I will always seek to speak the truth and stand on the right side of justice.
I will always seek to find ways to create stronger pathways to build bridges of communities.
I will always even if it means others feeling want to unfriend me on FB, stand up for what I believe.
Blacks in America have felt the burden of injustice for a long time. Yet have not taught their children to embrace that we are descendants of slaves.
Too many are not proud of this. I’m not proud that slavery existed, but I embrace the strength and resilience it took to come through it.
I lived in Africa for 2 years, because my father wanted his children to know the continent personally. And when we returned to America, we wanted to kiss the ground.
While my heart aches for the torture slaves endured, I am so appreciative that God saw fit that happened so that I and millions of others are in America as Americans and not in Africa!
If more of our children were taught this, they would understand that our slave ancestors built the economic foundation of this country. That was our down payment on citizenship. Battling and overcoming segregation was paying it in full.
Yet, too many don’t look at the symbols of freedom and yell out I’m an American! I built this country and am entitled to the rights of citizenship just like any other!
Instead they beg to be accepted. We say my way or no way. We cry, scream, holler and shout when someone does something and are quick to cry racist! Yet, Black men are killing Black men.
That is the image that Americans have of our community. Those men wouldn’t be killing each other, selling drugs to one another, creating baby after baby with multitudes of women, if they knew their history. If they were proud of the road we have traveled, they would treasure being an American. And understand why so many struggle to enter this country for an opportunity to be called an American.
Don’t tell me #BlackLivesMatter until you and others in this movement are ready to work and fix what’s wrong in Black communities first.
Stop blaming others. The image of Blacks in this nation is warped because of a few. And it’s warped because a majority of us, don’t want to tackle that issue because it is too hard.
Chicago is just one example of how bad things are with Black on Black crime.
I’m an American. I’m proud to be an American. I embrace that I am a descendant of a famous abolitionist and freedom fighter, Frederick Augustus Bailey. And I am a descendant of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
That is part of my American bloodline. I can’t run from it. But I am a reminder to those who seek to divide on both sides that I am a part of the history of this country.
My bloodlines are the byproduct of slavery. I’m not ashamed of it. I can’t go back and change that. But I can say with all conviction in my heart, that embracing one life over another is wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
South Africa never becomes free of apartheid and America never rids itself of slavery or segregation if someone on the other side didn’t wake up and say wait, #AllLivesMatter. Right the wrongs by being right for all!
And this nation will not overcome the sickness of racism until someone steps forward with a message that heals and binds instead of sickens and divides.
Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR) and Party Politics (PP). Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Like Atiba Madyun on Facebook.