Why did it take the brutal killing of George Floyd to wake up many white Americans to the realization that racism has become so imbedded in our country’s ethos?
Slavery existed for at least two and one half centuries in America. Why?
Systemic and de facto segregation of African Americans was tolerated in this country well into the 1960’s. Why?
In February 1968, the President’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders known as the Kerner Commission issued a report, which in part, declared that “our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal.”
The report, condemning racism as the primary cause of a surge of urban riots in the 1960’s, recognized that unless dramatic steps were immediately undertaken, there would be a “continuing polarization of the American community and, ultimately, the destruction of basic democratic values.”
Yet, our country again developed amnesia and failed to seriously address racism and its odious effects on blacks. Why?
The answer may be that countless white Americans continue to lack the willingness to acknowledge systemic racism and white privilege in this country. This must change and it must change now.
George Bernard Shaw once said “some men see things as they are and say why: I dream things that never were and say why not.” My dream is for all Americans to acknowledge that there is only one race; that is the human race and that we are all brothers and sisters joined by this common bond.