by Courtney Taylor
Pride: a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
History not hate. A phrase so commonly accompanied by red, white and, blue that billow in the past winds of oppression.
Is that where the pride comes from? Is there pleasure in remembering people laying down their lives for the sake of owning others? Does satisfaction come from knowing the fear and pain that has been burdened upon generations of people?
Are these achievements? If I take the word of those who say southern pride is innocent then am I not accepting words that go against my very existence?
If I allow the roots of hatred to be wiped from this history are we not forgetting history in and of itself.
It is simple. The pride of the south is a shame upon the history of our nation.
Those who have had the privilege to be ignorant were surprised by what happened in Charlottesville this month. To think that white supremacy and hatred, which are synonymous, could be this prominent in 2017 is just too baffling to them.
I may have hoped for more, but the surprise is fleeting if present at all. The only difference that has come is that those weak enough to hate feel emboldened. The same cowards that felt empowered by white hoods and burning crosses are once again empowered by the president.
We are coming to an age where we realize that our lives are so much more fragile than we thought. To fight to have one’s existence respected is maddening. Now is the time that we are realizing that our childhood friends, grade school teachers, neighbors, never realized the complete scope of our human experience.
We are now seeing just how insidious this disrespect is. We are now able to walk outside and identify everyone that hates us based on a sign, a sticker, or a red hat with white lettering. The candor is commendable but the numbers are unsettling. So, what do we do?
We call them out just like we have been doing.
Let it be known how absolutely ludicrous their rationalization is. That whether we were friends, co-workers, family members, you no longer will have my silence as a cosign to your ignorance.
Everyone can be an activist in their everyday life, but the first step is to educate oneself on social justice. When we listen, read, and watch in the pursuit of knowledge we make the movement for equality that much stronger.
We become part of a louder more persistent voice asking for a change that has been too long overdue. Every new person we talk to regarding this pursuit for justice comes one step closer to joining as well.
As a minority, I do not have the luxury to choose to ignore the politics of my identity. My pride comes from brown skin, weathered hands, and the integrity to stand for what is right. When I look back at the pride of my people, a pride rooted in hate cannot stand.