The Political Agitator’s response: !
I am glad that the Rachel Dolezal controversy reared itself, because some important issues in our community we have to deal with. FIRST LESSON – we must select leadership that possesses not only the skill and experience, but the integrity and transparency to lead. Just because someone is “doing their job” doesn’t mean all is well. Do they have true commitment to the cause and community? Are they willing to put themselves on the line even before it’s demanded? Do they have a pattern of service, and a record of work with people that gives you confidence in their leadership abilities? What is their history IN YOUR COMMUNITY? Just as good works are dead without faith, good works are even deader without integrity, for that how people who put their trust in you know that not only the job will be done, but will be done correctly, and for the right reasons! This foolishness about, “Just as long as they’re doing the job, who cares” can’t fly, because good work built on a phony house of cards will fall.
Then this business of being “colorblind.” I’ve always felt this way contrived to relieve some people of the responsibility of learning how to respect differences. When I meet someone from another culture or country, the first thing on my mind is, “What can I learn from this person and their experience?” That means I have to first recognize that there is value in everyone’s experience – good or bad – and my coming in contact with them is no accident. we were meant to connect and learn from each other.
I can’t do that with a “colorblind” philosophy. That way of thinking tries to convince me to “move along here, there’s nothing to see or learn,” because who I am, where I come from, the history of my being and why it shapes and molds my life is considered too divisive to ever bring up. So I have to hide it in order to get along and make “harmony.” The same clowns who try to shove that nonsense down your throat will then take the first plane to vacation in Europe to “learn something” about a different culture.
I get it. Colorblindness normally refers to the social construct of race, and the fact that we have too many divisions based on the color of one’s skin. so in an effort to, the thinking goes, eradicate racism, let’s just not pay attention to skin color, love each other like nothing’s wrong, and soon we’ll have a world where, as Dr. King once famously said, “…little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls” as brothers and sisters.
Yes, of course, but King didn’t mean that folks would ignore their differences, but rather learn from and embrace what makes them different from one another. And that’s the problem. In this day and age of great technologies that have definitely made the world smaller, so much so that we can turn on any cable;e channel, and be transported across the globe in the blink of an eye, many of us are just too damn lazy and don’t see the need to truly work to UNDERSTAND each other. See, if we did that, that means we’d have to LISTEN to one another…and lord “knows” just how “dangerous” that would be, don’t we?
You see, colorblindness is the utopian way of saying, “Can we go back to the Garden of Eden, please?” In that world, there was no sin, no darkness. People were naked, and yet never saw anything wrong with it. It was not until GOD’s law was violated were things forever. That’s the world we’re in NOW and the foreseeable future – a world where we have to summon up the courage and wisdom to live with one another, and respect one another DESPITE our obvious differences.
One group of people came from where the climate was always cold, so their skins were light. Another group of people existed half a world way where the climate was always hot, and the sun burning, so the pigments in their skin naturally darkened and their hair grew in a thicker texture.
These groups, and those in between, built cultures base on their histories of survival, but despite their differences, they were still the SAME SPECIES – equal in every way, until ignorance determined that a part of one group would enslave parts of the other, and the impact of that violent act corrupted generations, negatively impacting their respective cultures, and setting in stone histories that can never be forgotten.
And yet, these respective groups have had to work with in the social structure of society, to make the concepts of freedom, justice and equality a reality. if all of the above is true, then it is clear that there is too much history that informs one’s culture and belief system to just brush to the side. The color of one’s skin should not be relevant in those areas of society where our common culture has pledged there be equality. But the history that that color represents should not be deemed irrelevant either.
And that’s why working harder to understand each other, and learning from one another, should be the goal, NOT ignoring the histories that different social constructs have produced.
So when a Rachel Dolezal incident occurs, and it involves people who have devoted themselves to further mending the historic scars that still impede the social haling that we all seek, it cannot be ignored. Questions must be asked, and understanding sought, so that it can be learned from, and that knowledge can be a stepping stone towards further social progress.
Look at what has been accomplished per this episode – black people from across the spectrum expressed little to no reservations about whites not only being involved, but even leading movements for positive social change. They only demanded true commitment and integrity to the cause.
They also stopped to recognize out loud that being black wasn’t just something you could take on and off like a sock, but something you had to BE from birth, for only then could you understand and FEEL the history that has defined your culture.
And THAT should be respected!
These are important lessons that we elders must pass on to our young people. As the issues of police brutality, poverty and racism continue to plague us, wisdom is needed. We can ill-afford to dismiss “small” issues when they speak to our conduct on larger ones. Rachel Dolezal made the mistake of believing that being a good doer is enough.
Wrong! The best doers are those who lead by example, and in order to do that, you must be transparent to the people you lead, or else you will fail!