We Shall Overcome
Oddly enough, when the Queen first heard about this story and saw the video, I was moved–not to anger by the almost jaw-dropping words of these two young girls, but to contemplation. Having worked with countless young people over the past 30+ years has given me a profound respect and objectivity towards newer generations. And, as an adult with some perspective, it is hard to take too seriously ravings that were poorly thought out, contradictory and punctuated by a lack of education.
THIS VIDEO IS NSFW!!!
What bothers the Queen the most about this story–and others like it–can be distilled into three points:
- The girls are obviously parroting ideas and verbiage from someone else. Either consciously or unconsciously they are bombarded daily with intolerance as a cultural norm–more than likely in their homes. Are their guardians taking a long and painfully objective look at the environment that spawned such ideas, and doing their best to change it?
- The inauguration of President Obama, to many people signaled the “end of racism.” To those of us who still have trouble hailing a cab, or are watched judiciously in a retail store by personnel, it was a giant leap forward–but by no means the endgame. Will we as a nation recognize that we are just at the beginning of a very long journey and move towards understanding together?
- Until this video went viral, these obviously intelligent young ladies were blissfully unaware of the fact that words have power, and that thoughts are things. Are there any adults in their lives that will help them navigate through the maelstrom of negative attention and learn from their poor judgement and cultural ignorance?
It has been reported that the two girls in question have left Gainesville High School. If that’s true, it’s a shame. If their school is taking healthy steps to address teen’s understanding of the origins and effects of racism, such as Florida’s Eastside High, then I believe that the young ladies in question would truly be better served by an open, honest and respectful dialogue with their peers. I wish them the best. I really do.
What do y’all think Miss Things? Not so much about the actual video itself, but about how we as a society address racism in a post Obama nation?
Humble Majesty-Viola Davis
And then there are people like this who make me so proud of who I am, and from whence I come. I feel very blessed to be in the same time and space as this incredible artist, and FIERCE black queen.