It is the 21st century, 2017 Anno Domini, the year of our Lord. The global human population currently stands at 7.5 billion, of which the United States of America holds a fraction, roughly 326 million people. Within the U.S., White Americans are the racial majority at 72%. Black Americans make up 13.3%, Hispanic and Latino Americans amount to 17.8% and Asian Americans round to 5%. From these numbers, 35% of White Americans reside in the south while 55% of Black Americans also claim the south as their homestead.
These numbers are not mere coincidence gleaning from America’s sordid four hundred year history of slavery, that open exploitation in raw economics funneled through a racist manipulative gaze. 1861 to 1865 proved to be a significant watershed moment in standing for human rights and human decency as the Civil War vindicated the north and ended slavery. We should take note it wasn’t until another hundred years that Black Americans were given legal means to vote. 1965 is not that long ago. And 1865 is still very raw. I’ve been gauging the feed these past few days, reading about the violence and discord that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. The loss of lives that resulted from the Alt-Right Neo-Nazis descending onto public space to declare their spurious notion of “white lives matter,” equipped with riot shields, militia gear and semi-automatics (Virginia is an open carry state), all in an intimidating show of protest was difficult to watch. What was more difficult and heart wrenching was observing our President of these United States abscond from rebuking white supremacy, rather shifting blame to “many sides.” My heart sank and a deep anger swelled inside of me. It’s clear that we do not have a presiding leader. As a U.S. citizen, I call to my fellow decent Americans from all walks of our cultural pool to guard the towers and stand watch on behalf of our fellow kin. This country cannot afford to turn a blind eye to bigotry, hate and ignorance. Our captain might be stir-crazy but we are not rudderless. We can still command our destination as long as we hold tight and continue to unite with our empathy, our compassion, our love.
This is Our America.