The Need for Healing

Written by BG Howard

January 4, 2023

Tragic events throughout areas of our country have been instrumental in painting a vile portrait of the putrid sickness running savagely among mankind identified as hatred. Truthfully speaking, this debilitating disease has been present since the origin of man as exampled in the biblical account of the first sibling rivalry between Cain and Abel. Cain’s murder of his younger brother over what began simply as envy and digressed into hatred thusly, facilitating the first recorded a capital crime which sewed a seed of calamity that has festered over time into a wicked chokehold upon all of society.

The crippling condition first introduced among earth’s original inhabitants has gone untreated far too long within the ranks of a “civilized” people. Past circumstances that were deplorable, in the least, inevitably brought two cultures together front and center on the complex stage of life. Whether it be in nature or science, when two or more forces seek to occupy the same physical space a reaction is inevitable. Either a process of fusion will result; when those present learn to embrace their differences and evolve together or dissent, which invariably ushers in bitterness, revulsion and chaos; thereby fostering an end result we should all seek to avoid.

There has been much discussion of late concerning apparent, and not so apparent, prejudices that have loomed in the shadows of society longer than most are willing to admit. The unfortunate realization that hate can’t be legislated has quickly come to the forefront of every analysis thus, ultimately leaving the deliberation in a state of gridlock.

Every group, organization, or individual has become keenly aware that bigotry and prejudices are a part, even if minimal, of basically every societal order and economic classification. For more years than many would care to count, people have dismissed the truth or chosen to look the other way. The late British philosopher and statesman, Edmund Burke, established “Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all.”

A look at laws in this country beginning with scripting of the U.S. constitution certifies the “moral majority” was never intent on consideration of other cultures as their equal. From the proposition that Blacks only be counted as three-fifths of a person in early census calculations to the present when minorities are unfairly assessed higher interest rates on loans from banking institutions. Contracts for major purchases of such items as homes, land, and automobiles by minorities often contain inflated interest rates deemed “predatory” according to industry regulations.

It is inevitable that people of all races in this country live together and, short of sponsoring a mass exodus to ship everyone except the original inhabitants (Native Americans) out, much has to be done to change the status of things. According to famed activist, the late Nelson Mandela, “People respond in accordance to how you relate to them. If you approach them on the basis of violence, that’s how they’ll react. But if you say, ‘We want peace, we want stability,’ we can then do a lot of things that will contribute towards the progress of our society.”

Citizens of the U.S. have to move beyond focusing on ethnic or racial identities and realize we are all Americans first. Our birthright and heritage, though vitally important, have to be abridged to the point they are only considered secondarily. It makes little sense that anyone be compelled to fear another human simply because he or she is different. As well, it’s illogical to project an image of ourselves contrary to whom we are in light of the fact that people are visual beings.

As with all animals, like it or not, basic assessment of who we are starts first with sight and observance which facilitates perception; be it good or bad. Just as the male red bird and blue jay are the more vibrantly colored of the species, the natural instinct to assess an individual based on their appearance is unavoidable. Some contend that minorities shouldn’t be judged based upon the way they dress but, truth be told, I’ve experienced situations when people of all races have had me a little on edge.

The larger issue stems from simple lack of respect for one another and, in many cases, respect for one’s self. If a person arrives at a job interview for a managerial position with jeans sagging and a T-shirt, there’s little chance he or she would be hired. So, what is the issue with people saying they shouldn’t have to “dress the part” in order to not be judged by society? Simply put, if we all want respect it mandates we carry ourselves respectably. I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.

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