“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
the pursuit of the dream.
to me, this is “the speech“. the speech that gave a racially divided america reason to believe one day, maybe just maybe we could be united despite our differences, racially or otherwise. we have seen much of Dr. King’s dream become realities throughout the years. in 1998 while visiting tunica, mississippi, i was witness to extravagant leaps and bounds in racial unity, just by walking down the street with white people. the locals said then that this never would have happened even ten years previous. wow. to me, growing up as the only black kid in predominately caucasian traverse city, michigan, this was truly unbelievable. ‘a black kid couldn’t even walk down the street with a white kid?’ i was truly amazed at the honesty and openness of the locals about their racially divided struggles of the past. i guess we have come a long ways.
fast forward. 2010. as a black man who grew up in a white family with white and hispanic siblings, my story is most likely different from yours. i did not grow up with thoughts of racial segregation. i was brought into a integrated family unit much different than any others i knew back then. this doesn’t mean i didn’t face racial hostilities as a kid and doesn’t mean i don’t now as an adult. i feel the stares when i am with my white friends in public or today when i walk down the street holding hands with my girlfriend who happens to be white. i know it. i sense it. i’m not oblivious. white people and black people alike have the same reactions. just last night as we were walking past a park bench, an african-american female pretended to be reading a book but instead sat smirking with her eyes glued to us as we strolled past hand in hand. the smirk was a symptom of her intolerance. sometimes you just know what a person is thinking. i guess i just don’t care. my mom told me once (after an elderly man told me that if he could, he would beat the black out of me for delivering his newspaper wrong. i was 11 at the time) that if i let people get the best of me regarding the color of my skin, i will always be miserable. so i learned to shake it off. when people told me they couldn’t believe how articulate i was for a black kid, i just shrugged it off. ‘it must be how you were raised‘, they’d say, knowing i was raised with white parents. apparently black kids are naturally unintelligent and raw when it comes to social skill development. it is amazing how that idea can sub-consciously seep into a person’s thought process. i developed a sense of humor about it, mainly as a defense mechanism, when kids would daily make jokes about me on the school bus, i would simply laugh with them but inside i always could feel the sting of prejudice thoughts. as i grew older, i initiated the jokes, might as well beat them to the punch right? i would rather start the joke than be the joke. that was my mindset. make it funny!
but. is it funny?
this little narrative is not intended to be about my life. it is about america. it is about the race wars that wage in the back of our minds on a regular occurrence. it is prevalent in every part of our society. we see it in hollywood, where a-list black actors still fight for recognition as oscar worthy candidates for their craft and their talent, not being good for a black actor. sports has a way of developing reverse racism lately. a white basketball player can normally be compared to larry bird. (when was steve nash last compared to isiah thomas or magic johnson instead of bob cousy and john stockton?) in our neighborhoods we still see racial and class struggles, though the two don’t equally intermingle quite like society assumes it does, but that is a different topic and not one i am trying to exploit here. what i am trying to expose is the racial hostilities that reside in all of us. admit it. we both know that we have thoughts about each other that do not equal reality. i like wearing baggy long shorts. not because i am black but because they are comfortable. i also like rap music, but do i like that because of my race or because i like the flow and the beat and the emotions that are so raw and real it makes me feel like i went through the same pain? do i like journey’s “don’t stop believing” because of the white culture i reside in or because of the memories it creates in my head? see, too often we equate intellect, athletic ability and social aptitude with racial conditions, but in truth, our racial heritage is only a small factor. maybe we are who we are because that is who we were always supposed to be, regardless of the skin that covers us.
dr. king had a dream. it was not a daydream. it was not unattainable. that has been proven. the pursuit of this dream has been the goal ever since it was laid out in front of the world. one day we will be equal. where we go next is up to us. you. me. this story is never-ending. it never should be. it is the pursuit of the dream.
let me start by saying… America is Beautiful.
We have better opportunities here than anywhere. I’m very proud to be an American… but. the other day i saw something that truly disgusted me.
at a large public gathering in a nearby lakeshore town, a woman was speaking about her trips to Honduras, working with young girls at what i presume to be an orphanage there. In order to illustrate the good works her and her teams have done over the years, she decided it would add value to her speech to bring a young Honduran girl, probably 16-17 years old, up with her in front of the crowd of hundreds.
like a parade.
the poor girl was brought in front of the crowd to hold a placard with pictures and stand silent while the lady told the crowd how once you go to another country like Honduras, you realize America is the greatest nation in the world (I believe America to be great, i also believe it was unnecessary to make this point while a Honduran citizen was in her presence). She spoke about how they had brought the girl here to teach her responsibility, get her U.S driver’s license, and teach her English. She was so proud of how much they had done for this girl and how they were hoping she would go back to Honduras to run the Home there. awesome. except…
what is the purpose of American-izing the girl?
yes we do have our way of doing things here that works for us. bringing someone out of their culture, teaching them another culture and then transplanting them back to their native culture is completely counter-productive. besides appearing arrogant about her own good deeds, it is so sad that this view is shared by so many Americans. (the Iraq War for example) we try so hard to spread our ideals around the world that we neglect the simplest of factors = our culture is not THEIR culture. we push our hopes, our dreams, our expectations to other regions of the world where the mindset, the desires are much different from our own. even our religion is different, with our own American spin.
the message here is that despite our successes (and failures), as Americans it is not our duty to American-ize the world. it is not our right to decide what faith, government, ideals others around the world should believe in. What we have here works, it does not mean it should work globally. yes, peace and prosperity should abound for everyone, but who decides how that should be applied? do we get to bring people out of their state of culture to teach them that we do it better than they do? I love the United States of America, but we are off base if we think that we have the right and obligation to ensure that everyone does as we do. at least… according to me…
is it just me?
or does it seem like the world has gone chaotic? seemingly, life has turned into the next disaster, natural or otherwise. we wait until we see BREAKING NEWS! across the TV screen and then we sit in some sort of muted awe at what we see. we think, “how could this be?” as if somehow our innocence has been shattered for the first time.
since 1998. we have withstood:
Housing market crash.
Kobe vs. Shaq.
Tea Party Activism.
we have experienced a great deal of crisis in a relatively short amount of time. it has become a chaotic world. what do we do with it?? what is our relief? it appears that our way of thinking has become corrupted. by what? media. hollywood. ourselves.
we have been inundated by technology. we have succumbed to the power of “others”– meaning– we have come to expect “others” to take the fall, to be responsible, while accepting less and less responsibilities for our own actions. we blame government. we say it’s all their fault. we form activist groups bordering on hate because we hate that we think the “others” hate us.
when we decide that enough is enough, it is NOT that we say enough of what THEY do is enough. it is what WE do. it is enough of our own action.
we have witnessed a lot. more than we should in a lifetime, let alone a decade. but blame does not heal us. it does not repair wounds. once we are able to let go of our own hate, our own selfish pride, our own undignified reactions — then we can try to fix the world.
until then. look inside.
I forgot the most important thing…
this blog is specifically only going to be about sports because that is all i care about.
and current events.
and why Lindsey Lohan is embarrassment to our society. and why sitting in the local pub with friends debating pop culture for hours is one of my favorite things to do. so yea… specifically only about everything going on in society.
Cool??? Cool. At least… According to Me…
The world NEEDS another blogger! yes yes yes!!! Obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t want my voice heard!!! People everywhere have been begging and pleading for another useless, trivial opinion about things that don’t matter and since I am sooooo good at talking about things that have no relevance… why not add my name to the list… so… here I am…
Who am i? James. I like sports. and music. and simple things like sitting on my porch and watching cars drive by. (and if you saw the road I live on, you would know that the same seven (7) cars drive by all day… not exactly a bustling metropolis is Byron Center). I am obsessed with social media… facebook and twitter have gotten the best of me … and for some strange reason I love politics (though when people say “i hate politics!” i pretend to agree).
So anyway, this is me. and this is my blog. I may be politically correct at times and other times I may be controversial. Sometimes my use of grammar will be excellent, and other times my ranting and raving will distract me from correct capitalization and punctuation marks.
you can find me on facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/thejamesaarongilmore and twitter @ http://www.twittter.com/TheJayGil77
so until next time… this is my blog. it’s