Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Time to Elevate our Minds & Hearts

For the WorldCup 2018, now that all the African country teams have been eliminated. I’ve been inundated with memes, posts and articles of how the remaining teams are conveniently using players who have African heritage to win in the finals. These articles try to remind me of how great Africa is  as a continent, and to never forget what “some” of our forefathers went through as slaves brought over to work and settle in neighbouring 1st world lands. But this kind of talk and topic has been prevalent for quite some time before too. “Wakanda Forever”, “Black Heritage Month”, and the list goes on and on and on. 

I have no problem with others trying to empower others to be better. But I do have a problem with the same “black people” conveniently using their “blackness” when it suits them. Aren’t these same celebrities wearing, supporting and being paid by white-owned companies? If the African WorldCup teams were so good, then why aren’t they in the finals? It seems to me, that including players of “all” races makes a team stronger. Or perhaps, just good players and good coaching? I am not saying that slavery and hate crimes didn’t and don’t exist, but have you really took a look into our history books? Who exchanged slaves for money in Africa? And aren’t we full of several examples of hate in our history? From the Holocaust stories, right down to the gays and transgenders?

I am a black woman, married to a white man. And that shouldn’t matter. There are people who want to change, and are making the change. I’m tired of us pointing fingers, and speaking in the past, when we are all guilty of judging others and serving hate. It’s time we stop being part of the problem and work towards a solution and more importantly ‘healing’. As India Arie so aptly sang, “I am not the color of my skin…” We are so much more than  our hue, and country for that matter. And when we truly realize that, it will be when all colors of the human race, this homosapien species can finally live in Peace. 

I have experienced hate not only from white people, but people of all colors and believe it or not, from people who look just like me too! Why don’t we hear or speak about that? Shouldn’t that be the first issue that we should fix? Within our own races we try to separate and hurt each other. This topic makes me think of ‘vegans’ who still drive diesel vehicles and use Air Conditioning, and chastise someone who may not be able to afford or been educated to eat otherwise. Who are we to pick and choose what’s best for anyone? If we are so ‘Afro-centric’, shouldn’t we all move back to Africa? How about stop straightening our hair and bleaching our skin. The problem that we have lies much deeper than a mixed-race or predominantly black football European team. 

Being born and raised in the Caribbean, because of history, I automatically have many strains of race flowing through my veins, and living there I was lucky to be exposed to many people, cultures, religions and races. Yes, hate and racism exists there too. But I also learnt of inclusion, celebration and tolerance. I choose not to be a victim, I choose to focus on being resilient and lift up the values worth remembering. I think it’s something we should try to incorporate world-wide. This problem won’t be fixed overnight. I would be naive to think so; but I think it’s imperative we stop generalizing and supporting hate of all kinds, and be more loving and inclusive of everyone. 

Remember, our beliefs shape our reality and our aim in life should never be trying to make others feel guilty or break each other down, because of our history and our differences. Rather, we should be respecting and learning from our history, our experiences, and educating and encouraging positive change. Finding ways of healing to move forward in a hopefully one day, color-blind world.