Two Nations: Black and White
Lyndon Baines Johnson said, "We have within this nation two nations: One white and one black, separate and unequal." President Johnson was right. Some of us willed to come here and some of us were brought here against our will. Those who willed to come here mostly came through Ellis Island, and they came with almost everything that they needed to succeed in their chosen field of interest, whether they were interested in building a business of getting a job.
These were sons and daughters of slave masters. They grew up in households with a father and a mother. They had access to a preacher, and their parents took them to church. They had cell phones that they never had to worry about getting cut off. They never had to look in the rear view mirror when a police officer was behind them, or wonder if they would be pulled over, even though they had done nothing wrong.
They never walked around in stores searching for goods and were constantly followed by an off duty police officer or a store clerk to see if they were going to steal something...
They never had to help their mother pay the bills because their was too much month at the end of their money. If they went to college, they didn't have to wonder if their scholarship would be withdrawn . After all, their parents had the money to pay the bills. They never worried about getting a bank loan, even though their credit was not the best. They never had to have a civil or voting rights bill.
They never had to wonder where their next meal was coming from or whether they would have a next meal. If they did not succeed, it was not because of the color of their skin.
There were others whose skin was a different color; the sons and daughters of slaves. They had a different experience in the same country. They looked around and saw that, in some instances, they were in the majority but all of the positions of power were held by the minority.
Because their skin was a different color and they were not born with all of the privileges that others had, or their ancestors didn't come through Ellis Island, they were not allowed to use their skin color as an excuse to fail. They were expected to be entertainers, but not engineers. They were expected to be singers, but not scientists. They were expected to be basketball players, but not brain surgeons. They were expected to do more with less, to go further on less, and to live better with less.
Sometimes we take credit for things for which we are not responsible, and claim for ourselves privileges that we do not deserve.
The sons and daughters of slave masters: Those who came here through Ellis Island, or were born with everything that they needed to succeed, could not brag about what they had or could do, but be grateful and share with others who did not have or were not born into a world of privilege
"Whosoever hath these world's goods, and sees his brother have need, and shut up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?" Ist. John 3:17-18."