Look Forward

My ancestors come from many different places all over the world. I’m indigenous to the Americas. Which includes the Caribbean, South, Central and North America. I’m also European, Northern European, Mediterranean, African and Sephardic Jew. Justice and equity has not been a part of any of these places. I wonder if it ever will. I know it won’t in my lifetime or my children’s lifetime.

One way, I believe, to achieve justice and equity is to look at the ways we are the same. We all have to eat, sleep and breathe. We all have to sit on the throne when nature calls. We are more alike than different. We also still need to acknowledge our differences and learn from each other. Our cultural differences are awesome. The differences in our cuisine is to drool over. But, we are all of the human race and we all need to see that and accept it. It seems that justice will not truly happen until we start seeing each other as equals. That will be easier to accomplish if we focus on all the ways we are the same. We are all sisters and brothers of this Earth.

I also believe that history must be taught so that there will be less chance of repeating the horrible deeds of our ancestors. But we must not dwell on it. All of my ancestors have been victims and they have all been bullies. The Americas were not full of peaceful tribes just minding their own business until the horrible Europeans came. The Americas were full of tribes that were in constant wars. Slavery did exist in the Americas before the Europeans came. It’s just that when the Europeans came they committed mass genocide. Millions of Indigenous people were wiped out. They committed these acts because of privilege. I can take all that I want from you because I consider myself superior to you and that is my privilege. Not a good attitude to have then or now.

 The Europeans also brought Africans to the Americas as slaves, a horrendous act. This was also an act of privilege. I can do it so I will. I will treat you as I treat the indigenous people. I am superior to you and I can do as I want with you. Which was as we all know in the most horrible ways as possible. 

I believe that the past needs to stay in the past. History needs to be learned and then put away. We will never heal from it if it’s always the first thing we talk about . What we need to do is let these wounds heal. We shouldn’t pick at the scabs on every anniversary and open the wounds again and focus on the injustices that were committed. This to me is always focusing on the ways we are different, not the ways that we are the same. 

Is privilege just focusing on the differences  between us instead of the similarities? I believe it is. It still happens today but not in the way our ancestors did. It’s very subtle today. True justice and equity will not happen until we see each other as equals. We need to look forward to what can be accomplished. We need to put all our efforts into letting justice embrace this world. We must always look forward to what will be and that will be justice and equity for all.

~Rita Romero 

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3 Responses to Look Forward

  1. JoAnn says:

    Beautiful, Rita

  2. Peggy A says:

    Wonderful words of wisdom, Rita!

  3. katrina P yurko says:

    You are certainly seeing the bigger picture here ! A lot of history needs to be retold from this point of view….

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