It is time to embrace our differences and unite

The Dallas Examiner

“Wouldn’t this old world be better

if the folks we meet would say,

‘I know something good about you!’

And then treat us just that way?”

– Louis C. Shimon

With the many Civil Rights marches, rallies and sit-ins, as well as the Black Lives Matter marches and rallies, it shows that the Black community realizes the power of unity – that we are stronger when we embrace each other’s differences and work together – not in opposition to other nationalities or racial groups, but in coalition with those who stand for the same things.

Yet, we all know that unity is the last word that we would use to describe our community as a whole.

Since African slavery in America – most specifically Dec. 25, 1712, when Willie Lynch, a British slave owner from the West Indies, reportedly gathered slave owners to form a united front to divide African slaves in order to control their minds, African Americans have been divided; by light skin and dark skin, tall and short, so called “good” hair and “nappy” hair, facial features, body shape/size, age, gender, etc., as well as vocation, position/status, location, intelligence.

He emphasized that the African American woman was the most important factor in the process, since she is the one that will mold the minds of her offspring – making the male physically stronger but the female psychologically stronger – which would inevitably reverse the natural male/female roles and increase the division among Blacks.

Explaining that fear, distrust and envy is stronger than respect, trust and admiration; he guaranteed “The Black slave, after receiving this indoctrination, shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands,” according to The Willie Lynch Letter: The Making of a Slave!

There is some controversy on whether the story of Lynch is true and accurate. However, there is no disputing the division among African Americans.

While its true that there are those of us who work to unite the community, since the Civil Rights era, we have not been able to manage more than a temporary show of strength of unity or one that makes a permanent impact to benefit the Black community.

It is true that we have so many amazing organizations that support every major and minor concern of the Black community. But the problem seems to be either they are sleeping lions that only roar when poked or they are small groups that are working hard to make a difference – like a cub whose roar is not yet loud enough.

For example, Dallas has small groups that have rallied against injustice after receiving news of national or local police brutality or misuse of power. As a result, there have been various list of demands and requests for changes in policy, training and the law, with very little to show for it.

Yet, still today, fear and distrust of police have increased, we have very little economic power in our own community despite our excessive spending, employment is slowest to rise in our community despite the fact that entrepreneurship is on the rise, and most Blacks still refuse to extend the fight for justice to the voting booth.

If the Black community worked together, we could be more independent, which would make even our small groups stronger – adding some bass to our voice when we roar “Justice for all!” and “Black lives matter!”

Right now is the best time for us to put aside our differences and use them to unite our community. Everyone is different in some way because we all have a different set of strengths. As we recognize and embrace those differences in each other, we can begin to unite and form a stronger force of individuals as leaders, workers, consumers and voters.

Right now, as we – the Black community – have revived our love for our own natural hair, natural melanin in our skin, our features, shapes and sizes that help us trace our heritage to our ancestors, there has never been a better time to take a good look at each other and recognize:

“…Wouldn’t life be

so much better

If we praised

the good we see?

For there’s such

a lot of goodness

In the worst of

you and me.

Wouldn’t it be wise

to practice

That fine way

of thinking, too?

You know something

good about me.

I know something

good about you!”

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