ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
I receive a daily email from the Equal Justice Initiative. The history of racial injustice People of Color have experienced in this United States of America is shared in that email. The injuries are caused by the acts of our nation’s white citizens and our elected officials.
I attended a meeting yesterday which involved anti-racism training. One of the participants asked me, “Why is history relevant?” After a thoughtful dialogue and an honest exchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas, I was pleased that we had formed a connection.
And then I came home to this news. Buffalo shooting: Ten dead in racially motivated attack at New York state store. The eighteen-year-old white male, who killed and wounded 13 Black people who were merely shopping, cited the Replacement Theory as the motivation for his action. It is important to note that Tucker Carlson and Fox News frequently introduce and give credence to the theory.
“What is the ‘Great Replacement’ Theory?
The “great replacement” theory, in simple terms, states that welcoming immigration policies —particularly those impacting nonwhite immigrants — are part of a plot designed to undermine or “replace” the political power and culture of white people living in Western countries.
Multiple iterations of the “great replacement” theory have been and continue to be used by antiimmigrant groups, white supremacists, and others. Prominent iterations include:
Rhetoric of invasion: The theory often uses martial and violent rhetoric of a migrant “invasion” that must be stopped before it “conquers” “white America.”
Voter replacement: The theory also sometimes incorporates the inaccurate assumption that
nonwhite immigrants will vote a certain way, and therefore pro-immigration policies are designed by elites to diminish the political influence of white Americans.
Antisemitism: In still other iterations, the theory can be found embedded in a web of other
xenophobic conspiracies, including antisemitic notions that Jewish elites are responsible for the “replacement” plot.” (The National Immigration Forum)
My business, Open Hearts: A Path for Racial Healing works to create communities where transformation can begin. The hope is that those who participate in my sessions and workshops carry the knowledge forward, thereby opening the hearts of others.
This Sunday morning, I feel so many things:
1. Worried/frightened…my skin color makes me and the people I love victims. We can be killed in churches, supermarkets, walking, biking, shopping, breathing because of our physical appearance.
2. Sad that so many of my white fellow Americans are willing and unable to recognize the extra layer of armor that POC must wear everyday just to walk out in the world.
3. Disappointed that so many of my white fellow Americans chose not to engage in the work/conversations because it makes them uncomfortable.
4. Angry that so many of my white fellow Americans chose not to engage in the work/conversations because it makes them uncomfortable.
5. Amazed that many of my while fellow Americans would read this post and their response would be….
a. they kill each other in the ghetto
b. we live in a post-racial society
c. what about Ukraine
d. the next generation gets it, things will be better in the future.
This nineteen-year-old child had imbibed the message that spews unfiltered daily in our media. (remember Dylan Roof) How many others are waiting to answer Tucket Carlson’s call?
The EJI email sends in the year 2048 may read “on this day, May 14, 2022 an 18-year-old white gunman murdered 10 Black citizens and injured 3 who were shopping in a local supermarket".
When will the emails be able to stop adding additional events to their posts about racial injustice “on this day……”?
Yes, my friend, history matters. I hope one day these heinous acts of racial injustices become only history and I do what work I can, in my small way to make it so.