I like the Instagram account of Mental Minute Project (@Mentalminuteproject) who showcases videos about people who are living with mental illnesses. I have noticed that there are a few minorities on the page who have shared their stories, and I wondered why there weren’t more videos from minorities. I am so thankful for those who were brave enough to share their stories. We need more conversations like these within our communities. Thank you to MMP for providing the platform for others to share their stories.
As we prepare for February, the start of Black History Month, I would like us to not only focus and celebrate on those in our community that have come before and paved the way and made monumental changes to our world and culture, but to pay tribute to them and their legacies, by considering how we can add to their legacies, create our own legacies, and build a life that is fulfilling for us and worthy of the sacrifices made for us.
Our history have shown that there is power in us. There is power in our blood, our skin, and our race. But oftentimes, we mistake having power and showing power as the absence of any weakness. This is simply not true. There is strength in recognizing that we need help; there is strength in asking for help when we need it. If we examine some of the influential figures in our culture and history, we recognize that they did not accomplish the things they set out to do alone. They may have been the face of the particular change they affected, but they had a community behind them. Examples of these figures include, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, whose wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King was also instrumental in the changes that he made to our world, and President Barack Obama, whose wife, Michelle Obama, was also instrumental in the changes he made to our world. In addition to their partners, there were communities of people behind them that helped to affect the visions that they had for our world. Within their strengths, they recognized that they needed aid to carry out their visions.
Photo from Time.com; Beyond The Industry/Facebook
The Black Trauma
Racial trauma is real. I have learnt that people with privilege try very hard to discredit this concept. They seem to believe that saying continuous trauma to people of color is non-existent. For African Americans, the stark blatant denial is not just offensive, it is hurtful and regressive. It is a reminder to us that there are more than enough people out there that want to turn back the hands of time, and probably would if they could. An example of this is Mike Ditka’s recent statements. In case you don’t know who Mike Ditka is, he is former football player, coach, and commentator who has been inducted into both the college football and professional football hall of fame. When a person such as a Mike, who is well-renowned and respected, can make statements such as “There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of,” and “you have to be colorblind in this country…the opportunity is there for everybody,” from a platform such as his, there are lasting impacts, especially to the community’s history that is being denied. Only people with inherent privilege feel that being colorblind will solve problems. Race was built into the DNA of the United States due to how this country was built. In addition, race has been built in the DNA of many developed countries including the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, France. Racism is not only an American issue. Therefore, there are millions of blacks around the world that deal with prejudice and discrimination daily. What many people do not realize is that how we deal with social problems that plague our world and planet is a very clear determinant for where our future is headed. Discrimination of any kind is a human problem because it affects everyone on this planet.