Op-EdOpinion

WILLIAMS: Message to Michael

Mike Pompeo, I read your thoughts about America being “the greatest nation and greatest force for good on the planet, and it is up to us to keep it that way.” Obviously, you’ve never lived as a Black person, so with a few adjustments in your thinking, I could agree with you. If only you’d said America is the greatest nation and the greatest force for good on the planet for white people, I could agree with you. Understand that other people who’re not white haven’t had it as good as you have.

Imagine you were Black, brown, red or yellow. Do you think you’d have enjoyed the historic brutality of white people? Suppose this was the native land of your ancestors and suddenly your land was stolen, your people were killed, treaties were dishonored, and your people were forced to live on undesirable land with few resources and fewer prospects for a prosperous future. Would you have enjoyed that?

Suppose you’d been placed in concentration camps, or your family worked the fields raising fruits and vegetables for the masses while being paid less than minimum wage? Imagine your infant children being rounded up in their young adulthood and deported to a country where they’d never lived and where they had no social or minimal cultural connection.

Think about it. All of these things were done to non-white people by white people like you. White people like you became the beneficiaries of their labor and their deprivation. Truthfully, if circumstances were reversed, would you really sit back, grin and be happy about people of color prospering while your people were lynched, brutally beaten/killed by the police without consequences, relegated to the back of the bus or to jobs below minimum wage? Would you really be happy forgetting the cruelty that has existed for years and continues under the veil of social order?

Seriously, if your white people had been denied education, denied decent housing, denied decent jobs — denied just about everything you would ever have hoped for, would you be shouting from rooftops how great America is, and that you don’t want to hear anything about critical race theory or the truth thereof? You mean you really wouldn’t care that, with few exceptions, your community didn’t have decent healthcare or grocery stores or good schools?

Knowing your current elevated lifestyle, I find it difficult to believe that, under the oppressive circumstances previously described, you wouldn’t have wanted equal rights, safe streets, fair police protection, fair voting rights, and the opportunity to succeed on the basis of your personal merit. Truth is sometimes hard to take, but if things had been reversed, I believe you would be found in the street yelling “White Lives Matter,” “White Voters Matter,” “I’m white and I’m proud!”

In reality, you ARE white and were born with all the associated privileges. My observations inform me that even poor whites understand the privilege their color offers them.

Too often, the inability to understand leads one to falsely believe their privilege derives from being smarter or more deserving. That wrong-thinking will lead, as it has seemingly led you, to become an undeserving, self-serving, uncaring, ignorant white man who knows the truth, but who can’t contend with the discomfort of acknowledging the truth. Your greatest fear is losing undeserved white privilege and having the rest of us treated like the beings God made us.

If you could just imagine what equality would be like, I am sure you would not have written that muddled article you wrote for CAVPAC. Critical race theory is about truth-telling and it’s obvious that people like you know little about TRUTH!

Williams is president of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.

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