A man once said he had a dream.
For this nation falters in stride,
every man resistant by pride.
A man held in so high esteem,
his end caused the earth to scream.
His beliefs inspire those denied,
judged by the color of their hide.
The waters still have not rolled free,
while the stream is far from mighty.
And still, he is not satisfied.
The definition according to the Cambridge Dictionary of Ignorant; not having enough knowledge, understanding, or information about something.
With that in mind, let’s move on. I was an ignorant white man for most of my life. Studying history at university and then teaching to the young minds of America, I thought I had a grasp on what reality was. I wasn’t prejudiced against anyone. I didn’t consider myself racist either, nor sexist. Not a bigot, or homophobic.
Thus, I was ignorant. I was all of them.
No, I was not them intentionally, nor are the vast majority of the white men of the world, and America specifically as a subject here. We were born into it. We were born into ignorance, racism, sexism, and so forth. Why? How? Because most of our parents were. Our country has been born into it for decades if not centuries.
In the coming weeks I plan to share some specifics about certain topics I’ve been exploring as I examine who I am, but for today I want to share this; white man America either doesn’t realize or chooses not to recognize, that things have been built in this nation from day one with White Man Privilege in mind, which in just a few generations became White Man Ignorance. Our nation has oppressed first the woman, then the Native American, and then the African. This is why people say racism is Institutionalized in America, it’s part of the framework.
As generations come and go they fall further down the hole of ignorance until we reach today. Today we Ignorant White Americans say let things be equal, but we, the majority, do not actively do anything to make a change, or we say things are already equally available to all and thus we show our ignorance by thinking equality is a reality.
Many years ago, Atlanta was home to something called Freaknik. It was like the Spring Break for young Blacks. Man did they go wild, just like the young people did at the beaches around the country, but were less reported on. There were news reports of cars being stolen, other thefts, attacks, and even defecating in people’s yards. I, however, did not let this deter me from attending the Atlanta Braves baseball game that I had tickets for. This was during their dominating years. (Sigh, those were the days.)
There I was, on the bus that was returning fans from Fulton County Stadium to the MARTA train station. All of us blissfully Ignorant White Americans, and one young black man. The bus was surrounded by Freaknik partiers. But you know what? I didn’t feel afraid. Not one ounce of fear came over me, even with some of the threatening gestures made toward us and the words shouted about us. I looked at the young man and he looked afraid but at the same time he was shaking his head at what was going on outside the bus.
Thinking back on that moment now, I reversed it all. What if that was an all-white crowd going crazy and that bus was full of Black Americans? Do you think they would not have had an ounce of fear? I can’t bring myself to think that. For one thing, we’re in Atlanta and the South in America still has that reputation from all those years of slavery and then the KKK during the Civil Rights Movement. So, I get it. (More on the truth of racism in the South and the US another time.)
The first step to shaking off your ignorance, and I am looking at you White Man, and yes, you too White Woman, is to realize equality does not exist outside of being a white man. And don’t begin to talk about affirmative action. What some companies consider a token position here and there just to avoid a law suit or to look good to others does not make a change, nor does a half white/half black President without the support of his Congress.
It’s time for each person to examine their own lives as well as the society they live in, wherever they live, and come to the truth. The Ignorant White Man might then be able to understand why Black Lives Matter is such a powerful and needed movement and why the #MeToo one is as well. But there is also an opportunity for the other side to realize the Ignorant White Man does need to learn, needs to realize the truth, but has a lifetime of ignorance to overcome. It all takes time, but as long as we move forward, always, then we are moving in the right direction.
A quite day one moment and then you check Twitter and BOOM! I’m not complaining. Sometimes the fastest way to find out something is by seeing it trend on Twitter. I just happened to look at the right time. So what two things could I be talking about?
A Fox News reporter being doused with water? No, and that was childish and rude behavior that could have escalated in to a legal outcome if the lady had wanted it to.
Was it the #CAVSvsCELTICS game with one moment showing the King traveling enough to walk the length of the Great Wall of China and the next moment being praised that he could play pro-football in the NFL for his leaping and catching ability? No, although that is entertaining.
So what are the two things I’m interested in?
The first is a new rule set by the NFL that if players kneel during the National Anthem, the team will be penalized 15 yards. Now some are saying this is a racist move since the primary participants in this action are black. Here’s the way I look at it. Those guys are being paid a lot of money to go to work. This isn’t them paying for a ticket and sitting in the stands during the National Anthem. The players platform is not on the field or the sidelines. You can disagree if you like. but that’s my opinion.
Now for the truly important.issue of the day I can honestly say, well actually that’s the only way I do say anything on here, that I am sickened but what I watched. Being a Southern white man some of you might find it odd that I am what might be called a Liberal leaning Republican or what I have decided to call a no party voter. This is different from being an Independent because even that moniker has a certain platform attached to it. I’ve decide that after three decades of being a Republican that I just can’t take it any longer. I am not an issue voter across the board and will vote whoever is closest to what I am. Yes, that is what Trump has driven me to realize so that’s one thing I can thank him for in regards to his being President.
So what is the important issue? A Rookie professional basketball player, or first year player, named Sterling Brown, a young black man, was arrested in January between 2 and 3 AM in Milwaukee where his team the Milwaukee Bucks is based. Admittedly he did the awful thing of parking illegally in the middle of the night to take up the spaces from the rush of the crowd that was dying to get in to the Walgreen’s drug store. I watched all 30 minutes of the body cam video the police finally released. I saw a young man who was not antagonistic, not arrogant, not aggressive, not resistant, not disrespectful, basically I saw the ideal young man waiting to get a parking ticket that he deserved. Then what did I see?
At least 7-8 police vehicles arrived, Sterling Brown was surrounded, and after quietly waiting and speaking with the other officers, and repeatedly reaching in to his pocket to turn of his car alarm that was being activated by a rather short officer. Another officer yells for him to take his hands out of his pockets and Brown says he has something in his hand, in other words it’s taking him a second to follow the order, which was an odd order since he was doing exactly as he had been doing the entire time. Then he is tackled to the ground by numerous police officers and then while he is on the ground, defenseless, he his tased, and then handcuffed. The video is 30 minutes long. The arresting officer toward the end of the video said he was sorry he didn’t recognize Brown’s famous name, and continued in a sarcastic tone and stated that everything was being recorded, as if the recording would support his view of things.
You know, there are some videos that can be interpreted in different ways, but this one? Wow! This was so bad that the mayor of Milwaukee expressed how serious his concerns were as did the Chief of Police. All concerned are basically hoping that the citizens of Milwaukee will not take any violent protest action. Brown stated that he will be handling this. He’s going to be filing a civil rights suit against the department. Looking at his mugshot it looks bad, as though he is on some drug, and that is what a lot of racist will say, but he’s not. Just think about it, it was already late, then he gets tackled, tased, arrested, and basically put through the ringer. Of course as soon as he arrived at the police precinct and they realized who he was and just what they were going to be facing, they dropped everything, even the idea of the ticket.
And what has happened to the officers involved? They have been disciplined. Disciplined? Firing should be what happened. Not only did they do wrong, but they also lied in their reports about what happened. Thank goodness for the body cam video as well as the security video from the cameras in the parking lot.
You may be able to tell I am a bit fired up over this. I cannot stand it when stupid people do stupid things like this. I just don’t understand it. I really don’t. You see, I like people of all colors. In fact I love them. A lot of my favorite entertainers are something other than white. And as far as my celebrity crushes I can maybe think of one or two that are white. It just doesn’t matter to me. Yes, I am aware there are people of different colors out there and that they are treated differently by a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I am that way or that I have to understand why they act that way. I never will understand it.
Even after all Sterling Brown went through, he apparently went home, got some sleep, and then that night played in his game just like a responsible young man should. The reporters saw the bruises and cuts on his body during the game.
Loving America. That seems to be a question or hashtag trend or reason to go on a hater-fest of someone.
A former very prominent political figure came out this past week and spoke against President Obama. You may google and discover what was said and then do research before jumping to conclusions.
Conclusion jumping has led to follow-up interviews and hashtag trends that divide people even further. Maybe if we all got along or agreed there were more than one possible thought on a subject things would just be too boring and we would have to read books or something instead of Tweet about some dumb carp stuff like who had the best dunk of the night in the NBA. I know my night is not peaceful until that is trending somewhere.
At first I was going to delve into the whole Racist Bigot situation, actually I wrote a whole article on it and after getting that out of my system I came up with the real article for the day.
Ever wonder why one person is a Racist Bigot and another person is an Activist? Hmm. I get confused.
Oh, I got it. If you like the person they are an Activist and if you don’t then they are a Racist Bigot.
Wonder what happens when you run in to someone who simply says it’s cool to be you so be you and let me be me and then we good?
Ever met someone like that?
I mean met someone truly like that?
Hello, my names Ronovan. Nice to meet you. Just be you, I’ll be me, and we’ll get along naturally.
Hey, and all those things we see in the news and the back and forths? Just use them as a way to learn about the truths of things by doing research. They lead you to learn a lot more than about the stupid thing you first start reading about. Sometimes there are some really great things to discover.
Of course this wouldn’t be a Sunday if I didn’t mention where I get my direction from. You know, Jesus was a good guy, even if a lot of people that have used his name for their own purposes have not been. His example is a good one for anyone to follow. Jesus let you do think what you wanted to think. Okay, he got a bit angry when he went in to the temple and found all the bad stuff going on, but you know, I’d do the same if I went in to my house and found bad stuff like that going on as well. And yes, the temple was his house. He got ticked. One thing about Jesus that you had to just like was that he said basically you know, this is how it is and you believe what you want to. I’m not going to force anything on you and if I’m right then oops you gonna be in a world of hurt. He didn’t force anything on people. “Oh, but scaring people with Hell is the same thing as forcing them.” Um, well if they believe in Hell then most likely they believe in Heaven then most like they believe in God then most likely they believe in Jesus soooo, I’m not seeing the scaring part going on, just the part of the Bible says this.”
I think I rambled. I sort of lost my way there in the middle. It’s been one of those weekends already. Well, that’s it this week. Have a good one this week. What one you have good of is up to you.