By Madalyn McKnight
Listen, I don’t know about you, but I have been getting random apologies from people because I am black, and they automatically assume I am offended. It’s a whisper of “I am soooooo sorry” over the vine-ripened tomatoes in the grocery store. At work, it is, “I know you must feel awful, I am so sorry” on the way to the break room. I am Black. Obviously, I have been subjected to overt and covert acts of racism. And YES, I am offended, but your empty apologies are not even a band-aid, much less a cure.
Unless someone can post the systematic racism cheat code online, we will continue chipping away at the beast that is racism. It is ingrained in every fiber of society, and we will be expected to rise above and be better than a system that is weighing down and affecting every area of our lives for generation on end. It baffles me that certain groups of people deny history right in front of their faces. Everybody wants me to respect a flag, but nobody wants the government to tell them that wearing masks save lives. Everybody wants to carry guns freely without restrictions because of constitutional rights, but that’s the same government that only gave its citizens $1200 to survive nine months of a pandemic.
Make it make sense.
The forefathers did not get it right, but it would take a miracle to undo the damage they started. The best route to forgiveness is changed behavior. Empty apologies are worthless when this generation is still feeling the effects of slavery by means of mass incarceration, classism, IRS regulations, gerrymandering, code-switching, and double-standards of beauty. The entire black delegation is tired. And as Solange sang, we’ve got a lot to be mad about.
But I am also inspired by the change I see and see my people continuously come together to change the world. Yes, I am offended, and yes, I am mad, but I am hopeful.
That real change is going to come.
Madalyn McKnight is an Assistant Editor for the Pedestal Project, LLC. A rare blackbird who has the range and a young black professional with impactful words! Follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @singsongblackbird and twitter @singsongblckbrd.