The Color of Black


Several news reports have included snippets about the girl who recently won the National Spelling Bee contest. As one source put it: In 96 years of the competition, she’s the first African American to win.

As I read this comment, the question that immediately came to my mind was … WHY must it be pointed out that the winner was African American?

Of course, I knew the answer.

It’s because this country is full of bigots.

From the earliest days of this nation’s history, black people have been viewed as “sub-human.” They have been judged not by their talents … their wisdom … their intelligence. No, they have been judged entirely by the COLOR of their skin!

I recognize this discriminatory judgment has been passed on from generation to generation – and that many who harbor this “anti-black” attitude are simply following in the footsteps of previous family members (particularly those who live in the South). In fact, one could almost say it’s “genetic.” (I suppose I was fortunate in that skin color was never an issue when I was growing up.)

Nevertheless, as I read the news blurb about this young girl, I asked myself … Why did the headline writer feel it necessary to include the words “1st African American”? Why couldn’t the person have simply focused on the fact the winner was a 14-year old girl who is also the holder of 3 basketball world records (quite an accomplishment in itself!). Instead, for whatever reason (HA!), the girl’s heredity was included.

Regrettably, this discriminatory attitude is not going away. In fact, from recent actions within certain states the biased and bigoted mentality is becoming even more predominant.

By the way, let me add that I’m aware that prejudice towards skin color is not limited to the U.S. Nevertheless, this is the country I live in … and such intolerance grieves me.

OK. I’ve said my piece. As always, you are welcome to add your own thoughts. 

The View From Above

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Have you ever flown in a commercial airplane? If so, did you notice that once you were “in the air” — far above the highways and byways —  it was impossible to look out the window and see people on the ground? In fact, when that plane is cruising at an average altitude of 36,000 feet (that’s nearly 7 miles up in the air), even a person standing on the highest mountain peak on earth would be invisible.

Come to think about it, even if you are standing on good old terra firma, the chances of detecting an individual seven miles away are nil.

Yet many of us see ourselves as GIANTS — and we constantly strive to convince others of not only our visibility, but our importance as well. We are convinced that our thoughts and our actions are worthy of undivided attention. We dismiss the fact that under the circumstances mentioned above, we could not even prove we exist!

I happen to be a fan of apocalyptic movies. In many of them, the starring individual is one of the last human beings on earth and his/her survival is the primary goal. Occasionally, in some movies, another survivor shows up. Of course, depending on the script, this can turn out to be good or bad. However, one thing that has never happened — the last survivors don’t spend their time discussing political and/or religious views. Their “focus” is far beyond personal persuasions.

Yet in REAL life, because so many of us live in comparative comfort, we argue and bicker and FIGHT over skin color, religious beliefs, political ideals, climate change, and/or whatever other topic we feel strongly about. We consider ourselves the authority on innumerable subjects and strive to convince others of our superiority.

Perhaps it would be well if we occasionally considered/recognized how insignificant we are in the big scheme of things — and took note of the fact that, from seven miles up, we don’t even exist!

Photo by Leon Macapagal from Pexels