If we’re going to “talk about race” we need to talk about it as a two way street. As a person with white skin I’ve suffered racist remarks, actions, and comments by several people with black skin. In fact, several of my family members have suffered discrimination just because of the color of their skin—and I know for a fact none of us have a racist bone in our body.
I grow weary and tired of this hate in the name of “civil rights” and “solving the problem”. What? You want me to admit to some obscure crime that not even my ancestors committed? You want me to apologize for someone just because I have the unfortunate coincidence of having a similar pigment in my skin? Really? I thought we were trying to abolish this concept of “race”. As a Christian, I know there is one race: the descendants of Adam, the children of Eve.
I feel like an old record, but the fact is many of my ancestors suffered terrible persecution both inside this country and out. What many historians don’t mention is how horribly Irish and Polish Catholic immigrants were treated in the early part of this century. My grandfather recalled how in his neighborhood, he and his family were treated worse than those with black skin. He was “white”.
The difference is, that instead of holding deep seated hatred for the many misgivings, discrimination, fear, hurt, and oppression he suffered; he instead decided to make something of his life. He fit practically every criteria to be considered “under privileged.”
- His mother died in Federal Prison
- His father was disabled (fired due to workplace injury…)
- His parents were divorced shortly after birth
- Mixed family (most or all of his siblings had different fathers)
- He was a minority (in the 1920s, Polish Catholic WAS a minority)
- He lived in Detroit
- Had to work throughout high school just to put food on the table for his family
- There was no food stamp or welfare programs
As a Christian, I know there is one race: the descendants of Adam, the children of Eve.
In spite of all of this, he graduated high school with honors. He went on to work full-time during the day and take college classes at night. He lived a content life working hard, loving his family, and held no bitterness. Not against his mother nor his father. He didn’t blame the government for not helping him enough and he never once expected society to foot the bill. He worked hard, suffered, sacrificed, and died a very kind, loving man who feared God and loved his family. Not once did he blame the White English Protestants for his childhood. Nor did he blame the government for the prohibition laws that sent his mother to jail.
I am sick of being verbally bombarded by these messages that “whites” caused the situation that is holding back black people. No, “whites” did not cause the problem. It’s a combination of problems with the individuals themselves, their community leaders, and bad people.
Skin color needs to be removed from the discussion altogether. Labeling one group of people by their skin color perpetuates racism and continues to make it an issue. I’m “White”, yet my ethnic background includes Polish, English, Irish, Scottish, English, Belgian, Menominee Indian, Belgian, French, Slovakian, German, Russian, and possibly several other heritages. Many of my ancestral cultures are have very little in common besides having a shade of Caucasian skin color. In fact, several were invaded, enslaved, and oppressed. You don’t see the Pollacks demanding reparations from the descendants who had nothing to do with their ancestors’ actions.
When the categorization of skin color is removed from the discussion and personal responsibility is interjected in its place, then maybe, just maybe we can bring an end to the bigotry and hatred. If we continue to define problems in the context of skin pigment the solutions will be as superficial as the argument.