Friday, July 31, 2015

An open letter to Renee Lovelace

Ms. Lovelace,

I read your heartbreaking story of wanting to return to Ghana at Counterpunch.

I don't know anything about you other than what I've read in that story, but I assume that you're at an age where you're giving some thought to where you want to die.

Renee, you were born in Detroit and live in Chicago. What do you know from Ghana?

If you have grown up in Detroit and live in Chicago and have had to cope with systemic racism all your life, I can see where "going back to Ghana" holds some appeal.

But hold on a minute.

You're not from Ghana. You're an American.

True, you have ancestors who came from Ghana in chains 150 or 200 years ago, but you are an American!

My ancestors schlepped around Europe since time immemorial, and were generally at the bottom of the barrel in terms of their social standing. My mother was born into what was essentially feudalism in a place called East Prussia, between the wars. Feudalism is a system wherein the Graff or Baron or whoever is calling the shots, essentially owns the serfs...

Sound familiar?

At some point after the WWII my family made it to the new world, and being white, I guess we had one advantage that you did not.

But here's why I don't want you to be a quitter. When I look at cities like Toronto or Miami today, I see a younger generation that's far more open to change than yours or mine was. I see cities where the racial divides are being dispatched into the dustbins of history by a new generation wherein the millennials who have the opportunity to mix with other races think nothing of doing exactly that.

Blacks and Whites and East Indians and West Indians and Mexicans date and intermarry and are producing a new generation of kids who couldn't care less.

That's where America is going, Renee, and I hope you stick around to see it through.


No comments:

Post a Comment