“We are one people,
we are one family,
and we all live in the same house
— the American house.”
~ U.S. Representative John Lewis
“400 years ago white people kidnapped black people and brought them here to enslave them. And sold them. And treated them as less than human. For 250 years. While white men formed the country and created its laws and its systems of government. While 10-15 generations of white families got to grow and flourish and make choices that could make their lives better.
And then 150 years ago white people “freed” black people from slavery. But then angry white people created laws that made it impossible for them to vote. Or to own land. Or to have the same rights as white people. And even erected monuments glorifying people who actively had fought to keep them enslaved. All while another 5, 10 generations of white families got to grow and accumulate wealth and gain land and get an education.
And then 60 years ago we made it “legal” for black people to vote, and to be “free” from discrimination. But angry white people still fought to keep schools segregated. And closed off neighborhoods to white people only. And made it harder for black people to get bank loans, or get quality education or health care, or to (gasp) marry a white person. All while another 2-3 generations of white families got to grow and pass their wealth down to their children and their children’s children.
And then we entered an age where we had the technology to make PUBLIC the things that were already happening in private– the beatings, the stop and frisk laws, the unequal distribution of justice, the police brutality (police began in America as slave patrols designed to catch runaway slaves). And only now, after 400+ years and 20+ generations of a white head start, are we STARTING to truly have a dialog about what it means to be black.
White privilege doesn’t mean you haven’t suffered or fought or worked hard. It doesn’t mean white people are responsible for the sins of their ancestors. It doesn’t mean you can’t be proud of who you are.
It DOES mean that we need to acknowledge that the system our ancestors created is built FOR white people.
It DOES mean that we aren’t disadvantaged because of the color of our skin and it DOES mean that we owe it to our neighbors– of all colors– to acknowledge that and work to make our world more equitable.”
(Copied and pasted. Please do the same)!
“I ask no favors for my sex.
All I ask of our brethren is,
that they will take their feet from off our necks,
and permit us to stand upright
on that ground
which God designed us to occupy.”
~ Sarah Grimke
Quaker Feminist & Abolitionist
“When all Americans are treated as equal,
no matter who they are or whom they love,
we are all more free.”
~ Barack Obama
“Equality is all about understanding our rights,
understanding what we stand for
and how powerful we are as men,
and as women,
black or white or Hispanic.”
~ LeBron James more
“We become the heirs of
Martin Luther King Jr.
by recognizing one another
not by the color of their skin
but by the content of their character.
people of every race, ethnicity and religion
can be fully and equally American.
that bigotry or white supremacy in any form
is blasphemy against the American creed.
the very identity of our nation
depends on the passing of civic ideals
to the next generation.”
~ George W. Bush more
“America must always reject racial bigotry,
anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms.
As we pray for Charlottesville,
we are reminded of the fundamental truths
recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen
in the Declaration of Independence:
we are all created equal
and endowed by our Creator
with unalienable rights.
We know these truths to be everlasting
because we have seen the decency
and greatness of our country.”
~ George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush more