Sunday, April 18, 2010
one honkey's perspective
(me being that honkey)
I would like to put forth my personal perspective on how this nation's deplorable history effects how I navigate through contemporary society. A visceral reminder of this history is hard to deny and escape. Not that an escape from it is even desirable, let alone possible. It is easy, plain as day to see our specific course of history which has led up to this very moment. Some obvious examples would be poverty and the disproportionate among those in poverty being black. It is also noticeable with, in certain locations, with the lack of a minority presence. This was the case in Alfred, N.Y., where I attended Graduate school. If I had to guess I would place the percentage of minorities in Alfred as less than ten percent. This absence was a reminder to me that in a small community where most of its inhabitants where there to participate in a "higher" educational experience, minorities could not finance such a privileged experience. The absence of poverty or of a struggling minority does not eradicate its existence in the minds of those who care and are compassionate. Out of sight is not out of mind in this case.
I live my life based on respect. Respect for other and myself. I'll be the first to admit that I fall short of these respect based goals more often than I would like to admit. None the less, we are all in the same privileged-to-be-alive/privileged-to-simply-exist boat and that indisputable fact demands an even playing field in terms of respect and opportunity.
I do not like the historical precedent that brought about the scenario where an elderly black man would call me a younger white boy, "Sir". He is "Sir", he earned "Sir"!! I do however appreciate and admire his level of respect for his fellow man but can not help but wonder if the respect is at face value or if a fear based courtesy has been installed into him and possibly his family.
I acknowledge that I find myself in this lifetime as in the (temporary) majority. I know that this will change, there is evidence of such change already. I welcome change of most sorts, this being one. I welcome this change because I hope that with it will come the change of a proportionate delegation of political representation and legislative policy making and fund allocation to the actual proportions of the populations, prioritizing those communities that need it the most.
We are one.