I titled this piece, “Understanding” because throughout my experience in the nursing field, I’ve learned one important thing… people are more responsive and have a deeper sense of engagement when they have a better understanding. Meaning, with the hopes of helping others become open minded and accepting, I’d like to share that I am mixed; half black half white/Australian. With so much racial divide between my genetic make-up…
I’ve always tried to understand why? Why do we have so much racial divide? What has taken place throughout history that has lead us to this point and most importantly, how can we break the cycle?
I’ve done my research and have studied real history. I’ve sifting through endless interviews, articles, podcast, NPR radio, and a lifetime of experiences and in the following paragraphs I openly share what I’ve come to understand. I personally believe the method that works best when trying to learn something is to take it back to the basics. You know, the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY and HOW?!
Caucasian Americans: Are early descendants from England, Spain, and France. Everyone else at this time regardless of skin color were not welcomed, even if you were seen as “white”,German, Lithuanian, Irish, Italian, Norwegians, etc. These early settlers left the comfort of their home, and were often told for freedom of religious persecution, but failed to acknowledge the imperialism that was brought with them. All throughout the establishing years of this great country “White America” tend to find itself on the wrong side of ethics which often times resulted in apologizing.
African Americans: Men and women from various tribes and provinces in West and Central Africa. Some were forcibly taken while others were sold or traded for goods. Individuals taken were often from multiple tribes from different villages not speaking the same dialects as each other nor having prior experience with each other. If they did have knowledge, experience or each other; they were most likely rival tribes who fought over resources and land. As most people may know, these men and women endured the most horrendous travel to The United States ever noted in history.
This question drove me mad for the longest time, trying to understand and wrap my head around what each race ultimately wanted. It wasn’t until today’s current racial divide that this question became clear, and can be seen as the simplest concept to grasp. What do all races religions and people of imperialistic nature want? They all want to thrive. They all want their race or religion to grow expand and be the greatest.
Well this great story may have started in countries all over the world but it unfolds and continues to be written here in the United States.
This question takes us from past to present. In the past as stated previously, the original Caucasian settlers wanted to grow, thrive and dominate the greatest country in the world. They attempted this by seizing land from indigenous tribes by means of rape, murder and capture. They also attempted superiority through isolation. They made other races who were arriving to America, know that they were second class. Then we go through years of slavery followed by years of imperialism, where the US attempts to seize and take multiple islands and force the captives of the land to speak read and write English. Often times forcing them to abandon their cultures, names, and religious beliefs. Therefore, we come to an ending of acceptance for imperialism and divided citizens to a country building and focusing on its own land and greatness. The land becomes the freedom it represents, it offers the dream so many seek, wrongs are attempted to be made right, and although it’s far from perfect America, it is seen as the greatest country of all! Fast forward a few more years and America is still having racial division as African Americans begin to grow and thrive and demand more equality. In a legal sense, this equality is seemingly established, but in an emotional and ethical sense it’s lacking. Enter to current time frame where Caucasian Americans are feeling the growth of not only African Americans, but also Hispanics, Asians, and Middle Easterns. These races and cultures are more prevalent and abundant in the growth sector, that “white America” is now scared. They are very much aware of the social and political effects of being the minority group.
Well as stated a multitude of times in this piece the original Caucasian Americans set out to be a great race. They wanted to rule and govern what they hoped would be known as the greatest country in the world. While African Americans no longer have any African ties and are being stripped of cultural ways, ultimately saw it best to stay in America and grow and thrive as a race. Many races made this same choice and were able to achieve this goal in shorter times with less resistance and that explains my second why. Why was it so much easier for Italians, Germans, Irish, and Asians to acclimate and fight back for equality than it was for blacks? During immigration these other races and cultures would come to America in large groups consisting of entire families like ie; mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and neighbors. Often coming with previous skills, trades, or finances for investment that were needed in our growing country. All of these races often were the welcoming committee for others from their country whom would later arrive in the US. People would always be made aware of a home country’s neighbor’s young son and wife traveling to the US and the need for help in acclimation, which the already settled would provide. Many of the races took over the entire town and boroughs staying close by each other for protection and emotional support.
African Americans again did not have this. They did not have the opportunity to come as a unit with family or friends. They did not have the chance to get to know each other often until they became slaves of the same household. Trust was hard to establish as slaves were often rewarded for telling on one another or executed for conspiring with one another. The establishment of a thriving trusting black community took a long time to establish, but throughout life’s many trials the Black African American race has grown and became more engaged in seeing one another as family or ken.
Not a perfect situation but a great improvement, so great that Caucasian white America finds its own existence in the current world at stake. Caucasian men are now feeling something they call white genocide. I personally disagree with the use of the word genocide, but understand and see the dwindling appearance and strength of the white male as the dominant role in today’s society. Today’s society currently has African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian or Asian decent, Israeli, Middle Eastern, and European Males also dominating in business, political, housing, and financial sectors. Failing to mention women of all races are becoming an unstoppable force as well.
So how do we understand and accept all of this racial divide? The change of times has always been a hard one and where many have often used culture and faith to divide one another, I ask that we perhaps try something different. As a lover of philosophy and history I ask what God, Gods, Deities, or greater being said or promoted the concept of Imperialism or war amongst each other was their way? All the greatest beings dictated in history speak of gaining the ultimate happiness through means of humbleness and peace.
You do not have to abandon your culture and what makes you unique. You don’t have to force your views on anyone or allow anyone to force their views on you; but you can learn from each other and possibly gain a better perspective if nothing else understanding for one another that allows for a peaceful existence. As the greatest country in the world we can set the standards and stop seeing each other as competitors in race and realize that as a human race we thrive and survive longer and stronger. Isolation is not the answer, division is not the key, but better understanding and empathy are the tools to success.
Socrates explained, in his rebuttal to the Republic about Justice, that the scar emotionally and ethically worn by the unjust was nonhealing and heavy. While the scars of the receiving persons of the unjust were superficial and un-lasting. So with this thought in mind, I ask that we reflect on what we have to lose and what we stand to gain, by giving one another the free gift of UNDERSTANDING.