Friday, August 15, 2014

Race-Relations inTwenty-first Century America

     Having just attained the grand old age of sixty-five years, I can now look back on a fair-sized piece of American cultural/societal history.  I remember when I was a callow youth in high school, I thought that by the time I was an old guy, things would be probably pretty well straightened out. It certainly seemed that we were going in the right direction anyhow. But that was back in those good old halcyon "happy days" of the fifties, now tinged with golden edges, as most of the memories from our youth seem to be. Granted, everything about the good old days wasn't all that great.
     One of the things that wasn't so good at all, was race-relations. The KKK still held sway in the south, and folks of color were still routinely being denied voting rights, and a whole lot of other rights as well--things we take for granted now. Things like being able to use whatever water fountain and lunch counter you wanted to. Or be able to sit at any damned place on the bus you felt like. Or gain admission to the best schools and neighborhoods. Or throw a football or pitch a baseball for the bigs just like any other talented athlete.
     The list could go on.
     But we got better. At least I thought we did. Martin Luther King Jr. made the biggest difference, along with the Kennedy brothers and Lyndon Johnson. The civil rights struggle was a just one, and it seemed to come out right. But somehow, things just haven't seemed to change all that much. Or at least the perception. There still seems to be a huge gulf between the races in this country, and I'm not exactly sure why that is. Back in the bad old days, it was easy to find examples of discrimination. Today . . . not so much.
     So--I dunno.
     Enter the recent shooting in Missouri. Who's to blame? Which side is right? The investigation into the shooting has only just begun. No one seemed to be waiting for the results of that investigation, and I'm not too sure that either side will accept it, whatever it is. It's all emotional now--and all political.  It's pretty hard to find voices of reason out there in the wasteland anywhere.
     Or is it?
     I found this video on Facebook today. It is making the internet rounds. It is one man's opinion (and an African-American man as well) about what is really wrong today. About what the true cause of the riff that still exists between the races is. And what (in his opinion) is to be done about it.
     It is about personal responsibility and accountability. What he has to say I believe to be very germane. And not just to the black community either. You could change the rant to one about whites by a white man, and he would still be making a lot of telling points. The fact of the matter is, we ALL need to buck-up quite a bit. We  All need to act more like adults and less like spoiled little kids. We need to start being grown-ups again.
     Anyway, here it is, for what it's worth. I would be interested in hearing reactions to it. Please feel free to leave a comment. As always, thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Below is the link. If clicking on it doesn't take you directly to the video, it might be worthwhile to type the address in your browser bar. A good six or seven minutes--well worth all of our time. Take care now until the next time.

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