Root Causes and Racial BeliefsWashCo Dems op-ed article

By Glendora Claybrooks, MHA, GCPM
Doctoral Candidate, Public Health Policy
WashCo Dems Black American Caucus, Chair


People are correct in their beliefs that we are all humans.

However, race matters in America because Blacks have not always been considered as humans but personal stock in the USA. Remember the US Constitution passage that references Blacks as 3/5 humans! The 13th Amendment was an attempt to correct this defined and specified Black human status of social inequality and denied Civil Rights.

Now, I, however, happen to believe that equality has no particular ethnicity by which humanity should be applied…I am simply trying to show how White society has contributed to the inequality and disenfranchisement of a nation of people, and seemingly, now no one wants to hear about or acknowledge these injustices. These injustices range from unnecessary killings, stealing of intellect and land to the current economic and social mishaps and denied opportunities to the Black populations—People of Color.

The category of Black represents people of color, and is defined according to their geographical racial ethnicities, which exist all over the world and are abundant in population when compared to the understood limited “White” population in the USA. Therefore, the majority of people on earth are indeed Black, which includes Arabians, Iranians, Iroquoians, Italians, Jews, Somalians, or other nationalities who exist throughout the continents including Europe. Black is not a term that should be perceived as germane to Black Americans or Africans, rather it is anyone who is not of the “White” ethnicity. One of the problems, as I see it, is that this teaching has been neither forthcoming in America’s past, nor current educational society. So many, too many, Whites of educated and non-educated statuses are non-accepting of this stance/position. Thus, the majority of society, whom we refer to as being the White ethnicity/race, vehemently rejects this ideological concept.

No learned Individual would think that not all humans matter, that is not the point.

When Whites say or imply that “we are all humans, let’s get along,” it is to dismiss the historical injustices and inequalities; whether this is their intention or not. The conclusion among Blacks is the same. Because many Whites do not understand why people of color (Blacks) think or believe this way does not mean that Blacks are without probable cause…We are still at a crossroads of economic inequality because of the old and currently institutionalized policies. In other words, scientific evidentiary studies reflect that we are either still disproportionately under or over-represented in all sectors of society, and statistically undisputedly so.

Even though perhaps many of you know this, we are not a stupid people by any stretch of the imagination- although historical teachings among the White American population have said otherwise. These teachings have reflected or implied that lack of Black equivalency exists; whether in religion, education, criminal, character, or having the mental capacity to learn, think, and perform equally as a human.

When Whites consciously point out discriminations and other social and racial impositions that have occurred throughout the world against human nature, and that this reflects simply evil nature of people, and it has no significant bearing on the social, political, and racial tensions that have evolved in America; it is somewhat disingenuous. Yet, it seems to be common feedback when addressing these societal ills of America.

So, I suggest not using the phrase, “what does it matter, rather ask “why” it matters.

Perhaps, this concept may be beyond some people’s comprehension or perhaps their willingness to comprehend. I believe that for any individual, no matter their ethnicity, perception, or intention must work on the broader psychological understanding of national and international social order of unhealthy outcomes. This willingness requires us sometimes to depart from our traditional childhood teachings and beliefs during our adulthood, and to arrive at a new worldview or knowledge about our environments and their significance.

I am in no way trying to elevate, embarrass, or devalue any Ethnicity—White or otherwise—as that would limit my psychological capacity for understanding and entertaining other possibilities and thoughts. One thing I have accepted in this quest for social freedom is the intentional art of listening, as well as to contribute to the discussion topics that seem to be dismissive and unimportant…Acknowledgment and broader understandings are crucial elements in this kind of challenging and uncomfortable racial discourse.

In conclusion, we may or may not ever agree on “what matters.” However, knowing “why it matters” is the key to understanding, interpreting, and concluding from evidentiary scientific and evolving historical facts that will enable us all to create the change we seek.