Today, I mourn for my country. A place where systematic, institutionalized racism reigns strong.
I’ve always been thankful that I was born after the 1960s racial-awareness raising events that precipitated the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the proclamation in Virginia that interracial marriages were finally legal, and laws that enabled kids of all colors to attend the same public schools.
Incidentally, I was born just after we landed on the moon and after my alma mater, Virginia Tech, started admitting women into fields like architecture. (UVA started this the year I was born.)
I benefitted from ALL these American achievements and civil rights.
I was allowed to attend desegregated schools and learn from and with people from all walks of life.
We, as Americans, achieved all this but then we stopped short. We let ourselves believe all things had become equal. We actually kid ourselves into believing that any American-born person can succeed equally based on merit. That we all have an equal chance at birth.
It simply isn’t true. And we can’t stop trying until it is.
In interviewing an African-American grad student yesterday, his words mirrored the issues of oppression and the daily battle he fights. Thinking of this on the micro-level is an important place to start!
Very powerful piece Dr. Shannon. Well done you