Over the course of this year there has been an awakening in America. The country has culturally acknowledged its history of slavery and racial injustice of African-Americans. There have been protests in hundreds of cities across the nation. At the local level symbols of slavery and policies that perpetuate racial injustice have been removed. On the national level, we have seen little or no change. One could argue that there has been a doubling down on the justification for continuing to keep the polices and symbols as simply a part of history. This entrenchment of symbols and policies of white supremacy is a signal that a large portion of the American political and power structure has no intention of changing the current conditions that result racial injustice for the African-American population.
A recent interview with a descendent of the captain of the last slave ship to deposit enslaved people in the United States makes the point. The Clotilda was commanded by Captain William Foster who illegally brought 110 slaves to Mobile, Alabama in 1860. His descendent, Mike Foster, a retired Air Force officer recently discovered that he was related to Captain Foster and the story of the last slave ship. When asked by Anderson Cooper “Do you feel any guilt about what happened?” Mr. Foster quickly responded “No. I didn’t feel any guilt. I didn’t do it.”
Mike Foster - Ancestor of William Foster, Captain of the last slave ship to America.
The attitude, disposition and response of Mr. Foster summarizes what the vast majority of whites in America believe. While white Americans have pride in their history and continue to benefit from the foundational wealth built from slavery, there is no recognition of responsibility for what was done by their predecessors. They embrace the history and wealth but divorce themselves from any ownership of the family accountability.
American, this inability to accept the true history of your past dooms your future. Accepting the truth of your racist past and present will set you free from hatred and conflict. This in turn will set America free to be one of the greatest nations in the history of the planet. The global pandemic has exposed the inherent weakness of our nation in a way that nothing else has. Many of my friends and family members have expressed how the conditions of the global pandemic has caused them to reevaluate relationships and personal decisions. The global pandemic has given our nation an opportunity to reevaluate the policies and practices of our society and make changes for long term success. There can be no “Racial Reckoning” with acceptance of America’s racist past and present.
The African-American community knows the painful history of our past. We accept it and most of us move on beyond it to reach new heights based on our God given talents and gifts. Moving past slavery and the horrors our ancestors experienced does not mean that we are required to forgive or forget. On the contrary, I believe it means that we are required to achieve justice. That justice must, at a minimum, include payment for the lives of free labor taken by force.
Direct payment reparations is required even if there is no recognition of accountability. This requires that we organize and implement an offensive strategy to compel America as a nation and a society to pay the African-American descendants of slaves. Reparations will likely cost Americans (Black and White Americans) more blood and lives before we achieve success.
The Angry Man
We all know an angry man. It seems he always speaks with passion even when the words appear