By Ted Bagley : Though I agree that racism is alive and well in our country, Ferguson, Missouri is simply a symptom of a more prolific problem of our not respecting ourselves. This dilemma tends to perpetuate the larger issue of institutional racism in this country which promotes the lack of respect we receive from others. As the economy has gotten worse, the “have and have nots” have become a larger divide. The elimination of the middle class has had huge implications on all people and specifically people of color. Those who have struggle to break the choking grip of poverty, have found themselves thrust back into the ranks of the” have nots” and that seems to be ok with those in power. Those who have been fortunate enough to rise above the fray, from an economic stand-point, have failed to reach back either through personal or financial involvement in the communities.
Though our black millionaires have grown substantially primarily because of professional sports, entertainment and education, our dollars are not pooled to make any type significant difference in our communities. We have few banks, investment firms, and significant real estate initiatives and we spend more than we save. We allow ourselves to be divided economically, socially and politically. A strong culture can’t be built on a shaky foundation. We should put down the gangs, violence, disrespect for our women, spending and not investing, leaving children without direction and not being involved in the political process, and pick up an understanding of what’s being done to us and not for us. We must do everything possible to demand, through our actions, respect from those who are looking for reasons to not do so.
Racism is alive and well both inside and outside of our communities because we often allow it. Our young black men will continue to be killed in alarming numbers because it’s “open season” and our system of justice gives no balance to the scale. Let’s not give the bad elements of the system an excuse because believe me, they are looking for one. The system is not bad, it’s the people that are allowed to manipulate it for their own racist objectives that’s the problem. Without laws, we perish. When these laws are manipulated, we still perish. Somehow and someway we must find a way to reverse this trend. Just and idea….. (E-D-U-C-A-T-I-O-N).
I am the father of three young men and one daughter and I make a point to tell my sons to be respectful if they are stopped on the roads and highways in the surrounding communities. I tell them that if they are stopped, answer questions respectfully and live to see another day. Deal with the consequences of a ticket later when out of harm’s way. I tell my daughter to respect herself by requiring that young men, who are in her company, are respectful in how they behave, how they present themselves and how responsible they are. Keep your standards high and others will see what standard they will have to aspire to in order to be in your company. Your values and your personal brand is your foundation.
Never in the history of this great country have we seen a faction of Congress disrespect the office of the President as we have under this BLACK President. Never before have a House of Representative refuse to support some of the same legislation they were supportive of under a Republican administration. Never before have they so blatantly thumbed their collective noses at situations such as the assault on our young black and Hispanic men with laws like “stand your ground”, racial profiling, incarceration of innocent men of color, and the astronomically high unemployment rates in the minority communities. These are all signs that the racial divide is expanding in scope and we must tie a knot in the rope and hold on.
I close with….why are we still voting on whether to renew the civil rights act? Why do we still focus on the Presidents color and not his credentials? Why are minorities still profiled on the city streets and airports of our nation? Why, because racial equity and diversity inclusion are viewed as unnecessary entities and shows why the American experience with racial justice is still in handcuffs. Until America obtain a conscious, thing will continue to change but ultimately remain the same. Red, yellow, black or white…we are precious in his site.