Considering our history, many perceive that being something other than Caucasian can put you at risk for discrimination and unjust treatment. Even though there are plenty of cultures who have been, or are, discriminated against, I predominantly want to talk about the big 3. The African American, Native American, and Jewish populations have been victims of some of the most horrific discriminatory unjust actions ever to plague mankind. African Americans were forced into slavery and taken away from their home countries, Native Americans were massacred and conquered, and the Jews had the horrors of a mass genocide. Sure, these acts were terrible and deserve the emotions that come with them. But my question is, “Can we ever forgive and move forward? Or is this something each race will keep in their back pockets and bring out as needed to perpetuate the guilt on generations far removed from the original atrocities?”
Now I am not recommending we forget. Fuck no, we should never forget these horrible acts. What I am saying is for society to move forward, we must learn from these harsh times and all must move forward together. Everyone has their reasons to hold grudges, but victimizing yourself and not letting go will only make your situation worse.
Half of my family happens to be Jewish, so when I looked at the horrors of the Concentration Camps, they truly affect me. Sure, I learned about slavery and even the horrors behind Thanksgiving. But when I learned about the terror that happened to “my people” in Germany, it really pissed me off. Since I had a personal connection (I am half-Jewish), I felt entitled to argue Jewish people, my ancestors, had it “way-worse” than anybody else and deserve restitution. As I grew up I started to recognize just how stupid that was.
I was born in 1992 in America and never had to deal with those atrocities. I literally had no personal reason to guilt people into feeling bad for me. Instead, I started thinking about how many people thought like me. Slavery ended in the 1800’s, Native Americans were given casinos and land, and the Jewish population survived the genocide and have prospered in Hollywood. Everyone from these cultures can argue that they still face discrimination in this country and deserve. But I would argue back saying we have come a long way. And the only way we will move forward is to stop being a victim and finally forgive.
Most people say nothing could ever heal the wounds from these tragedies. I would argue that point too. I believe it is time for all of us to learn from our history. We must stop having such an obsessive view of just negative perspectives. It took humanity a native conquest, slavery, and even a genocide to understand everyone is created equal. All these horrific things should have taught the world that the color of your skin should not reflect who you are. For those of you still holding grudges, it is time to move on. Let’s show our ancestors what they really fought and died for made a difference, rather than living in the past.