By now, you have either seen or heard it…
Yes. Discrimination is everywhere. Racism is everywhere.
But, it is no longer the person who stands outside your house and burns a cross in your front yard; it is no longer the person who calls you a nigger (or some variation of it) to your face; it is not in the signage around town that prohibits you from using a certain fountain, or entering through the front door of a business. It is systematic. It is when people accept the status quo; It is when people say, “Well, that is how it has always been.” It is when people stand by and refuse to get involved because it is “none of their business.”
There is one line that hit me really hard in this article.
“I can’t imagine anyone is going to be applying for anything in that city anytime soon,” Fuller said. “I can’t imagine businesses are going to want to move in there with the current leaders in City Hall.”
This is where I will concentrate this post.
I live in a town where few African Americans live. Are there people in the town who are blatantly racist? no. Have I been discriminated against and denied opportunities because of my race? yes, but mostly because of the ingrained ignorance that sometimes exists within the community. Ignorance that allows people to discriminate against ethnic minorities.
Most unknowingly. But they do not get a pass.
…which is why it is my duty to make sure that they have no choice but to see me for who I am.
Young, Gifted, and Black.
I did not ask to be black, but I am. My parents taught me that being black comes with responsibilities:
You must be the best.
You must work the hardest.
You must put yourself in a position where saying no hurts them, not you.
If you can help it, you must live to see another day.
When they told me these responsibilities, they did not say:
You must be better than white people.
You must work harder than white people…
It was indiscriminate. They meant all people.
My parents made me realize that being black was the best gift my ancestors ever gave me. I, along with others, get the responsibility of carrying centuries of history on my back. My people were built for this; we made the world go around, we made economies grow, we built cities from the ground up.
And I am the fruit of all of that labor.
I will teach your children,
I will coach your children,
I will sit on your boards and councils,
I will create your businesses, and (God willing), I will be called Doctor.
I will do this because there are more like me. There are more blacks that are driven to accomplish the same goals that I want to accomplish. More brothers and sisters who believe that accomplishing these goals are a responsibility that is owed to our people – a responsibility to your people as well. Your community is not whole without us.
So, although the community in this article may not have been ready, I hope you are ready; you don’t have a choice.