Saturday, August 16, 2008

Peace, Love and Understanding

So I'm reading this book from the Opposing Viewpoints series called Interracial America It's kind of an old book, but I don't know that the arguments would be any different if it had been written today. It's a collection of essays dealing with various aspects of race relations. It's funny because I read one article and agree with it, and then I'll read the next one that is saying the exact opposite and agree with that one too. The book has got me feeling like both sides of this issue need to take some steps toward the middle. You know the Truth and Reconciliation Project in South Africa?
I feel like white people need to accept a lot more truth, and people of color need to be open to a lot more reconciliation.
For hundreds of years, white people were given advantages at the expense of people of color. I'm talking about a direct connection: white people gained precisely because black, brown, red and yellow people lost.
At the same time here in 2008, I think most white people consider themselves basically good, and are disgusted by acts of overt racism that they see today. Most white people are not out to get people of color, and they're not plotting in meetings about how they can keep us down. do we make peace with the past? How to we move forward in a meaningful way? Certainly not by just forgetting about it, because the remnants of the past are still with us today. But also not by just throwing it up in someone's face, so that all that they feel is guilty or defensive or scared. I don't know what the answer is, but you can bet I'm gonna keep thinking about it...

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