Real Talk | Part 2: Grief hurts, but healing is complicated

Real Talk

SHERRY CANNON

Webster’s dictionary has the meaning of the word “loss” as the state of feeling grief when deprived of someone or something of value; and the word “healing” meaning to make sound or whole.

Since the election of Donald Trump, there seems to be an overwhelming belief by a segment of our society, that white people are being unfairly treated in the United States. From the president on down to his most faithful followers, there seems to be suspicion of those who are different from them.

Donald Trump ran his 2016 campaign spewing fear and with a promise of making America great again. The idea that white people were being displaced and marginalized was a message that 30 percent of the country bought into.

In the past four years, hate groups have increased by 30 percent according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and there are now a record high 1,020 hate groups in this country.

Trying to unpack why hate is such a powerful emotion is interesting. Hate is usually derived from fear, anger or a sense of injury. The projected browning of this country, where “white” skin had always inferred privilege is a cause for fear for many white people.

The 2020 census projection indicates that youth under 18 will have minorities out numbering white youth. In 2045, the United States will become minority white according to the Brookings Institute, and the greatest growth is projected to be with the multi-racial population, Asian and Hispanic people. However, immigration will only contribute to one-third of the Hispanic growth during this time span.

Most white people bristle at the idea that they have advantage based on their skin color. Dr. Peggy McIntosh wrote an article called “White Privilege, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.“ In this article she said, “I think white people are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, the same as men do not recognize male privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an indivisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in on every day, but which I am to remain oblivious to. It is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, code books, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.”

Quick to deny that there is an existence of advantage based on race, much is done to maintain this dominance. There is now a need for a citizenship question on the census. Southern borders must be closed to avoid the entrance of people of browner hues. Voting rights and civil right gains are being repealed.

White people try to downplay the ugly history of this country by sanitizing it in history books or completely ignoring it. In doing this, the country has successfully stymied racial equality. An impression or conclusion has been framed that racial disparities are based on individual short-comings rather than systematic oppression.

There is a need for healing to take place in America. We can never heal something we refuse to acknowledge.

Preparing for the 2020 elections, Donald Trump continues his fear-mongering. He is determined to keep people out of the country who don’t look like him. As he and his minions continue to incite fear, we continue to stay in our designated corners, nursing our perceived grievances and refusing to accept the healing within arm’s reach.

Sherry Cannon



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