Thursday, October 6“Racism never sleeps.”

Americans see two colors, politicians see one

I can’t remember when America became as mired in diverging viewpoints as it is today. No matter your political affiliation, we have strong opinions about each other, especially racial and cultural ideology that are built upon archaic stereotypes. And we’re not getting it from each other.

The realization struck me once again earlier in the day during a conversation (the types we should have) with a client from one of my side hustles. I’ll call her Gypsy. The project had already culminated a week ago and this was our first time speaking on the phone. I was subcontracted to do the work but I knew quite a bit about her; she’s vibrant and outgoing, and used to living a public life. Her passions for connecting and storytelling takes her many places. During the project, I was exposed to her writings, which were a window into her personality — she has wit and a penchant for humor that couldn’t be denied. She’s also a therapist. This amounted to enough to make me feel comfortable about who I would eventually be dealing with. Weeks after starting the project, now finally voice to voice today, I got the full picture, and it resembled much of what I gathered on my own — but I got much more as our conversation traveled.

We discussed what I do and why I do it, chiefly this blog. She’s White and a lifelong Republican. None of that bothered me because truth be told I have a few people in my life who check those boxes and I consider them trusted friends. We talked about American history and stayed on the same page for the majority of the conversation. And if we found ourselves encountering each other’s differing opinions, we were listening. (She’s a therapist so the ability to listen is a given.) I found nothing invalid about what she said. There are things that we shared about what irritates us both as they relate to the widening chasm of Black and White life in America, but we understood we are in this together, as we always have been. American history is Black history and vice versa. There is a great quote from Maya Angelou that came to mind during our discussion — something Maya said in response to a question about White Americans not being trustworthy in an interview you can find here.

“One has to always see the whole truth all the time and try to admit it. A country went to war over slavery. There were White men, supported by White women, who went to war to free the slaves. There is that. That has to be said! There were White men that risked and sometimes lost their lives in the abolition of the slave trade. Not just in the United States, but here in Britain. That has to be seen. Most often we have forgotten their names but one has to see it. You can’t tell a piece of the truth anymore than you can be a little pregnant. You know, tell the truth!”

In other words, Black Americans have always had White allies.

Not everyone has traversed as many corners of American society as Gypsy. It’s the reason the conversation resonated with me. The average American is not a Gypsy, nor a gypsy — someone who has seen and heard enough honesty in their travels to form their opinions because they have real experiences that molded who they are as opposed to artificial influences.

I’m not a Democrat, though I’m sure it’s assumed by many. I’m happily married to my status as an Independent voter. I recognize that we Americans, Black and White and everything in between, have been pulled down to uncomfortable depths by the weight of politicians and the mainstream media sowing division. Yes, there are stories that have to be told and there is overwhelming inequality Black Americans struggle with — it’s why I do what I do, but villainizing White people, or perpetuating the idea that Whites are inherently racist and hateful does not help anybody. Lies never do.

The right and left mainstream media are guilty of tugging at the very fabric of this country and tearing it apart at the seams, misusing racial inequalities in the process.

As journalists, let’s tell the stories, let’s tell the unspoken truths. The biggest among them in our Black-White fixated society is just how green our leadership is — and always has been.

Money is the real reasons for the racial politics. All Congressional and Senatorial elected leaders, and the lobbyists, and the partisan talking heads, and especially the influential donors, are financially solvent to say the least. All of them! And if they are not already within the inner circle, they are upwardly mobile trying to break in. Journalists are failing to follow the money, which is what our oligarchy disguised as a Republic has really devolved into.

It’s dirty money. It’s bloody money. It’s bankrolling constituent’s ignorance by showing a monochrome picture painted with broad strokes about who the “other” side is… unfounded fears that ensure political elites and the media who eat at the same table continue to do well, and their families stay well fed.

Hiding behind our curtain of racial (and cultural) differences exploited for gain is pervasive and dangerous. The politicians and media that share the bulk of the problems they are manufacturing are a disservice to this country and to voters.

Americans needs to turn off the TV and social media and start talking. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. If this sounds familiar it’s because it’s been the same ol, same ol. When we collectively make the choice to tune out of them and tune into each other, we will start to see America in full color, and they will have no choice but to see all of the same colors we see.

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