Where to from here?

With all that has been transpiring throughout the country and the world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla and be distracted from fundamental issues that are yet to be adequately addressed. To take a quick review of recent news headlines, one could easily ascertain that society appears to be moving backward as opposed to following a path of forward progression.

The matter of racial divide, many argue, is a topic that simply needs to be corralled and put to bed as it’s been an underlying concern extending more than four centuries. In truth, it’s hardly imaginable that people want to continue dealing with the fall-out of disparities and ills that equate an infectious disease attacking the vital cells of humanity. Those feeling the brunt of maleficence perpetrated upon them would most certainly welcome conditions to nullify the need for protest or complaint.

There’s the vision of what’s presented as the American dream whereby any person is extended equal opportunity to pursue his/her ambitions to the best of his/her ability under the law without restriction or hindrance by another group or individual. Unfortunately, there are those sects who’ve appointed themselves as achievement “mediators” of recent. If there’s reason for them to believe a person or people aren’t justified in possessing or deserving of something, regardless of by what twisted reasoning the conclusion is reached, it is now perfectly acceptable for nay-sayers to speak out against them.

History is littered with accounts of persons’, and entire peoples’ being oppressed and essentially exterminated under the guise of progress. The American Indians indigenous to a land that was “discovered” by someone else, have now been herded onto reservations in obscure parts of nowhere. A peoples who by their very nature were content to live off the land while respecting the valued resources of nature are forbidden to even hunt food in the areas where the government has “assigned” for them to live.

According to NPR (National Public Radio) reporter, Steve Inskeep, an Osage Indian tribe had been forced from their land in the 1800’s by settlers. They were made to move again in the early 1900’s and subsequently settled in a rocky infertile area of northeast Oklahoma in hopes of being left alone. Subsequently, the land was determined to be rich in oil and many of the tribe members became extremely wealthy as a result of them leasing mineral rights to the land. In David Grann’s book “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” he details how Caucasian people in the area conspired to kill Osage tribe members in order to steal their oil wealth which could, by law, only be passed on through inheritance.

Similar situations have been documented around the same period in places like Greenwood, FL and Tulsa, OK which was often referred to as “Black Wall Street.” In such cases, these communities of Black people had become almost completely self-sufficient. They’d developed such resources that, by comparison, the amount of time a dollar would remain in the community extended up to a year versus a matter of hours in the average residential area today.

Much like the situation concerning the Osage Indians in Oklahoma, the communities of Greenwood and Tulsa became the targets of envy and jealousy. This ultimately led to the calculated destruction/extermination of those entire cities with relatively little or no accountability levied against the perpetrators. There are several publications about the communities of Greenwood, FL as well as “Black Wall Street” that serve to capture little known details as related to the specifics of these locations; providing a more thorough understanding of American history.

It’s ironic that when individuals left to their own devices are content to pursue a lifestyle which ultimately nets them a modest degree of prosperity, people intent on the community’s downfall can’t simply let the matter rest. More disturbing is the fact that the “good folk” sit idly by not protesting or calling out the injustices which speaks to the act of cosigning those ills. In short, refusal to accept our truths invariably thwarts any opportunity for growth.

To pose a question or share your opinion, you can reach Billy Howard at bw3bh@yahoo.com or P. O. Box 8103, Jacksonville, FL 32239.