BY BOB BEARDEN
Racism in America struck another blow for their cause when some dumb gob shite trashed LeBron James home in Los Angeles. Fortunately, neither LeBron nor none of his family were home at the time. But the incident points up that no matter who you are in America, if you are black, you are subject to racism.
And it proves once again we have not, despite all the efforts to change, reached a time that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned when he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
We know the content of LeBron James’ character, who he is, and that he is a kind and caring person who happens also to be of African American descent. But the content of the character of whomever trashed his home we also know. They are bigoted and racist in tone, mind and nature.
We also live in a society that is fast and inevitably becoming more homogenous by the day and that will soon be a society in which no one race or color will be a majority. We also know for some that is a scary prospect that they want to try and avoid. And no matter how hard we try we can’t seem to eradicate bigotry, racism and hatred from our society.
We can disagree on a lot of subjects but when it comes to race and color and who we are we should be of one accord. We are all Americans no matter what our race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or what religion we practice. As Francis Wright once noted, “Equality is the soul of liberty, in fact there is no liberty without it.”
We must find a way to get past our hatred of people simply because of how they worship, their lifestyle or the color of their skin. We are supposed to be the melting pot of the world and yet we cannot seem to address who we were and where we came from.
Our past hasn’t been very nice and we need to acknowledge that and come to terms with that. The issue of slavery. The issue of what we have done to our indigenous peoples needs to be addressed. We cannot continue to live with a past that won’t acknowledge the sins we committed as a nation and a people.
We can’t cover our scabs over and pretend they didn’t happen or that because they happened a long time ago that makes them irrelevant or meaningless. They happened and we need to address the root causes of why. We can’t just ignore them. It isn’t healthy for us as a people or as a nation to pretend all is well and fine now, because it isn’t.
South Africa had the right idea. We in America need a cleansing and a healing and an acknowledgment that we as a nation have not addressed why we now do not have a more perfect union. Our past is weighing us down because we won’t open the scabs and let them heal.
It is time we did. It is the right thing to do. And as Dr. King said, “The time is always right to do that which is right!”
– Bob Bearden is a trustee of the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation and a member of Mayflower Congregational Church, UCC, in Oklahoma City