Other than climate change, perhaps no other issue is as complex or all-encompassing as racial and ethnic equity. It is imperative we address this openly with the intention and determination to make the systemic changes that will ensure equity in the broadest sense.
For too long we’ve skated along the edges of change without creating space to listen honestly and have the uncomfortable conversations. We can’t go forward without understanding the injustices of our collective past and acknowledging how they pervade our social fabric today.
Our government has a long, intentional history of bending its grace and benefits to favor whites. Of course, this started with slavery, but we are all aware it didn’t end there. And it didn’t end with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. From SAT scores to housing to medical treatments to criminal justice to the daily micro-aggressions people face, our culture is filled with the trauma of making our neighbors feel “other” based solely on the color of their skin.
It has had a profound emotional, legal, and economic impacts that has lasted generations. Correcting these injustices should not be the responsibility of the victims. It is the responsibility of a civil society.
Government, at all levels, must dig deep to become allies with people of color and all minorities. We, as a society, need to encourage people to understand the harm that has been done in the past and move forward. Then we will be on the path to truly becoming “one nation with liberty and justice for all.”