“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” These words from the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are a part of the best advice I have ever received.
Everyone at some point in their life has had to deal with some type of injustice. Wrongs come in massive variations, but to the one who receives them, the caliber does not matter. What matters is the fact that they should never had occurred. Believe me, I get this. As an African-American female living in South Carolina I have had no choice but to learn it and learn it fast.
The fact is that the African-American population has not had a fun time in the United States. Injustices that no one should have ever experienced occurred on a regular basis, and they were all legal. The fact is that the Civil War was won in favor of the North and slavery was abolished in the entire U.S. shortly thereafter. We have made tremendous progress within the last 100 years; however the journey is not over.
I am always reminded that approximately 70 years ago, the life that I am currently living did not exist. I would not be attending a university such as FMU without being worried about my safety. I would not be a leadership member in Baptist Collegiate Ministries, which is made up of primarily Caucasian students. I most certainly would not have shared a living space with a total of 5 Caucasian females within the last two years.
I know you are probably thinking, ‘Well, all that is all in the past.” Let me inform you: No it is not. It is living plain and in our faces every day. What is not apparent, however, is that though some of the Caucasian population retains the beliefs and mindsets of the past they are not the only culprits of the current situation that we remain in today.
Do you know what an assimilationist society is? It is the process by which a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture. I first really pondered the concept after a conversation with Dr. Jones, but have since then come to realize that much of what comprises the idea runs rampant in the Black community. Here we are in a world that has previously viewed us as something we deemed inaccurate, yet we still behave as they described us and expect for things to change. Oh, how flawed that supposition remains.
We want the money without the jobs, the jobs without the education and the credibility without having to earn it. It seems that even though the university sits on the land of a former slave plantation I cannot escape the ignorance. Though, I should call it stupidity as the ignorant do not know any better. We know what we have been subjected to. At one point we were not allowed to learn, yet I find that so many on this campus are ungrateful for an opportunity that not many are afforded.
To make matters worse, I find that much of the hate speech I have heard has come from the mouths of men and women whose ancestors suffered the same injustices as mine. I cannot even make the walk from Founders Hall to my apartment without hearing the N-word thrown around carelessly, and in front of those who are “banned” from its usage. “A term of endearment” is what they call it until one of our Caucasian peers adopts it. Is this the example we want to set for our younger siblings, nieces, nephews, and even children? A life of hypocrisy that justifies violence against those who witness our own people using a word that is a stain upon us? Dr. King would not approve.