Uhuru peak of Mount Kilimanjaro

Guest columnist Walter Suza writes about the racism against black people in America and how love can help heal the injustice.

I am mother Africa, the cradle of humanity. I speak to you from the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro — a breathtaking dark body standing above the lands, culminating with a white snowcap touching the clouds. 

I emerged from the volcanic soils of Olduvai Gorge. I birthed great astronomers who deciphered stellar patterns in the sky to predict the arrival of the king.

I hoped that all my children would find love, peace and joy; the scrolls of my son Solomon contained guidelines for a people born to lead a harmonious world.

I hoped all my children would prosper — I have fertile lands, infused with diamonds and gold. 

I hoped my children would find enough to eat — the Savannah housed abundant wildlife and supported fruit trees and sweet berries.

I watched some of my children migrate to seek new life in distant Northern lands. After thousands of years, my children of the North lost their dark skin color and became “white.” 

I did not envision my white children returning home to snatch their black brothers and sisters from the land of milk and honey. 

My white children of the North forced my black children to a harsh life under slavery and colonial oppression.

The loss of my black children to slavery and colonial injustices produced many tears, forming the great Congo and filling the Atlantic Ocean. 

I have been kept up every night, from witnessing disease, famine and wars, yet not a single day has passed without a thought about my black children lost into slavery.

In spite of these hurts, I remained hopeful that my black children living in new lands under the Northern Cross would find freedom.

However, my black children continue to experience injustice in a country that trusts God and names itself as “the land of freedom.” 

I am sad to see my black children in the United States of America continuing to face systemic racism and marginalization. 

My black children are dying from COVID-19 in disproportionate numbers — they had no other option but to work and live in conditions that increased exposure to coronavirus.

Although a white folk song claims, “This Land is Your Land,” I wonder if my black children living in the United States will ever enjoy the same privileges and opportunities as white people.

The suffering of my black children in the United States brings back memories of my son Moses and the journey to freedom for all my children. 

I felt hopeful to hear my son, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak the words, “We have a great opportunity in America to build here a great nation, a nation where all men live together as brothers and respect the dignity and worth of all human personality.”

To all my children, black and white, remember you are all from the same source of life. Remember that you are all mirrors of one another — your skin color is an illusion you must escape to discover the love that resides in your neighbor. That love is the common thread that connects you to my heart. That thread will lead you to a greater realization of love for your friends and perceived enemies. 

Love is the remedy to heal our wounded hearts from all forms of injustice.

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(1) comment

Steve Gregg

Walter, Europeans bought their slaves from African slave markets, which preceded American slavery and lasted after it ended. Chattel slavery still exists in Africa. We have ended slavery here in America. Why don’t you end it in Africa? It’s overbearing for you to lecture America on slavery while Africa still practices it.

There is no racial barrier to achievement in America. A black person can be the CEO of a major corporation, head of the military, Secretary of State, even President. A black person can become a billionaire. However, too many blacks think like losers and become so. Meanwhile, blacks from the Caribbean and Africa move to America and outperform whites.

Blacks are not more at risk from coronavirus because of racism but because too many of them have unhealthy lifestyles that lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart issues which make them more vulnerable. We white people are not holding guns to the heads of black people making them eat an extra couple slices of pie. Why don’t you take responsibility for the choices you make in life rather than blaming your screw-ups on racism?

Stop using racism as an alibi and take command of your lives. Start doing the same things that makes everyone else successful and you will succeed, too.

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