America, like many countries, was founded upon pretense. Englishmen who had tired of persecution wanted a place to practice their religious and political beliefs as they saw fit. Since it’s infancy, the people of America have been hypocritical in everything they sought to stand for. Equality for all meant equality for all white men of some social standing.
Many hundreds of years later, we the children of a severely diminished Native population and so many immigrants are still lacking in being a real melting pot. Perhaps a day will come when diversity is genuinely celebrated, but that day will not come without going back to the root, being critically honest, and then educating ourselves and our children.
We have to rewrite history books now. We have to get beyond the sugar-coated story of how America was born and tell the truth. We must take it upon ourselves to understand our own cultures, to learn about our ancestor’s ways, even if we choose not to practice them. It must be popularly accepted that there are few if any, purely “white” or “black” people in this society.
There are both beautiful and horrifying elements to nearly any culture. We as a society must be brave and honest enough to acknowledge these things. We must find the ability to look beyond the lightness or darkness of one’s skin and realize that rich traditions and histories are lying below the surface that will pass out of existence without the strength and integrity to do some serious investigation.
The “Check One” ethnicity boxes should be done away with on forms. This only encourages people to generalize themselves. Being Siberian, Blackfoot, Creole, and European there is entirely no way I can only put an ‘X’ in a box and be done with it. My children, who are even more diverse than I, have been raised to respect all cultures and never to assume a person’s cultural identity based on the tone of their flesh. I hope that they remember these lessons as well as pass them on. I highly doubt that I will live to see a content multiracial society, but if we do not try, our progeny will never see it either.