Every Life Matters: A View of Race Relations in 2020

After I made a remark that I felt “Every Life Matters, and God doesn’t see color,” I received the following passage from an acquaintance:

If you break your wrist and go to the doctor, he says you “broke your ulnar bone in your wrist.” You respond, “but what about all the other bones, my femur, my humerus, my tibia? They are important, too.” Your doctor then says, “yes, your other bones are important, but they aren’t broken right now so we need to treat the broken one.” This is how we should view BLM. Right now in this important moment, we need to focus on what is broken.”

While I will admit that America is broken right now, I don’t believe it was (past-tense before George Floyd’s death) hemorrhaging in the way so many are now protesting and advocating. We are hearing that Blacks are not given opportunities. We are hearing the chants that Blacks continue to face discrimination, and they are targeted and judged because of their skin color. We have advanced, and the majority, and yes I say the majority of people, do not see the color of another’s skin, but their character. Yes, we will always have a few who will continue to see differences and promote division, but I do not believe it is as great as the mainstream media would lead us to believe. In 2020, it isn’t about skin color any longer, but a certain segment of America wants to perpetuate the idea of racial differences. Not all, but many of the protesters are the true ones who are agitating people to see differences, and place blame, in order to divide America along racial, and also political, lines.

Any person from any socio-economic level can achieve the American dream with enough hard work, ambition and determination. Just look at Dr. Ben Carson as a prime example. If you would adhere to the statistics, Carson should have never achieved much in life. He was born in Detroit to a mother with only 3rd grade education, and his father left the family in his youth. Although his mother attempted suicide and had psychiatric hospitalizations, she was still adamant that her sons become voracious readers and do their best academically. As many of you know, the Yale-educated Carson is a retired successful neurosurgeon, a 2016 Presidential candidate, and is now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for the current administration. Bottom-line to this story is if Ben Carson can do it, then any one can achieve their dreams.

So, while statistically Blacks comprise 13% of America’s population, and Whites number around 77% (latest numbers from 2016), there will be a discrepancy in seeing as many Blacks in certain jobs and roles. This does not equate discrimination when there aren’t the same proportionate number of people in these groups. According the latest issue of The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, June 8, 2020), “Today nearly 4.6 million African Americans hold a four-year college degree” and this does not even include those with advanced graduate degrees, or professional degrees in medicine or law. My point is that there is the opportunity to achieve that American Dream, but it is solely up to the individual. Yes, many grow up in reduced circumstances, but it is not a color issue. Many Whites, Hispanics and Asians are raised in environments where they must struggle, but many do overcome and achieve – why? It is the individuals’ drive to achieve, and their desire to make a difference for a better life. Hasn’t this always been the American Dream that each successive generation does better than the previous ones. I have seen plenty of children of privilege casually throw away opportunity after opportunity and chose a life where they are complacent, and this has nothing to do with the color of their skin – it’s a choice. And, as much as the mainstream media wants to blame discrimination and missed opportunities on the fact that one is born Black, I just don’t buy it.

America was bitterly divided before in our nation's history, and we fought a Civil War to reunite our nation and give freedoms to Black Americans. With the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, those freedoms are guaranteed by law. No, America is not perfect, and not every American believes in equality of the races, but I believe the majority of us do see beyond skin color. So, please let's all focus on what unites us rather than what divides us as a people - we don't need another Civil War.