“Sins of the past don’t have to be the future.”
The above photo is of a woman by the name of Vivian Malone. Vivian Malone was the first African American student to register for classes at the University of Alabama as an undergraduate student. The university was racially segregated, and up to this point no had been successful in entering the school. Even the governor at the time, George Wallace, stood at the door, blocking her entry temporarily before she was allowed access inside. Now, this topic is not about Vivian Malone, this topic is in reference to how much has changed since that time period. That was back in 1963 when she was denied entry, and my mother was only 3 years old herself. Since then, a lot more students have been admitted to Alabama, and no one thinks twice about Black children attending. But we still have conflicts in America today, as exemplified in Virginia a few weeks ago.
So my question is, how much does my ethnicity even in today’s society contribute to my success. Because I see so many men and women that look like myself that are successful, but then you see what has been going on in the country today. There are marches for White Supremacy in America, yet there are counter protest on the other side. And the counter protest are bigger than the supremacy groups. So yes, racism does exist, but on what scale. I have experienced it in life and still do. But what role does it and will it play in future success? A lot of the sentiment, I am not concerned with at this point in America. Because if you don’t like me by this time, then you never will. My only obligation is working to succeed how I want to succeed. I’m not in this world to convince everyone to love me, that’s not practical.
Yet, you have to deal with these types of people. I was reading somewhere that only 10% of the American population are supporters of these Neo-Nazi groups. Now, looking at this from a percentage basis we say, “10% is not a lot of people. But the American population is close to 320 million people. With 10% of these people following hate groups, 30 million people are a lot of people. But see, I am not trying to win those individuals over. I know they have and never will like me. My goal is I don’t want to have to come into contact with them. Yet when you see the Virginia march with tiki torches, you say to yourself, some of these guys were professors and even worked in the medical field. It creeps me out that some of these people could be my doctors. Black men already have and adverse feeling when looking at doctors.
Yet, in the end, I still look at my life with hope. Though in the back of my mind, the thought never leaves. When I come across someone and have what I perceive to be a racial experience, and I say to myself, “Did they because; nah, maybe not.” Nonetheless, I am hopeful; for my future and the country. We like to look in the past and say that people were so awful. But I think there were just as many good people today as in the past. It’s just that we all excepted life as what it was then. And the more we pushed against the grain, the more we look back and say, “You know, this wasn’t ok at that time.” For me, I look at photos of separate water fountains that said, “White Only and Colored Only.” It seems weird to look at, but for older people in my family that was life at one point in time. I feel life is changing, it’s just in real time we don’t see it. We never see life while in the paradigm of living it; humanity never will. Only when you look back over time we become convinced of the changes.
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