Is It Really a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?

For those of you that follow my blog, you know that I usually write my posts on Sunday and share them then. But with so much happening in this country over the last week, I felt in my spirit that today was the day I needed to share. As a black woman in this country, who has black men in her life from her significant other to brother to uncles to cousins and friends; it is hard to find the words to express my anger, sadness, frustration, and disappointment in this country and over the racism that is taking place. It is tiring to constantly hear white people, who have oppressed and terrorized people of color for too many years to count, now say that they have this irrational fear of black men and women that would lead them to kill unarmed men and women of color repeatedly.

Even writing this post is very difficult for me. But today, I had to take a break from all of the news reports and social media posts, and take a step away from all the madness. In my stepping away, I ended up watching “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” This was the movie about Mr. Rogers. We all know that Mr. Rogers was the epitome of kindness and promoted racial unity by dipping his feet in the pool with the feet of a black man on his show during a time where that was definitely not the norm. As I was watching this movie, Mr. Rogers was teaching us so much about forgiveness, kindness, respect, and unity regardless of the color of your skin. If you follow my blog, then you know that I often discuss movies and the lessons they are trying to teach us. For instance, there are several movies in the Marvel Universe that teach us about working together regardless of our differences and the power of women to change the world. Stan Lee was doing more than entertaining us. He was really teaching us how to live together in this world and work together in unity regardless of our differences, and this includes race.

As I was watching the movie today, I had to ask myself, is it really A Beautiful Day in this Neighborhood? Is it really A Beautiful Day in this Country? Is it really a beautiful day in this country when all citizens do not have the rights they are entitled to as citizens of this country? Can we really say it is a beautiful day in this country when black men and women are continuously hunted down and killed without any regard for their lives? Can we honestly say it is a beautiful day in this country when we are still fighting the same battles of racism from sixty years ago when the Civil Rights Movement began?

There is so much work to do heal this country and undo all of the practices and institutions of systemic racism that has been a part of the foundation and fabric of this country. I believe that the work can be done but it is going to take all of us forgiving one another and taking all of the necessary steps to dismantle all of the institutions and laws connected to systemic racism. But it is going to take all of us working together and shedding the stereotypes that have been unfairly assigned to black men and women in this country.  I believe that we can make this country into a beautiful country where everyone is afforded the same rights and privileges as citizens of this country, but this means that white people in this country will have to take an honest inventory of all of the privilege they have had that has infringed upon the rights of others and take the time to educate themselves on the experiences of other races and cultures in this country.  White people also have to be honest about racism in this country and stop saying that black people are being unpatriotic when they engage in protests about the brutality received at the hands of white police officers and others in this country who use their white privilege to promote and perpetuate racism. This means that we all have to exercise our right to vote in all elections and vote for candidates that will be honest, fair, just, and work for the benefit of all citizens in this country. This means that we have to do the work of dismantling outdated and racist policies, and create policies and practices that will work for all citizens in this country.

There is a lot of work to be done and it will not happen overnight. But if America is to thrive and heal from everything that has happened and is happening now, the work must be done and the work must be done collectively by all.

Helping to Heal Our World so We Can Create Lifestyles for Success,

Dr. Daphne

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