MixedRoots Blogging while mixed. Commentary on being biracial, challenging perceptions of race & religion in life and politics. Connecting all Cultures. Unity and Peace. Dedicated to celebrating all cultures, including mixed-heritages, inter-racial & inter-religious families and unions while educating others about the unique mixed-race and multicultural experience. Bridging the gaps between racial, ethnic, cultural & religious differences.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Where is the Empathy?

Where is the Empathy?
What is slowly being revealed as a result of this wacky political presidential contest is not surprising to me. This country, sadly, still has deep rooted issues with race relations, especially between blacks and whites. As a biracial woman: having a black father and white mother, I have had many, many years to consider the aspects of what affects race relations and witness race relations from a unique biracial perspective.

Why is the Pastor Wright topic such a hot topic? Why aren't the many politicians who are supported by Bob Jones University or the preachers who support and live by the Bob Jones way - which are many- why aren't they scrutinized or pressured to disown or denounce Bob Jones University or their pastor who may have even graduated from that university? I reference Bob Jones, because I know pastors, preachers and full body congregations support and follow the beliefs they teach.
I know this because I went to a school from grade one to graduation that was a feeder school to BJ! Yeah, my experiences... you can read about in my book.

One side of the racial line seems to be permitted to use a holy book to justify racial bias and prejudices. While another side is taken to task for having feelings about that and many other ideals and actions against them.

One point- Wright noted that the government may have been responsible for the spread of the HIV virus. That is shocking and frightening to many, but consider many African Americans were shocked by the lynchings, being hosed down in the streets, being dragged from their beds, crosses being burned in the front yard of their homes and a host more adversity, abuse and offensives committed against them simply because of the shade of their skin. I would say it's probably a bit difficult to remain 100% patriotic after experiencing so much at the hands of your countrymen.

What other group of people are expected to become numb and dumb to their experiences?
I'm not saying fighting fire with fire is right, nor am I saying that Wright's comments are excusable. But what I am saying is before people jump to judge, consider the frame of reference from which a person speaks- Huckabee did!

A difference in perspective is clouding the real issue here. I think a benefit of doubt is in order on this one. I can understand why members of the older generations or any person who has lived the black experience in this country still have an immense amount of anger. Sit tight... I'll give you something that speaks to this in a second.

What is difficult to understand is how the Clinton's have taken the position they have on this issue. One of they can't understand how someone could make some of the comments made. You know, it was President Bill Clinton's seemingly understanding and empathy of the unlawful suffering inflicted upon many people in the black community that gained he AND Hilary the respect and admiration of the black community. President Clinton's apology for ONE OFFENSIVE activity against black men and their families in this country. Now the Clinton's suddenly can't understand where Wright's comment's might come from? I would think, if Hilary was being honest, rather than choosing to jump at a chance to dig into the dirt and sling mud she would have noted something that may have echoed Huckabee's remarks. Here is more about the Tuskegee Experiment (what Bill Clinton apologized for) and a peek into why some black people just may carry a particular amount of anger-- FOUR DECADES OF SILENCE-- why there just may be a host of distrust and anger that flashes back or flares up within the black community. I am a firm believer that the "fear of black men" in this country has origins from the fear that they would seek revenge for the aggressions committed against them and their families NOT because they are violent. That notion comes from somewhere and this makes sense to me.

Hilary Clinton is attempting to shift and spin the focus from her "misspoken" statements about her arrival in Bosnia, back to the Wright story and statements. She stated that you can't choose your family, but you can choose your (church) or pastor. Then she went on to say he wouldn't have been her pastor. I say this...You can't choose the country you're born in either, but in spite of the treatment blacks have endured in this country, the black community still finds a way to love and be patriotic. Some still harbor anger and while it's probably not the most healthy way to deal with the history and hurt and even current issues, I think it's certainly understandable and people might like to stop and try to understand where the hurt comes from. Some hurt and offenses leave scars so horribly deep that they are felt for generations.

There's got to be more understanding and empathy for the experience of blacks in this country. Many feel apologies for the hundreds of years of offenses are great, but compensation towards the advancement of a people such as: reparations, tax breaks or college tuition would really move our nation towards repair, healing and ultimate forgiveness. African Americans invested and helped to build the USA and the wealth of "some" of its people, while the African Americans themselves didn't receive much in return. The position the black community was given in this society was quite dubious and is still reflective in ghettos across the nation. It's a fact that African Americans weren't afforded equal opportunities and some may rightfully debate opportunities still aren't equal. Ok, so back to that note about investment... Every investment should yield some return, right?

© 2008 T. Fatimah Williams -MixedRoots

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