Treat others as you would like to be treated
Race, police brutality, coronavirus, underlying health issues, and yes black-on-black senseless killings encompass blacks.
The world witnessed as the individuals who we entrust to serve and protect their citizens showed no compassion for human life. As a result, the incident opened the eyes of the world to see what blacks have been experiencing from their birth. Regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, etc. all lives matter. True courage is in knowing when not to take a life but when to spare one.
There is absolutely no excuse for the rioting, violence or the burning of the buildings, nor do I condone such actions. It gave those the opportunity to say, “See how Blacks act.” In most instances, Blacks are often viewed under a microscope, whereas someone else may be viewed through a telescope.
Blacks have been the recipients of injustice on all levels in my life, my parents, my grandparents, and so on. Some don’t see the confederate flag as an issue and say it’s our heritage. But to Blacks, that flag represents hatred, oppression, intimidation, belittling and degrading comments.
Please keep in mind, Mississippi has been notorious for cross burnings, the hanging of many blacks in front of their families, social events, etc. Those who display that flag may not be racist. However, it is the first thing that comes to a Black when he/she sees someone displaying it. Although the flag didn’t do those heinous acts of violence, it was and still is associated to those despicable acts today.
We cannot move forward and still hold on to the past. We cannot undo what has happened in the past, but in 2020 Blacks are still encountering those same issues. If you discovered or knew you had a tumor, would you continue to let it infest your body, or do what must be done?
When someone made a disparaging comment about blacks in your presence, did you speak out or remain silence? Or associate it with common bantering. It’s 2020 and we still have racial issues when a Black male is referred to as “Buckwheat,” when a Black male is referred to as “a nobody,” when a Black male is called “n—–,” and when a black male (Nasar driver Bubba Wallace) finds a noose hanging in his garage stall simply because he took a stand, and prior to the noose, a confederate flag was flying over NASCAR.
If you recall, those were the same tactics used in the past to incite fear and intimidation in Blacks to keep them in their place. There were no outside groups that came into Natchez and referred me to the above, it was from Natchez very own.
Despicable acts of racism and hate serve as a painful reminder of how much further we must go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism. If we can vigorously fight for the right to bear arms, we should be just as vigorous to fight for all men are created equal.
A while back Oprah Winfrey did a show whereas white individuals were transformed into looking Black. Each individual was to return at the end of week and give his or her experiences. One individual (white male) came back the very same day crying and said he wanted to be back white as for he cannot take how he is treated when he goes into stores, walking down the street, etc. Personally speaking, I would like to be white for a day, and perhaps these issues will go away. But until we have walked in the other shoes, we can only imagine what someone is going through.
In a previous article, the question was asked, when will all this end? Simple, when we do as God said, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” It is my hope you found this article thought provoking, immediate, practical and hopefully encourage Natchez citizens to have a forum whereas everyone can meet and openly discuss racism.
President Theodore Roosevelt said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Where do you stand? More importantly, are you open for change? Just as with the coronavirus, we’re all in this together.
Thank you for your patience reading this article and hope to meet you soon.
Stephen Washington is a Natchez resident concerned about racism.