Going on various school trips, the cool kids would sit in the back of the bus. Those were the best seats in the house. In fact, people would arrive as early as possible just to be first in line to the bus. The closer to the front of the bus you were, the lamer you were.
I remember telling my parents for the first time that I wanted to leave the house earlier than they thought was necessary so that I could claim my spot on the bus. They did not understand why I would want to sit anywhere but upfront. After all, there is a huge windshield up front that I could look through while driving, if seated up front. Not much could be seen from the back.
Naturally, their argument did not convince me. I still did everything I could to sit in the back. Sometimes it work better than other times. The truth is that sitting anywhere could either be fun or not. It did not depend on your placement on the bus but the placement of others around you. If you sat around social rejects, chances were that you were going to have a very mediocre time, always looking back and envying the kids in the back laughing and birthing inside jokes.
You could not gossip if you sat up front, because the teachers would hear it. Aside from being obnoxious in general, our favorite past time while sitting in the back was writing weird things on pieces of paper and then putting it against the back window for other drivers to see. I am not sure why being a refugee or an orphan was so funny to us, but it was. If I recall correctly, it was not really about that, but about the potential reactions we could illicit.
“Will their jaws drop?” “Will they shed a tear?” “Will they wave back, pitying us?” “Yes! They waved back!!!” Will they overtake our bus, bring it to a stop, and “rescue” us from the hands of a child trafficking ring? Of course, my present self is embarrassed.
All in all, the seats in the rear were the most desirable. However, there were times when they were not. Back in the day, African-American people were to sit in the back of the bus, leaving the front for white people. What is more, it was illegal for an African American to sit next to a white person. Thankfully, that is now changed and you can see people of all races sitting next to one another in random parts of the bus. We are all one-big-happy-family. Right? Wrong!
It looks as if segregation is not a thing of the past but also of the future. This time, though, it is being propagated by the African-American communities. In Georgia, nineteen African-American families came together to form an exclusive community for people of their skin color.
“The Freedom Georgia Initiative was established out of an extreme sense of urgency to create a thriving safe haven for black families in the midst of racial trauma, a global pandemic, and economic instabilities across the United States of America brought on by COVID-19.”The Freedom Georgia Initiative – Website
Are we blaming “racial trauma” on COVID-19?
That aside, let us focus on the fact that African-American people are segregating themselves away from other races. Some will say this is reverse racism. (Can’t racism go more than one way?) Some will still claim that this is what African-Americans need to do to get over the pain they have been put through in the past. I am NOT against this initiative. In fact, I think it is wonderful that they are trying to support one another. Hopefully, this will turn into a thriving community. However, can you imagine white people creating a community only for their race? What do you think would be said about that?
More than a dozen families pulled resources and bought 97 acres of land in Toomsboro, Georgia (a state in the US, not the country). A football field is said to be around an acre. So, visualize a hundred of those. That is how much land they purchased. The community hopes that one day they will be recognized as Freedom, Georgia.
Apparently, the group is already thinking about how they would make money to help their communities. The answer? Reality TV. Nothing is for certain, but some networks showed interest in filming a reality TV show in which the members of the Freedom Georgia Initiative would be featured. The leaders ask that they be owners of any footage (I do not think that is how it works…) and that they have the final say on how things are edited (fair enough). It makes me wonder who would watch that program. Is reality TV not all about juicy drama? And if this is supposed to be a serious community, I think the show might be boring. Unless it is developed as more of a documentary…
I keep reading about white people only moving into good neighborhoods. Wait… what? Why would WANT TO move into a bad neighborhood? What makes a neighborhood good or bad? No, it is not the race of people who live there. But it is about crime rates and safety. After all, no one wants to be a victim of a crime and/or not feel safe in their own backyard. Right?
If I said I would not want to live in x part of town, I would be called racist. It simply is easier to label someone than to ponder the problems that certain communities are struggling with.
People are also up in arms about businesses owned by white people often staying out of African-American communities. They taught me in school to make cost efficient and profit-driven decisions in business. If you will make more money in A than B, why would you start your business in B? It just is not smart. It is not racism. It is Economics 101.
When, a couple of weeks ago, I read about African-Americans suing McDonald’s, I was intrigued. Why? To no surprise, I found out that African-American franchise ex-owners are suing due to racism. OK, but why? The question still persisted. When I found the reason, I WAS surprised. Apparently, these owners did not like owning a business in “tough, crime-ridden neighborhoods.” They did not? Why? Because they “struggled with low-volume sales and higher operating costs, such as higher security costs due to crime, higher insurance rates, and higher employee turnover, severely limiting their expansion opportunities and leading to low cash flow, decreased equity, debt and, ultimately, financial ruin.” Sounds like Economics 101, just as I mentioned in the paragraph above.
We need to stop making every white person out to be the devil and every African-American to be a lazy criminal. We need to start seeing people as PEOPLE.
- What do you think about black people forming their own communities
- How will that impact them (+the rest)?
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