I wanted to title this one Memorial Day Mystery but thought White Denial on Memorial Day was better.
It cuts closer to the point I wanted to make.
Random thought hit me early on Memorial Day; a holiday who’s origins are rarely spoke about in America. Today, most of the talk was about the men and women who served in our armed forces; who gave their lives for this nation. You know the narrative as well as I do. These men and women made the ultimate sacrifices, to protect OUR way of life – and for that we honor them on Memorial Day.
The Origins of Memorial Day are rarely mentioned if ever at all; outside of social media. This holiday was started by Free’d Slaves, who chose this day to honor the dead; those who died fighting in the Civil War; as well as all those who died during Slavery. Yet there is no national mention of this on Most national outlets during this annual day. Why is White denial so prevalent in our society?
Why must this holiday focus solely on the American Troops who fight and die in America’s Wars; why is no time given to it’s origins?
I know the answers to the questions I am posing but I want you to ask them in your head too.
It’s all part of white denial – the inability to deal with the true history of this nation; and how it impacts us to this very day.
In fact, that is actually the thought that inspired what I am now writing.
However, I had to set this up – I had to give you the running Narrative of Memorial Day so that we can all be on the same page with one another. Nevermind for a moment that the TRUE origins of this day are often glossed over and never spoken about. That was really just sidebar, fodder for the BIG point I’m moments away form making. You ready for it?
Here is is….
If it is possible for a few men and women to fight wars that ‘protect our way of life’ – and provide us with the kind of nation we have; where we are free to do as we like (for the most part, unless you are black of course) — Why do white people struggle to understand, that even though they didn’t own slaves (or their family didn’t own slaves as so many claim) – even though you didn’t pass any racist laws; even though YOU didn’t do anything to the ancestors of black people; why is is to hard for white people to understand They STILL Benefit from the society that was created for white people; by white people?
In other words — None of us are in the armed forces — we are not fighting wars — and yet, All Americans inherit the benefit of what those few men and women do; That is why we pay homage to them on this day – isn’t it?
Well if that is true – then it is also true, that a few white men and women have also fought, long and hard – and in some cases gave their lives; so that white people could have a huge advantage over other races in this nation.
It’s the exact same metaphor.
It’s the exact same situation.
Not all whites owned slaves; but all whites benefited from a society where the enslavement of blacks was allowed (especially the manner of slavery).
Not all Americans fight wars; but all Americans benefit from a society where our Military is as feared as it is.
Often the justification is the same; the people who fight to keep racism and hate for blacks alive – feel that they are doing it for the good of this country. They feel they have a duty to perform. They are spread out throughout the American system; and are in just about every single profession. White people who truly are not racist know exactly who these men and women are.
Ironically, white people often do not feel any responsibility to out these evil racists; because they have a lifestyle that is unlike any other; generally speaking.
Why should white people give that up?
It’s usually at this point that a white guy making 6 figures a year instead of 7 figures tells me how wrong I am – that not all white people are living good; not all white people are wealthy; and while I’d absolutely agree with that statement; the truth is, most white people are living better than any other race in this country is living.
Whether it’s ‘as good’ as the next white man/woman or not is not even important.
Should any white man or woman have enough desire to really want 7 figures per year – it’s actually much easier for them to attain that goal, that it would be for a person of color.
Most of the “pull your self up by your own bootstraps” and the “anyone can be whatever they want to be in America” talk … only actually applies to white people.
Because that is how the founding fathers of this nation set this nation up.
White Denial won’t allow us to openly discuss this comparison though.
Just as white denial keeps us from discussing the true origins of Memorial Day.
This nation goes out of it’s way to avoid admitting; that a great debt actually Is owed to the African people of this nation – that several years of repairing is absolutely needed. This nation needs to admit to the wrong and harm it has caused to people of color; how the wound has never healed; how it keeps being reopened. This nation needs to stop pouring salt in the wounds of it’s African people. (white denial HATES to hear any of those points) –
This nation needs to stop pretending this argument, does not make sense – when it does.
It makes sense when we use it to Honor the dead – but suddenly the same example no longer makes sense when it comes to the privileges gained from Creating disadvantage; Lack; and total family dysfunction. When systems still exist to keep people of color down; held back and oppressed.
If the actions of a few can garner a way of life for an entire nation; the actions of a few white people can create white privilege and white supremacy.
Stop using white denial, to keep these evils alive.