My thoughts on #ShiningALight
So I finally watched all three hours of Shining A Light concert and town hall meeting.
The mission statement of the initiative reads
A+E Networks, iHeartMedia and United Way have joined forces to launch Shining a Light, a multi-platform initiative designed to promote real progress on race in America, following the Emanuel AME Church tragedy and inspired by the reaction of the family members and Charleston community. The program is designed to inspire others to go beyond short-lived, symbolic gestures and to explore the uncomfortable truth about the racial inequity and bias in our country and to help individuals and organizations that are working to make progress on issues of race.
I read through the viewing party guide, the start a conversation guide and several of the links. I went through the study guide for educators.
And I took a couple of hours to think about the concert, fundraiser and townhall meeting.
So, a lot if not most of what makes this project worthwhile are in print and on line. Many of the interview segments were awkward and offered little new information to the viewer or the participants.
That said I fully encourage you to thoroughly investigate the website, http://www.unitedway.org/shining-a-light .
I watched most of the white participants offer qualified apologies, requests for patience and demand sympathy and support for their position.
I saw many Black participants discuss the matter from a colonized mind that could not demand for itself what it would offer others.
The white participants took the forgiveness and anguish of the Black Participants for granted. And requested more of the same without offering anything in return.
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that relations between peoples mirror those between individuals.
As an individual, when wronged, mistreated, disrespected, marginalized, maimed, murdered… etc., I am looking for a full acknowledgement of what was done to me and an unqualified apology. If there is an explanation of why I was you victim, great. But no excuses.
And then I fully expect the wrong doer to make amends. To evidence his emotional state of being sorry.
Anything less than that is useless.
And then the wrongdoer is to commit to and actually never commit the harm to me again.
Whites in America are very comfortable with the notion that black people have to earn full humanity and citizenship. And upon the completion of the Herculean effort, by Black people, white people will pronounce us human and citizens.
If you don’t already see my full humanity and acknowledge my full citizenship that we don’t even need to talk. There is nothing I can do to change your mind. My humanity is not yours to give. It never has been.
White people as the keepers of power have the ability to end racism today.
And my question is, why don’t you?