Time for the Difficult Conversation America Needs to have to Begin - Shawneda Blog

Time for the Difficult Conversation America Needs to have to Begin


Words don't really exist to express how I feel about what I read happened yesterday in Chicago that was broadcast on Facebook Live. Simmering beneath the amber waves of grey, pooling together at the foot of the purple mounted majesties above the fruited plains where God shed His grace the spirit of dissension fueled by centuries of ignorance, a list of ridiculous 'isms' and hate has taken root, festered and with every generation in a new different way opens as a vile ugly thing for all with eyes willing to see a new hatred blooms. 

Doesn't matter if the victims are the indigenous people who occupied this land for centuries before Columbus landed on the East Coast. Asian descendants whose grandparents were gathered and quartered in camps during the war "just in case" despite having been born and loving the very soil where they were being kept "detained." Mexicans, Muslims and anyone who looks Muslim being profiled, mocked and attacked. People of African descent who've experienced and endured unlimited amounts of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and prejudice. People of European descent presumed to be guilty of racist attitudes because the people who oppressed and exploited other cultures in the past look like them. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nor those questioning who they do or don't want to be with sexually. No one should be subject to physical attack based on another person's opinion or beliefs. 

Yesterday, a young Caucasian man came under attack by four people of African descent. Not the first hate crime committed against a Caucasian person in America but definitely the first time it was broadcast or paraded. The same way hangings and lynchings used to be paraded and celebrated in the South. All of these things are disgusting. I'm not going to post pictures of either. I'm heartbroken thinking about what he endured just like I'm heartbroken thinking about what other victims of hate crimes have endured. Most people responded with outrage, shock, frustration and sadness. While other people jumped on the opportunity to try to divide our fragmented country further by connecting this incident with a social media movement. Which if believed would only sow more seeds of hate. 


No one deserves to be physically attacked because of their skin color, cultural heritage, sexual orientation, religious belief, financial standing or political stance. People aren't going to stop thinking what they think and telling people how to think isn't a right. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right even for people with whom we don't agree. However ...

Freedom of attack DOESN'T exist! 

Someone calls me a nigger, or a bitch... I'm not required to answer. I definitely don't agree. Probably won't waste my energy to respond that is their opinion and not my business. Someone PHYSICALLY attacks me because I'm a woman or of African descent they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law including the hate crime law. Someone attacks a young Caucasian white man because he is Caucasian they should be prosecuted using the same laws. Just like I believe anyone of ANY race who commits a crime against someone else because of a racist, bigoted or prejudice should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Doesn't always happen but that is another blogpost for another day. 

Nothing warrants the treatment this young man endured. Nothing warrants the treatment anyone who is attacked physically endures as a result of racism, sexism, classism, religious intolerance, bigotry, prejudice or sexual orientation.  I refuse to defend the young people who did this because they were wrong just as every other person whose committed a hate crime against anyone is wrong. Just like the people using this as a platform to push their agenda are wrong. 

We need to begin to have some difficult conversations inside America. With each other across cultures and communities and inside our cultures and communities. Holding this generation  of Caucasians culpable for the atrocities inflicted on people from the past won't change the past or fix the future. Pretending the oppression and mistreatment of minorities hasn't left crippling effects on country hasn't worked either. 

I'm not upset with the "ALT RIGHT" or "BLACK LIVES MATTERS" people for being heard when they talk the most and the LOUDEST. 
Time has come. The SILENT MAJORITY in the middle who want us all to respect and be able to live in this country together without physically attacking each other of all races, colors, creeds, religions and financial standings  need to SPEAK UP. 

These conversations will not be comfortable, easy, quick or smooth. 
No matter how uncomfortable, slow and painful... for us to heal and move forward as a country they will be worth it. 

We must all begin to have these conversations and stop allowing the people we don't agree with to assume our silence condones their views. Once we all do the work needed to care for ourselves as individuals, families, communities, cities, states and nations together we can begin to see this very old, very destructive problem be 


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