The other day I watched a TV show called "Reba" which is one of the funniest shows on TV to me. Later that day when I was out taking care of things and I was on the phone with a friend in a store, I mentioned "Reba" to him and talked about how funny it was. After I got off the phone a white lady next to me said she liked the show too and "didn't think I would like a show like that". When I questioned her as to why (I had to ask) she stated to me 'because they were white and I am black.' I was so offended. So I asked her had she ever seen "The Cosby Show". She replied "yes" and that she "loved it." "But why", I asked?" She looked at me but did not have answer. So I asked, "was it because they were an American family with problems and values you could relate to?" She replied, "yes". So I said to her, "that is why I like Reba." She blushed with embarrassment at what she implied, then apologized. I accepted, but I stood their thinking why would my being black keep me from enjoying funny things about American life the same way she does?
Why are things so separate in the world? I mean, why can't ethnic Americans get along with whites and why so some white people fear, hate and discriminate against ethnic Americans. The thing is, we are all Americans. Most people in America have seen "The Cosby Show" in the 80's. A show about black doctor, his attorney wife and their 5 kids. But more to the point, they were an American family who showed how life could be if we value our education, our children and respect others and other cultures. They were proud of their heritage and of their diverse relations with others. There was also a show called "7th Heaven" about a white minister and his wife and their 5 kids. They also valued education, their children and respect for other cultures. They too were an American family who showed us how love of family could be. Both shows were about American families with problems and values we could all relate to! So why would race play a difference as to what TV shows I enjoyed? Why would someone question my American heritage because I am black?
We separate ourselves into categories of race, education, and other trivial things. Why aren't we more unified as Americans? There are so many other countries where values are upheld. They band together on most everything in life which creates a more peaceful and fluid society. Even when other cultures move to America, they appear to band together in one area of a community and work together to promote growth. But most black and white Americans appear locked in a perpetual conflict never resulting in harmony and peaceful coexistence. Why? We are all Americans. Some say it is because for black society, the system is not designed to support them. The system that is designed to 'assist and support' those in need, discriminates against those with low incomes, which, unfortunately is a great deal of black society. And yet that fault can be blamed on a system that does not offer the same opportunities to those who truly need the assistance thus creating the problems for which the system is supposed to help you avoid. It is said that white society can't understand why blacks are angry and frustrated with life. They can't see that the system that works so well for them is not afforded to other parts of society and don't realize the effort it takes to try to navigate life without the proper tools to do so.
However, the bottomline is we are all Americans. A point I will continue to stress. We all want to live a life feel with happiness and a sound peace of mind. We all want what is best for our children. We all want the proverbial "white picket fence" life. Just imagine if every single American were given the same opportunities in education. Or if every American, no matter your race, was given a choice in healthcare to become well and have a peace of mind about living. Or if we embraced other cultures and learned about each other and how to honor each other's cultures. Imagine if young black boys and girls could see more positive images of themselves and not the criminal images projected by the media. Imagine if we looked at TV shows with black or white families and could learn about each other without judgement or prejudice. Can you imagine if people were not made to feel that being born of different colors was wrong?
My point is, we are all Americans. In this day and age we have much bigger issues other than race. It should be the last thing we think about in regards to black and white. While I embrace the "American Dream" we must make sure that those who come here honor America. There is also terrorism which now plagues the world and we must be more aware of those who seek to harm any and all Americans. And let's not forget the natural disasters befalling our planet everyday. How can we still be concerned about what type of TV shows each race likes or why we are are moving in to each others neighborhoods. WE ARE ALL AMERICANS!!!!
I was born here in America. So I am not an African American because I have never been or grew up there. I am brown-skinned, dark skinned, black American. I went to school here in America, I learned the values and traditions of this country and I pledge my allegiance to the American flag. I will defend this country from all threats, foreign and domestic because I am an American. While I am not proud of this country's inequality, indifference to its the poor and needy, and the lack of value it places in education, I am still proud to call this country my home. This is America and I embrace my home. It is beautiful and fun, diverse, and so many other good things! I feel there is much we can do to truly and officially become the greatest nation in the world, but we are definitely in the top 5.
It is sad that it took an act of terror on 9/11 to bring us together as Americans but one day I hope we will embrace that feeling of unity for each other without having need of a disaster. I hope that one day we will not just see the color of the person, but we will embrace that difference and truly live as one. We are Americans and we should be proud of that and each other. Our cultures maybe different but our hearts and goals are the same. We want the same things as Americans. Let's remember that next time we see each other in the streets. Let's stop judging the color and the stereotypes that come with them. Let's start getting to know the person before you, embracing who they are while maintaining pride in who you are. Remember that next time you run into another AMERICAN.
is a man living with HIV, hepatitis C, kidney disease, heart disease and bipolar depression offering up words of encouragement for others. Read his blogs: http://nyghtcloud-aloneintheworld.blogspot.com/ and http://nyghtcloud-ourdailybread.blogspot.com/.