The American history is no mystery and in its stripes bears the fruit of both pain and endurance. As we approach the 50th anniversary of one of the nation's most memorable events, I can't help but to reflect not on the change or lack thereof, of our judicial and legislative system but more so on the hearts of man. While the media often depicts the maliciousness that births from hatred and a warped upbringing, underlies a rebirthing that isn't as frequently noted and publicized. We've all been taught different behavioral patterns in our childhood that others have gotten the opportunity to witness in our adult lives.
Seeing images of the black and white toddlers meme, in which each is reaching for the others hand, with the caption, " No one is born racist," renders a strong message. It's not until seeds are sown into the lives of the young and that seed is nourished, that it begins to bear fruit. When we witness the blatant hate and disregard of human life towards a certain group of people that is based solely on ethnicity, we are literally witnessing a decrepit root. Have you ever experienced an epiphany after responding to a certain situation in a embarrassing way, where you just thought to yourself, 'now where did that come from?' Our genealogy can often bracket us if no time is taken to formulate proper perceptions not based upon the ill minded views of those that proceeded us. Sorry racist mom, dad, uncles, aunts, and grandparents.
I've recently witnessed someone that I know be called a discriminatory person and a bigot. Harsh words to hear and even harsher when they hold absolutely no evidence of being true. As we spoke about the situation that he was encountering, he began to explain his stance on racial issues that plagued African Americans at the time he was being brought up and became overwhelmed while explaining the triumphant attitudes of those he witnessed, overcome some of the most horrible acts of hatred. When I rendered an applause to his current character, he quickly rescinded and mentioned that he had to be "relearned" all over again. He went on to say that he was taught every kind of hateful word in existence and so were his peers but he decided that he didn't want to live his life in that manner. He appeared despondent and somber as he reflected on what his old frame of thinking had been before his rebirthing, but without going into any detail.
I believe all nationalities have found themselves guilty of the aforementioned. We sometimes hear the conversations when we're younger regarding race and we begin to formulate ideas often unrelated to personal encounters. Because we're prone to take on the same dispositions as our loved ones, we adapt to their opinions, no matter how fascist they may be, and never change our views until we grow into a more developed way of thinking. A more developed way of thinking is when you broaden your scope of judgment beyond mere outer appearances because there's a person of every race that you will harm you and one in every race that will love you, not excluding your own.
So as you reflect on the 2000 souls who marched from Selma to Montgomery, also reflect on any bitterness or hate that may lie unresolved within you. If there is a fight to be fought, fight peacefully. Fight with a better way of thinking. Fight against ignorance by educating yourself on your history. As quoted by Martin Luther King Jr., "The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Have the courage to grow beyond any negative frame of thinking that would cause your heart to hate someone, especially without cause. Written By: Davina Sims