Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An Open Letter Of Apology To African-America

Dear African-America,

I am sorry. I am sorry that your strong and proud ancestors were kidnapped and shackled and shipped as cargo across the great ocean to a foreign land. I am sorry that hundreds of thousands of them didn't survive and their bodies were simply thrown overboard. I am sorry that those who did survive had to endure the unimaginable horrors of the Middle Passage.

I am sorry that generation after generation after generation of Africans were enslaved and abused and raped and mutilated and beaten and tortured and terrorized and whipped and burned and branded and bought and sold and murdered. I am sorry that the wealth of this nation was accumulated through the involuntary sweat and blood of your great-grandparents' grandparents.

I am sorry that following the Civil War, your great grandparents were beaten and lynched by mobs of terrorists supported and encouraged by our country's leaders. I am sorry that, throughout their lives, they were intimidated and cheated and threatened and systematically disenfranchised. I am sorry that the laws of this nation were constructed to keep all forms of well-being, financial and otherwise, from being enjoyed by the millions of descendents of Africans who toiled and died of exhaustion. I am sorry that your families were thanked for their involuntary sacrifices with Jim Crow and burning crosses and medical experiments.

I am sorry that your grandparents were relegated to second-class schools and jobs and water fountains. I am sorry that when your grandparents sat down at the counter to join the land of the free, they were met with firehoses and dogs and police brutality. I am sorry that nearly all of the great African-American leaders throughout our history were murdered for having a sense of justice.

I am sorry that today you have to continue to explain your anger and resentment. I am sorry that you have to explain why too many of your families are broken, and why too many of your brothers and sisters live in poverty and prison. I am sorry that you have to explain why, after nearly 400 years of slavery and brutality and murder, you sometimes distrust other Americans.

I am sorry that you still have to explain, and explain, and explain. I'm sorry that Barack Obama has to distance himself from Rev. Jeremiah Wright, because Rev. Wright tried to explain your frustrations to the rest of America. I'm sorry that European-Americans with political aspirations never have to explain their relationships with Pat Buchanan who says that "America has been the best place on earth for black folks." I am sorry that mainstream America demands an explanation from Senator Obama as to how he could sit in church and listen to a conspiracy theorist, all while eagerly gathering 'round the tube to listen to Good Ole' Bill and Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck enlighten us to the secret homosexual agenda and the hidden Hollywood liberal elite abortion revolution.

Please know that some of us whose ancestors didn't have to endure the American Holocaust, don't need any explanations. Some of us are compassionate and kind and empathetic. Some of us are amazed at your strength and resiliance and ability to overcome and overcome and overcome. Some of us deeply value the gifts of science, literature, art and music that you gave to our country and the world. Some of us stand in awe at your talent and beauty. Some of us are listening. Some of us hear you. But, I'm sorry that so many of us still don't.

7 comments:

Cyrus said...

Please, tell me, what is so offensive about Rev. Wright's comments?

Tony said...

Thank you for saying so perfectly what absolutely needed to be said.

Drunkbunny said...

You have such a knack for saying things in the most absolutely perfect way.

familyman said...

Beautifully written. I couldn't agree more.

familyman said...

I hope you don't mind, I posted a link to this on both my blogs. I think everyone should read it.

May said...

WOW - i thought this was a parody. Really!!! So beautifully written, honest and real.

@Cyrus: i've been thinking and asking what the furore was on the comments. But then again, i'm not American so maybe i didn't get it.

I've blogmarked you :). Hope you don't mind.

Your Poodle in NYC said...

WOW...That was so amazing...I miss hanging out with you so much! You are one of the best people I've ever met. You transcend race in every way. This blog is just another example of your humble soul and compassionate heart. Obama will lead the masses to your world of COLLECTIVE humanity soon....Just keep that hope. You are an amazing person. I almost cried reading that...seriously. I just sent it to my mother, my hero African-American professor who took 20 years to get her doctorate WHILE raising me...and I sent it to my Asian/Black boyfriend who's my other hero...he teaches in NYC and promotes the purchase of fair trade chocolate vs. Hershey...YOU ARE MY NEWEST HERO...Maybe your words will inspire more people to think above and beyond to become social heroes too. For every minority in this Country...I can say "Thank You." Teary-eyed.