Inaction on Courage

Some things haven’t changed since the Civil War

The distribution of votes in this neverending election is screaming something else other than a democracy in crisis. Most people who voted saw this election as a battle of morality, of values, of life or death. A battle of racist or not racist, sexist or not sexist, for homophobia or against it, transphobia or not transphobic. A chance at a regular ole everyday, you’re not that type of Black person, racism or surviving the escalation of violent deaths for being Black. 

This split has conveniently lined up to Democrat or Republican. We can add the indifference of the Independent, because let’s face it: This election we needed to make a clear choice for people, not the political party system. This whole concept is problematic in itself, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about right now. I want to talk about HOW we narrowly escaped a green light to a second Civil War. 

If you don’t know your history, the bottom line of the Civil War was whether the South could continue to torture enslaved people for profit. The Union narrowly slipped by with a victory, largely due to the fact it enlisted enslaved people to fight for them, guaranteeing their freedom, win or lose. 

We can discuss how those enslaved people were treated after the Civil War, with the same civil disregard until this present day. The public humilation the troops endured due to their ethnicity, due to their skin color, society talks about that shame continuously. However, we don’t talk about the audacity of white society at large to distance themselves from their desperate need for BIPOC’s blood sweat and brilliance to push their American dream forward. 

Without the acknowledgement that dream would be impossible without the deep sacrifice of the BIPOC communities. The percentages of white people who voted for hate, for misogyny and for violence is a clear indication of the truth of how white people have seen themselves in the decisions of equity this country has pushed forward with. It is an empty rhetoric. If the people of this country are basically split 50-50, it is indicative of a group of people who feel their wellness is somehow threatened by the equity of others. 

 There was no resolve, no reckoning by enslaved people and their owners. There was no “setting the story straight.” Instead, racism was hidden in lies in our history books, in our statues, flags, names of prominent museums and structures of our society, as if nothing was ever really wrong. 

When did BIPOC people get permission to be great? We haven’t. We have saved ourselves, and this democracy. 

Martin Luther King Jr was Black. He and others convinced our counterparts of their moral duty. There was never a landslide of people who agreed. The acknowledgement was begrudging at best. Those people? They are your mother and father or, at the very most, your grandmother and father. This past is not so far behind. These sentiments are very much real. These delusions that surround the white community are now revealed for everyone to discuss. 

Once again, in 2020 the highest number of voters were Black people identified as women, followed closely by Latinx people identified as women. Fighting for our safety. Where were the allies? 

We cannot expect to continue in the delusion of white supremacy. It is harmful to themselves and to others. The concept in itself mimics an unchecked mental health disorder, that we are all trapped in the house trying to avoid. 

BIPOC people are tired and unamused. White folks are hurting and confused. Accountability for inaction and recognition for courage to confront this age old establishment of racism is front page news. Where are you?

Ayisha Elliott’s podcast Black Girl From Eugene is raw and uncensored monologues and conversations about living while Black in the PNW. Listen locally at 11 am Sundays on FB Live; simulcast on KEPW 97.3 FM. Audio found on all major podcasting platforms.