Find The High Ground In Addressing Black-Face

The controversy surrounding the use of black-face and its obvious racist mindset continues to make the news. It clearly belittles African Americans and it should be a relic of our tragic past. An interesting question is what to do when it was done by a person who once held racist views in their youth? It is far from black or white. It is completely grey where absolutes guarantee you will only be partially right and always wrong. As thinking human beings, we are freed when we choose to break down every situation based on the truth.

In one way, America needs to talk about race and use what always works on difficult subjects; educate, listen and forgive. Yes, forgive. This country has tried hating the haters, or at our worst, using racism to fight racism. Forgiveness always must be on the table, an option, and even celebrated. Who among us hasn’t evolved in a positive way in our own lives?

Part of educating each other is allowing for the free exchange of opinions and starting with the base or foundation of truth. Hear people out and be prepared to learn even from those you don’t agree with. Forgive and have grace for those who are living in hate. Remember they were taught to hate since no one is born that way.

CNN panelist Nina Turner said blaming Trump makes no sense and to blame him removes personal responsibility and ignores the fact this country was racist before Ralph Northam painted his face black, and it has been everyday since then. Trump may be the racist in chief but berating the town bigot doesn’t solve prejudice it puts a band-aid on it. And no one changes their mind through hatred.

Who here has turned on the television and said the use of black face is horrible and they should resign? Did you remember images like Al Jolson and Amos n Anthony performing in black face? Are you just as upset when Union Redskins paint up in black and red face to rev up team spirt? The blowback for anyone questioning their perceived right to mock who ever they want devolves quickly into racism and vitriol. And nothing changes.

If people change, we should respect that change because they were taught to hate but chose to practice tolerance and respect. Probably like many people reading this editorial.

Good Plan Hatched To Support Black Wall Street

Never has the history and future of the Greenwood District’s Black Wall Street been discussed so much in recent years. This historic area is steeped in the noble history of economic independence by African Americans at a time when most black neighborhoods struggled against oppression and laws designed to keep them down. The amazing history for many is not just an anomaly but a legacy to follow. How to resurrect the Black Wall Street spirit is tried and debated in many positive ways. Perhaps there is another reason Black Wall Street is on everyone’s mind. This area is very valuable again.

The only land that can be developed downtown Tulsa is right here in the Greenwood/Black Wall Street area. True to the American experience whenever people of color are sitting on something valuable the greedy will come to separate them from their land. There are those who believe it should stay in black ownership or control.

There is still a turf war among warring chambers to see who best represents the area. A betting man might say the Black Wall Street Chamber seems to be more active. However, the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce still has the keys. Just an observation, Black Wall Street and Greenwood would be best served if the two groups either merged or worked in concert.

On a positive note, an innovative idea has been floated to raise money through a special Oklahoma license plate that promotes Juneteenth. Part of the funds would go toward the musical event celebrating the end of slavery. Still in the planning stages, it serves as a good idea in an area short on great news.

Did Smollett Cry Wolf?

Actor Jussie Smollett made news several weeks ago when he reported that two assailants that he claimed screamed racial epithets and sexual slurs and said they did it in the name of President Donald Trump’s MAGA movement attacked him. He also said they poured bleach on him in an incident that shocked most Americans. However, new evidence has Chicago police believing he set the whole story up. Or did he? Smollett said two black suspects, who have since been released, are lying about him when they claim the actor hired them to beat him. The story is now cast in doubt.

At this point the only one who truly knows what happened is Smollett and God. And only Smollett is talking. Chicago police say they have evidence contrary to Smollett’s account. They plan to talk to the actor soon. Meantime Smollett is still saying publicly that his story is true. This story doesn’t sound like it’s going to end well for anyone.

To Fire A Klan Member Has Possible Negative Consequences

A Tulsa County employee is suspected of belonging to the Ku Klux Klan along with her husband will not be fired for her alleged association with the hate group. The reason is that as a matter of free speech she has the protected right to believe what she wants. There has been no documented evidence of Bondell “Bonnie” Kukla acting in an insensitive or intolerant manner while at her job at the Tulsa County Juvenile Court Clerk’s office. Bonnie and her husband Stephen Kukla are accused of being associated with the KKK and reportedly play music for the hate group. While Oklahoma can fire at will, the court clerk’s office is right not to fire her. Yes, her views are repugnant and it’s disturbing to know Kukla works on the public dime. Besides the right to belong to any group they like, they are breaking no laws.

One thing to remember; when the government can tell someone to “shut up” and “you can’t work here because of your beliefs”, that same perspective can be used against you. As said here before, at this point we need more free speech not less.

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