to the Black women who we played with, they would have very different memories. Sigh.
So today, Black people still get killed by white neighbors and by white cops. And Black men and women go to jail at ridiculous numbers compared to white people. People from Latin countries south of our border are treated like animals, abused and deported to the violence they fled. Heck, we are even deporting known Covid 19 patients to Latin countries. Small Pox blankets sound familiar? And there we have it. This country was founded on racism. It was white Europeans who “found” a land and took it from those who lived there. How could they do such a thing you ask? By thinking of them as not human. Remember the terms, savages? That’s how they did it. They wanted it and so they took it and in order to do that they committed one of the largest genocides in history. It continues today.
So, if we are sitting here in our privilege, writing this or reading this we have to stop and realize that. That we have the choice to help or not. Black and Brown people, LGTBQ people, Latino people…they don’t have the choice. Yea, we have a pandemic. But we must speak out. Now. Loudly. Clearly. And then repeat.
So before going back to what you were doing, call 1-612-673-2100 and demand the immediate prosecution of the officers who murdered George Floyd. Again, they freaking did it again. Never Again is Now. Never Again. Not on our watch.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
PS – A friend shared this with me. It’s about ramping up actions of being an ally to one of being a co-conspirator and is definitely worth a watch.