Saturday, September 17, 2005

I see dead people...

"When the waters flooded New Orleans, they not only forced to the surface dead bodies but long buried issues about America." -Jim Henderson
I know this will stir the pot even more concerning the whole political discussion going on concerning Katrina, President Bush and us, but I couldn't help myself. I am not saying that I agree with all that this man says but it made me think. I know some of you dislike these kind of conversations, debates or whatever you want to call them, if you do...skip these posts. As someone who feels the church should have a voice gained through action, first we need in such situations, the ability to be slow to speak and quick to hear, which means having an open mind to hear other voices too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I at least appreciated the end when Mr. Henderson recognizes a young man in leadership actually putting his words into action:)

My reaction: I believe we will never hear the end of slavery.

Yet, it's impossible, as a white person, for me to argue about this because I'm white. How many programs, memorials, holdays and yes, apologies does it take to quench the black thirst for retribution? I just don't understand it, perhaps because I'm white, perhaps not.

What about all the successful black people and poor white people? Why do they get taken out of the picture? What about "white trash"? What about: "Why isn't there a woman president?" I'm a woman; should I be offended by that?

Chris, you understand this better than I do. Do you agree that because I haven't apologised to you, I'm simply leaving it to my children to do? It's not passivity on my part; I refuse to believe it is.

I'm as angry about slavery as the next person, but others have made it easy for me to think that racism still lives today because of people like this author, and some angry black people (notice I said some, not all), pointing out the differences.

Did you know that while looking at the footage of the victims of Katrina, I didn't see white or black. Had you turned off the television and asked me what color they were, I wouldn't have known the answer. Yet racism lives inside me? Don't tell me that, Jim Henderson.

(wasn't there a show called Harry and the Hendersons? aah, the things that pop in your head as you type)

And don't tell me that all successful white people today got there because of the color of their skin. The owners of the multi-million dollar company I work at, Matt & Dan, both grew up poor. One moved from foster home to foster home, while the other lived with 6 siblings and a single mother (talk about poor), was in and out of jail & juvenile facilities, and eventually dropped out of school. Neither went to college, but look at them now. They were given virtually no oppurtunities in life, yet they worked with what they had and came out successfully.

What about all the programs and aides that are in place now? Inner-city programs, educational and otherwise, affirmative action, welfare (not just for blacks)? Let's not forget about those. Sometimes black people and different ethnic groups are given more opportunities than people like Matt and Dan. If you don't use what's been given you by the very government you despise, how can you point the finger at someone else? (This, of course, is not directed at the individuals who really are working hard)

Don't you see the overcompensation here? But we have to overcompensate, becuase if we don't, we're racist. Why?!

The author is right on one level; there is still racism in some sects, there's no denying that. But don't blanket the issue, please.

Anyway, I've heard so many arguments like the author's, so this is a peek inside my head. Please don't misinterpret my arguments as insensitive, but if others can be frank about their feelings on our racist country, then so can I.

Chris, these comments weren't necessarily directed at you. I respect you and your friendship, and I'm eager to hear your voice regarding this article and my comments.

From one frank friend to another, peace out:)

ps. I sometimes wonder if Eric posts these controversial articles with a smile on his face...aah, the anticipation of a stirred pot...