Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Remember the Rodney King beating and the not guilty verdict for the White cops who nearly killed him?

I do. I can still see the television images of Los Angeles exploding in riots, gunshots, and flames. I can also still hear a battered and bruised Rodney King asking ‘Can’t we all just get along?”

The we, of course, is Whites and Blacks-the same we of race relations today.

This question is still of great importance today. The reason is that America is still divided by race. This division runs deep-deep enough to where race is dealt with through politically correct go along maneuvers.

White maneuvering is the minimization of race at all costs. Black maneuvering is the navigation of race while trying to avoid the “Angry Black Person” label.

So can Blacks and Whites get along in ways that avoid making nice for the sake of diversity?

The answer is yes, provided that we move towards grasping a real understanding about race.

As in the past, race is still a Black and White issue. To even begin to address this issue requires certain responsibilities for Black people and White people.

White people’s main responsibility is to become educated on the connection between White people and racism. Racism is a system of advantage that was built by White people for the benefit of White people. When whites avoid this understanding, they become complicit in perpetuating this system. Acquiring this understanding allows Whites to take a guilt-free approach to addressing whited framed systems of power, dominance, and authority.

Black people’s role in addressing race relations is to raise awareness regarding race. Blacks must continue to highlight the ways in which white oppression influences their lives.

These suggestions will not solve race issues in one fell swoop.

But they do allow Whites and Blacks to move along a continuum of awareness and understanding that aims for racial healing and inclusion.

Come along for the journey-won’t you?

4 replies
  1. Tate
    Tate says:

    I agree with much of this, and also think that we must begin to discuss the complexities of racism within and between demographics. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and its revisions) is an excellent tool for combatting racism, but it requires revision every few years. Why? Because those that’s understand the complexity of race know that the law and common sense are not structured in a way that supports equality in extreme or complex situations. This is why law makers can justify blacks being fired because they choose to wear an afro or some form of hair locks. The law ignores the cultural component of racism by reducing it to a system of classification that was designed by white people.

  2. J.Bell
    J.Bell says:

    Interesting. I agree with a lot of this, but I think there’s more to it. There’s a deep psychological aspect that applies to both Blacks & Whites in America. Not only do Blacks have to be aware of and highlight the injustices brought to them, they need to be aware of the the root of the injustices. Having an understanding why things are they way they are, will help Blacks productively add to the solutions.

    On the flip side Whites need to be aware that the system that is in place now does not make the playing field level for everyone (Blacks) the amendments to the laws just expand the levels of tolerance. Yes tolerance, not equality.

    This is a difficult path to walk as a nation. Whites don’t want to be seen as racists, due to how ugly it is when the light is shined on it. On the flip side, they don’t want the “Blacks” to go “too far” either.

    Blacks are quick to pull the race card, and aren’t afraid to bring any perceived slight into the light. Sometimes to the point of ruining any credibility, hence creating the “angry Black person” stereotype.

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg in my view. It’s a hawt mess for sure.

  3. M Bell
    M Bell says:

    I agree with most most of this however the magic word is WE. I do not believe that issue of race can be solved. There has always been a major focus on destroying black people in America. It is the part of the foundation of America. The only way that it can work is if the two races mixed which would make one race.

  4. Kim Truslow
    Kim Truslow says:

    Can’t we all get along? Is that a rhetorical question? I think a better question might be: What can I do as an individual person, white or black, to advance the cause for us “all to get along?” I am a white person with white privilege. That statement in itself is 90% of the struggle to help us to get along. White people do have an advantage in this USA. The foundation of the political system, cultural system, and educational system was set up for whites to be favored. By acknowledging that fact, whites can begin to understand the injustice and the crisis of what it means to be black. I agree with Mack that blacks have to continue to have courageous conversations with their counterparts at school, at work, and in society. These conversations allow for people to connect on a personal level and to move forward and begin to “get along.”


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