The book “The Black and White of Racism” addresses the issue of “Equality” and offers a solution to the social dissension that threatens our nation with fragmentation, turmoil and civil conflict. Following is a quote from the book:
“The purpose of this commentary is to contribute to a possible public discourse. Rather than a prophecy (of civil disaster), my hope and intention is to use these words to help alter the course of events and intercede while there is still time to address the social issues dividing us.
It will take a national initiative no less challenging than going to the moon. It will be up to the educators and educational institutions to change the racialistic mind-sets to civil harmony and good will.
We cannot solve this major problem with blame and antagonism toward others. We must all be introspect and challenge our own preconceptions and bias. We cannot solve the problem by pointing to others, we must all rethink our own notions and prejudices.
We must cease to declare others guilty without real individual cause, and face, perhaps, our own personal cause and contributions to our situation. We must also look on the history of America from a different perspective…one of respect and appreciation. Our unity must begin historically when our ancestors first came to the shores in Colonial America and began the struggle together in founding the new nation.
Rather than sowing the seeds of division, we need to look at our mutual experience in overcoming the challenges and appreciate what we did for each other in achieving the nation we share today. It is time that we, the people, begin to share amity and brotherly love for one another as proud citizens of our wonderful Nation.
Equality does not mean the same.
We should begin to see ourselves as individuals not as racial groups. We should abandon Racialism and embrace Individualism. We should cease to measure ourselves by comparison to others, and stand in self-reliance and appreciation for existing in a nation of opportunity for the individual.
Our nation gives us the equality of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. For those who have achieved a great deal more from the past through ancestry, they may well pass on to others more prosperity in the future. For those who have achieved less in the past, then they pass on less to others in the future. Equality does not mean equal inheritance, and it does not mean equal outcome in the future…it simply means government does not interfere with personal initiative and allows individual people to enjoy self-reliance and freely benefit from their enterprise and individual ability.There are no guarantees. As in a race, some run faster than others. However, when jealousy, resentment and envy are abandoned, people with very different situations can enjoy fully their individual accomplishments unrestricted by government.
Equality, in some ways begins at the starting line going back to the beginning of linage. Some have to struggle to catch up because of the disadvantage of the circumstance at their birth. Some are handed accelerated advantage at birth. Some have to overcome injustice, some physical or mental difficulties. Equality is not being the same. The Creator does not make us all exactly the same. We have to take the circumstance of fate and go forward from there and pass on our individual achievement to our descendants. That is the nature of life.
And yet, being an American Citizen is in many ways an advantage over many people of other Nations in the World. This is what makes us really equal to each other. We are American Citizens with all the benefits that are available to us
as individuals. For a child born with a birth defect, this does not mean the child will have the exact equal opportunity as all other Citizens born that day. What it likely means is that, based on the child’s circumstance, they may well receive the best medical care and rehabilitation opportunity available elsewhere in the world.
If the disadvantaged child concentrates on what others in better health have, then they will spend their life with a sense of having been cheated and mistreated. However, if they concentrate on what they do have in life, then they may experience the full joy and achievement possible for them in life.
A child born in the back woods in Appalachia will not have the same life experience, and perhaps opportunity, available to the child born in a large city. Again, America does not mean equality of the place of birth. America means that the child born in the rural mountains has the opportunity, should they wish, to move to the city and either find success or failure. Whether they end up being a business mogul or begging for change on a street corner is an aspect of that equality and freedom.
This is what it means to be a free individual in order to make the most of their personal ability and opportunity…or not. We have to get away from focusing on what others have and appreciate what we have individually.
If we can instill the principles of individual initiative and responsibility, as well as appreciation of the benefits of personal Liberty, we can grow beyond the limitations of racism and appreciate the vistas of opportunity we have together as citizens. Rich or poor, our right to ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is limited only by our individual capacity, attitude, circumstance at birth, and perhaps luck. Our Freedom as citizens is not defined by wealth, it is defined by determining for ourselves what we seek to accomplish or achieve in life.” (1)
(1) “The Black and White of Racism” by Waylon Allen, Page 96-98