The ongoing legacy of Black slavery in America is partly about the intensifying societal problem of segregation, economic discrimination, and straight-out hatred for Black people.
It is both amazing and pathetic that so many people in this country are judged by the color of their skin.
During the past four years, tens of millions of Americans have witnessed or participated in a series of dark events that represent a black mark on us as a people, as a free people, as a God-fearing people.
The rise-up of Blacks backed by whites in recent demonstrations across the nation following televised law enforcement shootings of Blacks reveals the extent to which the times are changing.
The big challenge, the ultimate challenge is Black people having the freedoms guaranteed to them that were denied to them for several hundred years.
The Declaration of Independence left out Black people.
The American economic miracle didn’t include Black people. Only whites and landowners deserved to be free of the British, according to the Founding Fathers – 8 of the first 12 Founding Father presidents were slaveholders.
This includes Thomas Jefferson, the chief writer of the Declaration of Independence.
That was then. This is now.
Many gains have been made since the Civil War and the end of slavery.
Many gains for Black people have been made since the end of the Second World War, into the 1950s, 1960s, 1970’s and on and on to the present day.
We’ve even elected a Black president.
What the folks pretending to run our government do not yet understand is that equality can’t be legislated.
When it comes to pervasive racism, no law can be passed to change how white people think.
That being said, at least half the nation and maybe more understand that racism is a crime against humanity, that we need to erase it as part of the American experience.
This is easier said than done.
Here in Everett, the present administration makes every effort to keep the city workforce almost entirely white – and has done a great job of this.
The administration can try to dress itself up in any way it wants, but the bottom line is that Blacks need not apply for city jobs in Everett.
Which brings us to Black History Month.
This a perfunctory way of spreading the word about Black History, which is the intention with this editorial.
Understanding Black History is about understanding ourselves – how we got here, what we were about, what we are about today – Blacks and whites.
We urge our readers to think about racism, to talk about racism and inequality, to do something about violence against Black people as well as economic suppression.
Study Black History. Learn about the long journey of Black people to escape the clutches of slavery, racism, exclusion, and hatred.
Educating yourself will set you free.
That’s what Black History Month is all about.