“I’m a problem. You’re a problem. We’re all a problem.” That about sums up any conversation on race.
We have told “them” and “you people” how we feel for more than four hundred years and there have been responses. We have enslaved, traded, murdered, marched, sat in, sung about it, been falsely accused, jailed and beaten, bombed, suffered dog bites and fire hoses, passed legislation, married, integrated, segregated more, hated still.
And we keep talking about race but to what end, hoping to reach what conclusion, believing that “they” will say or do or be what exactly to us? What do we need this mysterious and unnamed “they” to do in order for us to forgive our faults and failures, to let go of our bitterness and fears, to give up attempts to dominate and to let down all of our guards?
At some point in the conversation, we have to accept that we have been heard and that “they” have responded, whether we like it or not, whether we feel it sufficient or appropriate or responsible or compassionate or enough. How many words does it take to forgive? How many words does it take to forgive?
Because if we are continuing to say the same things and the response remains the same, then we have to change the conversation. At some point, we have to forgive and make peace if only with ourselves, knowing that we have been hurt and heard, that we have survived and now thrive, that we can move on and move up. We have to accept them as they are, understanding that we can change– even if they don’t want to.
What more can we say about the race problem? I think that we have said enough. I believe that it’s time to start talking about the solution, we human beings. Race has interfered with and interrupted that conversation long enough.