We, as a country, are living multiple truths formed by our experiences, our perceptions, and, yes, our race. Of course, I believe it is the court’s job to find the truth and act accordingly in this one isolated case. But it is also our job to find the many different truths to prevent these travesties from occurring over and over again. For until we honor all of our truths, we will continue to live a splintered existence. I cannot help to look around my own community and notice the number of African Americans who ride the buses and the number of Caucasian Americans who own cars; the number of African Americans who spend hours in DSS offices and the number of Caucasian Americans who don’t even know where the office is; the difference in success rates in the very same schools based on race and economics. Here at home, not far away in Ferguson, there are many different truths. Are we ready to listen and tell them? Ralph Ellison wrote that “the persistent drive to define human hope in the United States….[is] not through avoiding those aspects of reality which were brutal and dehumanizing, but taking that too as part of the given scene, and then determining to go beyond it. Not to ignore it, not to pretend that it didn’t exist, but to humanize it, to take it in, to make it connect with other aspects of living-with the dream, with the sounds of the future and the sounds of hope.” As Americans we are looking for something new to do, see, experience. As a result, we often forget that the latest new thing is a product of the very past we avoid confronting. We have so much to learn about dialoguing with our different pasts and presents to create a new future. And yet, as we have seen over and over again, until we do engage in our different truths, how can we ever hope to incorporate all of the truths into the overall truth of who we have the potential to become?
Do you have ideas of things to do? Ways to begin the dialogue? Societal changes to implement? Agree or disagree with what I have typed? If so, please let me hear from you. May the dialogue begin here!