Monday, July 5, 2010

An Open Letter to White People

Dear White People,
I pray this letter finds you well. I am writing to inform you that I officially, henceforth, now and forever do absolve and forgive you from the guilt associated with slavery and our country's spotted history of civil rights. I do this while recognizing and understanding that there are yet still some whites that would still seek to propagate racist ideology. I submit that it is now easier than ever to navigate around these people. I truly believe that there is not a racist alive that can stop me or any of my fellow black people from achieving their dreams.

None of you had anything to do with slavery. I find it unfair to blame you for the evils of some of your forefathers. Also, if I were to continue to hold the evils of slavery against you, it would be necessary to also hold the same grievance against all of the Africans who practiced slavery and were complicit in trading Africans to those first European traders. It is in fact said that there were more African slave traders than White slave owners in America during colonial times. There were also many of your ancestors who were dead set against slavery right along with many of mine. Many of them sought to abolish it from it's outset in America. Their opposition unfortunately took a back seat to the revolutionaries who didn't want to open up a schism as they were forming this new union. It is truly a pity that it took so long. However, it is with these facts in mind that I find it more sensible to forgive and move on.

It is also my belief that we have come a long way since segregation. Most of you had nothing to do with that. I know that this doesn't apply to all of my fellow black people but I personally have never been called a n*gger by anyone white. I can't say that I have ever been passed over for a job because of my skin color. I have been subjected to injustice by blacks as well as whites. Bad things happen but I'm willing to bet that a relatively small amount of bad things that befall my fellow people of color can directly be attributed to racism. Racism does indeed still exist and it's much easier to notice when you are actively searching for episodes of it.

Though I realize that racism still exists, I find searching for examples of it and blaming it for my problems counterproductive and a waste of energy. I prefer to channel those energies into growing myself, educating myself and educating others. I don't need your affirmative action or any other quotas to help me find my place in America. I take more pride in finding my own way with a thankful eye on the sacrifices that people made before me to give me this freedom and opportunity and a focused eye on doing whatever it takes to forge my own destiny in this changing world. I don't need the so-called black voices in media to continually try to convince me of how much of a victim I am. I don't buy it. Too many people that look like me have found legitimate success in America. I want to travel that road of hard work, focus, and personal responsibility that so many successful people have followed and help others to do the same.

I want to thank you for doing what you can to assuage the fears of those that still wish to proudly carry the blood stained banner of victimhood. I know it can be difficult when it seems like you are labeled as racist every time you disagree with a person of color. I realize that there are some of you that still don't like me and people that look like me but that's okay. We can deal with you on a case by case basis. I also recognize that some black people may have a problem with me being so anxious to bury this hatchet. I can accept this. They don't have to bury it with me. I believe that we are all individuals not monolithic beings bound in thought by our skin color. I am simply ready and willing to truly step into a post-racial society. Who wants to go with me?




  1. It's 2010, why are we still talking about slavery?

  2. With respect, did you read the post my anonymous friend?

  3. Hatchet buried.

    Being Native American I feel I should also forgive the White Man for his past crimes.

    Tomahawk buried.

    God Bless

  4. God bless you Steve! Grace like that is what will move America forward.

  5. As a white man raised during the '60's and '70's and often found being on the wrong side of the equation in terms of the friends I kept, God bless you brother! I can tell you as someone who's been beat up for having black friends, I've always felt like a suspect by blacks and a traitor by whites. God blessed me with a love of PEOPLE. It's never made a difference what color they were. But I've paid a price both ways. It's time for us to actually live the "Dream" and bring those who would control us ALL to their knees. Ron Birdwell

  6. Mr. Birdwell,
    Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I've heard stories like yours before. I wish more of us would sit down and get to know each other a little bit before we make judgments. Keep on keeping on!


  7. Wow - I loved the post. I will be posting the link on Big View Blog. You're absolutely right about living in the past and that bagage. Any race, gender, creed, etc has bad apples and I will not justify or rationalize for them. I seek to find the good and just in people and find the common ground that makes us all strong and great. Thank you Herbert

  8. I saw your blog post linked to on twitter today, and though it's half a year too late, I wanted to comment. Thank you for writing this letter, I would like this to be part of a wider discussion regarding race and US history, because so much of what passes for discussion of the subject tends to be exploitative, and not in aid of actually addressing the subject. If we truly care about human rights, there should be no hypocrisy or exploitation of the issue of slavery. The left are guilty of this hypocrisy, they have no consistency on the subject. Slavery and other such wrongs are human wrongs, to condone certain examples of these wrongs, while feigning righteous anger at other examples of it, is wrong. Their willingness to squash the rights of American citizens, is an example of their willingness to reimpose slavery, and persecution. They practice the Jim Crow Laws that were created by the democrat party, and through their demonization and dehumanization of those who disagree with them, they reveal their willingness to descend into the hatred and intolerance, their desire to intimidate and subjugate their victims, as the democrats who created the KKK did.

    Firstly, let me state, that I am half indigenous American. My maternal grandfather was full blooded Abenaki. An orphan, he was adopted by a family of English extraction, farmers in Vermont, who loved him, raised him as their own. It was through my grandfather, that I was encouraged to learn more about my indigenous heritage. The peoples indigenous to these lands have much to be proud of, but they also have much to be ashamed of. They were not all peaceful, and it's a disservice to them, disrespectful to pretend otherwise. Many different tribal nations, practiced enslaving the women and children of rival tribes. Many tribes, when attacking other tribes, would set fire to the homes of other tribes, killing even women, children and elderly people.
    The history of slavery is world wide, it existed in one form or another in all nations, among all people. As mentioned, Africans were the original ones selling their people into slavery, but long before they started selling them to Europeans, they had been selling them to Arabs, and did so for roughly 10 thousand years. After England, and the US ended the practice of slavery in their countries, it was Africans and Arabs who screamed the loudest and the longest. In both countries, to this day, slavery does still exist, though on a much smaller scale.

    The continent now referred to as Latin America, had to be forced to end slavery, some fifty some odd years after the US ended it. What's more, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, was created by Spain, after they had committed genocide against most of the indigenous peoples of those lands. The Spanish brought over 8 million African slaves over to what became Latin America, and worked virtually all of them to death, later, Portugal got involved in the slave trade as well, bringing African slaves to what later became Brazil. Latin America sweeps their history under the rug, lying about their involvement, as does Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Arab nations. The UK, including Ireland to a lesser extent have also lied about their involvement in the slave trade, and with their European friends, prefer to point the finger at the US, as though it had the exclusive history of slavery.

    Leftists, prefer to pretend that African and Arab slavery was somehow benign, which reveals their contempt for freedom, and the right of a free people to have the right of self determination.

    Eastern countries, from Japan, China, Korea, to India, Egypt and into the Middle East have always practiced slavery. India, while pretending to have outlawed such practices, still perpetuates a vile caste system, and is very racist. All eastern countries perpetuate racial and other prejudices and refuse to address these wrongs.

  9. I am White and was raised in the 50-60's and saw the beginning of the end of the grievous wrongs against the Black people. My very first experience with racism was in Louisiana. My dad had been stationed there in the Air Force when I was 8 years old.
    My mom took me shopping in town and when coming out of the dressing room, I saw two water fountains. I stopped and got a sip of water. Just then a Black lady ran over to me and in a shocked voice said, "Oh Honey!!! You can't be drinking from that fountain!" I asked why. Her answer was one of the biggest shocks in my life. She just pointed to signs above each fountain. One sign read 'Whites' and the other one 'Colored.' I had drank from the 'Colored' fountain. My mouth dropped and I said, "You've GOT to be kidding!" She said NO and that I would get into BIG trouble if anyone caught me drinking from the wrong fountain.
    My shock over that has lived with me ever since. I watched the face of the children on the news who were escorted into schools in Arkansas. I saw their fear and couldn't understand why Whites didn't want them there! I heard ugly things being said about Blacks while we lived in La. It all made me sick.
    Being a military brat, I had had Black friends and never thought anything of it. My parents never commented on the subject at all. None of it has ever made any sense to me.
    I think there are some Blacks who bring negative reactions upon themselves because they EXPECT all Whites to hate them. Guard is up on both sides when they meet for the first time; wondering how they will be accepted.
    I would say to those People of Color, take a look at the Asian people. During WWII they were rounded up and put into concentration camps! They were hated for what their distant cousins in Japan did at Pearl Harbor. It was a total travesty! However, now, many of them hold the highest positions in medicine and business. Why? Because they did not come out of there expecting that hatred to continue for their children. They worked hard, respectful and demanded their children excel in school. This is a lesson that ALL people need to take note of, no matter what color their skin.