A few weeks ago while shopping with my wife in a department store we walked past a full length mirror on display. My wife mentioned that, after we finish remolding our bedroom she would like a full length mirror in that bedroom. That mirror immediately made me remember a full length mirror at a work site and the words someone had taped to it. The mirror had the words, check yourself out this is how everyone else sees you.
I have heard many people apologize for the way they have treated others. Most of the apologizes begin with intentions and something along the lines of this is not what I intended.
The road to hell is paved with good intentionsAbbot Bernard of Clairvaux
I think very few people wish to hurt or offend others. That being said offensive often happens and when it does and is so egregious that it is made known to the offending party something better than an apology may need to happen like an open honest discussion.
With an open and honest discussion about how and why someone was offended we may be able to prevent further offensive.
The United States of America fought a civil war. The southern part of the country wanted to keep slavery legal and the northern part did not. The war ended the north won and slavery was made illegal. The slavery in the United states was human chattal slavery and all the slaves were Africans or African Americans. Even after slavery the racism that created the slavery system still persisted and even persists now in the United States.
The southern part of the United states flew a battle flag during the civil war. The battle flag of the south was called the stars and bars. The flag offended many black americans because it was flown by the army that fought to keep their race enslaved and later on that same flag was flown by groups that participated in systematic racism. One side fought to keep this flag as a state flag even though it was used by racist organizations commiting racists acts. The desire to keep the flag shows that an open and honest dialogue about the United States history with racism still had not taken place. This all took place in 2004.
Fast forward to 2012 when an unarmed black juvenile was shot to death for “being in the wrong neighbourhood”, by an overzealous neighbourhood watch member. The neighbourhood watch member was found not guilty ad got away with murdering a black child. Trayvon Martin was 17 years old when he was murdered. A hashtag on social media sparked a movement and by 2014 the Black Lives Matter Foundation was born. The movement was not received well by some and is still not received well by many here is another example of a lack in open and honest dialogue about the United States and racism.
Now in 2023 there is a banner in the state of New Hampshire that reads “Keep New England White“. Here is yet again more proof that the open and honest dialogue about the United States history and current racism has not taken place. I do not think the United States can move any further with regards to creating a better society without having this honest and open dialogue about the racism.
Without this open dialogue we as a nation are looking in a mirror that only shows us our best qualities and not the whole picture. It is time to come together and see the entire image and make some changes.