Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Visionaries like Martin Luther King, Jr.

To highlight how hot a topic race is, the number of readers of this blog drops when I write about race. I got a terrible review of a blog post about race. Black friends of mine say whites don't want to talk about race. However, most black people do not like the topic either.

Being a life-long Georgian, race has always been an issue. A white teacher I worked with who did not get her contract renewed told me our principal who was black was racist. I said nothing. The woman was already down and I did not need to put her down more.

What I thought was a combination of two factors. She just did not fit in with the students she taught. You have to adapt wherever you go. Each school district has its peculiar bent. The second was you have got to be kidding. We all look through the prism of our experiences and race is a big influence on us all.

I have been following a Native American issues FaceBook feed. One thing Native Americans hate is whites saying they had a Native American grandmother. I have a black acquaintance who has told me that she experienced the same thing.

When I first encountered this opinion, I was hurt and mad. I mean I caught heck about how dark I was as a kid before segregation. I remember in Fifth grade being questioned why I was brown. Another girl was Italian and that was acceptable. But I was the same color and I didn't have being Italian as an excuse.

Now, I only have the urge to tell all Native Americans but hold my tongue. They have a lot of anger. Plus, there are a lot of wannabees who have a romanticized view of Native Americans. Yes they have some wonderful religious mythologies and saints. But the bulk have feet of clay like everybody else. I can see where a wannabee can be aggravating.

The epiphany I had with reading the FaceBook feed is the greatness Martin Luther King Jr's leadership. We have visionaries that walk this Earth and we never know it when they are alive.

Tavis Smiley wrote, Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year . What struck me hardest was how hard his last year was. He was battling all the forces of negativity to bring civil rights for African Americans. If not for his non-violent protests and demonstrating forgiveness and love, the tension between blacks and white would have made it impossible for blacks and whites to work together.

I remember the day King was shot.  I walked in my family home to find my mother and father depressed by the news. The good guy had been killed and our country was a pot boiling over in 1968. How you felt about race was a family thing that you did not discuss outside your family. Keeping mum about race is nothing new.

When I was young, every town had to rename a road Martin Luther King, Jr. My thought was "Why don't we acknowledge other black leaders?" I now know that if not Martin Luther King, Jr.; we would be no where close to where we are today. We still have serious problems but we have made enormous progress. All because one man knew the only way to bring change with peace is with faith in God and love.

It's not my place to make suggestions to Native Americans. A FaceBook feed has a fairytale land sense to it. It can seem real. But more than likely it is a place to find enjoyable memes, interesting news articles, surreal website news articles, trolls, friends with a lot of baloney. So this feed can give a trend or frustration light. Plus one over opinionated poster can silence many thoughtful posters.

I appreciate them letting me follow their group. One poster says, why is it always their grandmother. That grandmother may be seven to ten generations back or a family legend that is not true. In the end, it is an admiration.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog, I am now following you....and I have played a little catch-up with your posts. I have also liked your facebook. It is a shame that in this day you would have so many negative comments regarding race, but understandable as the US is still a racist country. You have made some interesting points in this post. Have a good day.

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