Illustrator - Storyteller - Coffee drinker
Today is Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who have been enslaved here in the United States.
In my humble opinion, this is the most important holiday of our country... it's the one holiday that truly represents the ideals our country was founded on: the fact that every human in this country can live under a democracy, and have rights, liberty, opportunity, and equality. This holiday is a reminder that none of us are truly free until all of us are.... most important holiday and yet, the most hypocritical one.
The black experience here in the United States has been particularly terrible. Little progress has been made to improve their lives and, what little progress has been achieved, has happened been via a lot of pain and hatred. Every step African-Americans take toward a better life is immediately questioned, if not all together stopped by the white people around them, questioning their loyalty and intentions and, many times over, using force to put down whatever dreams they may have of a better life.
And still... when the need comes, they ask -no, not ask, DEMAND them to lay their lives down to defend "their country"; they ask the black man and woman to learn in school the history as written by the European conqueror, leaving out all the rich history of their African and African-American ancestors; they ask them to forget their mutual history of slavery and downright begin to change how it went down, softening the story so that the children of those who have suffered for so long begin to believe that slavery was a choice given to them; they ask them to respect the police force, even though the police has a vicious view of them and has killed many of their brothers and sisters in the name of the law.
...and then we wonder why the protests, the riots, the looting.
We whites are hypocrites. We should be embarrassed of the awful history we have with our African and African-Americans sisters and brothers.
...and here's the hypocrisy of this holiday: We celebrate something that clearly, CLEARLY, has not happened yet. We celebrate the idea of freedom for all because is a romantic notion we Americans are embedded with, but struggle with accepting that it is not a reality... we rather close our eyes and say "Yay! Lincoln freed the slaves!!"
No, he didn't. He began the process. We need to finish it, for real.
Here's hoping that our most important holiday, Juneteenth, becomes a reality soon. Very soon.
Thank you for reading,