Condi Rice: A National Birth Defect
Perhaps one the most profound statements made in recent election history was made by Condoleezza Rice yesterday. “Black Americans were a founding population. Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together: Europeans by choice and Africans in chains. That’s not a very pretty reality of our founding. Descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that. That particular birth defect makes it hard for us to confront it (race), hard for us to talk about it, and hard for us to realize that it has continuing relevance for who we are today.”
This is an accurate truth. The ghost of racism pervades the very fabric of American society. While the truth is painful, the dialogue of admission is refreshing and liberating, like a dark secret that has been cast aside that we can admit as human beings. Race has been one of the most divisive issues in America, festering like a carefully hidden sore. Condi Rice believes that her position and the position of other African-Americans within U.S. hierarchy is evidence of “enormous progress”.
America doesn’t have an easy time dealing with race. Under normal circumstances, an open dialogue between people would help to heal matters. Respect has been and is a problem. This country, like many others was founded on exploitation. For this country, race has been a major tool of exploitation in the past. Unfortunately, feelings run deep depending on personal experience. The ability to forgive and forget is non-existent because resentment runs deep. Often, the specter of racism and hatred is a family iniquity that is quietly fostered like a secret treasure. Yet nothing is more filthy or demeaning to the human soul that hatred and bitter resentment. Many Americans are full of resentment for no good reason. Resentment is no less demeaning based on the way that people look. Unfortunately, scores of Americans have a major issue with bipolar thinking, reflected in the thinking of Geraldine Ferraro recently. This kind of thinking is a national curse that is always someone else’s fault. America has forgotten the cleansing benefit of forgiveness if America has ever really understood what forgiveness is or could be. Forgiveness isn’t religion. Forgiveness is attitude. Pride runs deep. Racism and hatred are poison. They are tools of destruction that will ultimately destroy and dismantle the nation. The ungainly truth of America isn’t easy to deal with on any level. If the citizens of America define themselves by their past as we do, they are condemned to live in the past. When the citizens of America decide to stop making excuses for their faulty thinking adopted from the people that raised them, America might just have a chance to prosper like never before.