It Used To Be Called Columbus Day.
Let's not try to make this an issue of politics, race, or any other form of opinionated thinking there is out in the world. This is a post based on reality. The reality is that our nation's history is NOT perfect, but then, find me one that is. That is a fact. In today's society, words such as discrimination and racism are thrown around so easily and have become one of the first things people accuse each other of being. It is also said, which by the way, really gets the hairs on the back of my neck standing, is that our institutions and society suffer from SYSTEMIC RACISM.
Let me give you my opinion on whether or not we suffer from SYSTEMIC RACISM. WE DO NOT. When we say something is systemic, it is embedded into every system, every person, and every law, policy, and institution in our country. That is FALSE. Systemic racism is inflammatory and ignites problems within the individual races and cultures that co-exist in our great nation. However, that does not mean there are not people who are racist. That there are. However, our nation, as a whole, does not suffer from systemic racism.
Many groups, and even politicians, use the terminology systemic racism. Frankly, they should be ashamed of themselves for using that terminology because they are causing issues and areas where there are problems to become further incited by the misuse of the phrase. But, unfortunately, these groups' real problem and some politicians will call things and go to great lengths to achieve their goals. Which, in most cases, is NOT in the best interest of our society. So let me make something clear before I continue.
All people were created equal and should have always been treated that way. However, is discriminating against others the way to fix it?
According to the Global Analytics firm Gallup, about one in 10 people actually possess the skills to lead. This is why 82% of the time, companies fail to choose the right candidate for a leadership job. The remainder of the people are considered followers. A word I am not particularly fond of. I find it demeaning and demoralizing. Not all people were meant to lead, and not all people want to be a leader. However, that does NOT make them any less of a person. Moving on to the topic of this post.
The violence and controversy of the removal and vandalism of Christopher Columbus statutes were under no circumstances justified or warranted. Why? Because they were a result of violent acts. Those actions alone are never acceptable. Violence within our society at any level should never be considered acceptable. If people wanted those statues taken down, the correct action would have been to follow the procedure to make your case the correct way. NOT through violence or destruction. Christopher Columbus was not perfect. He was a product of his times.
A time when things, right or wrong, were much different. However, he was originally honored for being considered the founder of the Americas. That is what he was honored for. This does not mean I approve of what he did or his methods. I am only stating the facts. He was a brutal man and was removed from his post, resulting in his arrest in 1500. In addition, he was of Italian descent, and the Italian people honored him for his accomplishments in finding the new world.
As a society, we should NEVER be proud of the mistakes made as our nation grew. However, it is our past and should always serve as a reminder of what we have evolved from. With that said, we also cannot discriminate against those who may look upon him differently during this process. If we are going to follow our rights to opinions, free speech, expression, or other freedoms, they cannot be selective. Providing they are not breaking any laws. As a society, we all have the same rights. If you want your rights respected, you MUST respect the rights of others. I think that makes perfect sense.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE DAY:
Let me state that I fully support Indigenous People Day if it represents everyone. Every race, color, and creed. Every group of people, regardless of their ethnic background. The reality is, that is what our country is made up of. Immigrants who, many decades ago, came to this country from other countries built some of our greatest structures. My grandparents came here from Italy. I remember driving my grandfather through one of our close large cities and pointing out all the buildings he helped build as a construction worker. He was an immigrant. Italians were NOT the only immigrants. Families came from Ireland, Scotland, and many other countries seeking our country's wealth and opportunities. They broke bread and worked on construction sites side by side. I'm sure they had their differences and probably their issues. However, this great nation was built on this mixed batched of men and women, different colors, creeds, and religious beliefs.
Therefore, yes, the term Indigenous People is excellent with me. What is NOT fine with me is when we define people and separate them socially into groups. I am not saying a race or culture should not have their own heritage that they celebrate as a group. I refer to calling people black, white, brown, or any other defining color other than American. When we define people that way, we automatically segregate them without even realizing we are doing it. When you look at someone, what do you see?
I DO NOT SEE A COLOR OR A RACE. I SEE A PERSON—AN INDIVIDUAL. SOMEONE I WILL JUDGE BASED ON THEIR ACTIONS.
Isn't that the way it should be? Do you want to be judged by your color, or your race, or your ethnic background? Or do you want to be judged as an individual? The sad part is that people do not want to get over or forget our past and history. One that we all know was tainted. However, the past has one simple rule. Until you can get over it or passed it, you will never progress to the future. That is a fact. Unfortunately, we are inundated with people in our society that cannot see past the past and try to make a better future. All the violence last summer proved that. All the gang-related shootings that continue to be on the rise prove that. Also, some of the stupidest politicians in our country that support defunding the police rather than training them better and providing them the resources to do a better job and bring this violence under control are equally as wrong and nearsighted. Many who have defunded their departments are changing their tune a bit because innocent people and children are being shot and murdered in their cities. I am NOT saying that any law enforcement officer should not be held accountable for their actions. Accountability comes with any job.
However, things have not gotten better. They are progressively getting worse. According to crime surge studies in cities across the U.S.,
Portland homicides are up 533%, and shootings are up 126%
Atlanta homicides are up 58%, and shootings are up 40%
Philadelphia homicides are up 37%, and shootings are up 27%
NYC homicides are up 13%, and shootings are up 64%
Los Angeles homicides are up 22%, and shootings are up 51%
Chicago homicides are up 5%, and shootings are up 18%
These figures are about 2 months old. Some may have gotten better, but I know that some have gotten worse. Especially in Chicago. Assaults on police officers resulting in death are also up.
I ask you. Is this what we want to be known for as a country and a society? Today should have been a video blog post day, but my studio is still not ready. Therefore, it is written but equally as strong. Therefore, today used to be called Columbus Day, and now it is Indigenous People Day as many other ethnic backgrounds enjoy statues of those who, as a culture, they honor cultures such as our great Indian Nations. Columbus Day and statues should not have gone away. It's discriminating against the Italian culture. Indigenous People Day should have been named a holiday that represented all cultures. A day of its own. NOT replacing another day. This new wave of thinking has caused companies to rename products they have had for years. Sports teams and schools renaming themselves. Why not just ask permission from those your name represents if they mind. Opinions are like rear ends. Everyone has one. I do not see the name of a sports team or school that represents a great Indian nature as an insult. I see it as an honor to that tribe. Did anyone ever think to ask?
Anything, good, bad, or indifferent, can be taken too far. Taken to the point where to satisfy one group of people, you now have insulted or discriminated against another. That is not the answer. Facing our past, facing our mistakes, and owning them is the answer. Committing as a society NOT to make those same mistakes again and start respecting people as equals. Regardless of color, race, ethnic background, or creed. Regardless of their gender preference. Regardless of their political beliefs. Because, UNTIL WE ALL LIVE AND PRACTICE EQUALITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE EQUALITY.
Stay Safe and be well,
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