Harriet Tubman…..never a braver woman, or man. Time and time again she risked everything, life, the prospect of severe torture, risked it all to lead a few more slaves north. The sad tale of shiploads of human cargo, hundreds of years of being worked to death as slaves or forced impoverishment post-Civil War. Thousands of lynchings and more recently atrocities such as the dragging behind a truck and decapitation of James Byrd, Jr., 1998, in my great State of Texas. Not to mention the murdering by cops, today, of young black boys and men, even being shot in the back or while laying on the pavement.
In the 115th Congress, H.R.40 intended to address and study the effects of these centuries of inhuman treatment of the United States black citizens, and moreover, what can be done by this USA to help “rectify” these wrongs to some extent. With this new Congress, in spite of all the distractions, I pray this can move forward.
Some of my own ancestors were slave owners, I am sad to say. Others no doubt were involved in the oppression of blacks in the South in some way, I am sure. Although my family was not wealthy, they were land owners, and I am sure that to some extent the wealth they had, much of it lost in the Civil War, did in some capacity put them way ahead of any black people from their own time. That is what is called “white privilege. But this “privilege” extends across all facets of our society, and has across each generation. There is no way that black people in this country can ever catch up to we white folk, without some real, meaningful assistance. The form or substance of that overdue assistance is the only question. Don’t tell me “Well, my people came after the Civil War so I have no guilt or responsibility to blacks.” Oh yes you do: everything you enjoy in this land today was by in large, originally built on the sweating, scarred backs of black men and women and children. So yes, we, all white people, have a debt to pay “them.”