Racial Justice

Clang!  I did not hold accountable the college students who made rude comments about the color of my roommate’s skin.  Clang!  I have spent all of my 25-year post-military career in offices with no full-timeBlack employees.  I did not perform a telephone screen on or refer for consideration a single Black candidate.  I never refused or quit a job
because of the racial inequality in the workplace.

Clang!  Clang! Clang!  I looked for the minimum “percentage of students receiving free or reduced price lunches” in the school district as part of my evaluation of a new place to live.  Clang!  I bought the most expensive house I could possibly afford to make sure my property taxes supported my children’s school district- enhancing the huge inequity in quality of education based on the income of the residents.  Clang! Clang!  I commute so far and spend so much time worrying about preserving and enhancing my own income that I don’t have any time to help others improve themselves.

Clang!  Is this clanging the sound of the Hammer of Justice breaking the shackles of my victimized Brothers and Sisters?  No, it is the sound of the Hammer of Injustice closing the links that shackle them to a system rife with racial inequality.

Clang!  Clang!  Clang!  My trust in “affirmative action” was misplaced.  Mandated “Equal Employment Opportunity” only obfuscated hiring practices.  Forced desegregation only worked under court orders.  Clang! Clang!  I spoke about, hoped for, and held diversity
in my heart.  I worked for awhile with Habitat for Humanity. However, most of the time I did not even pick up the Hammer of Justice.  I am tried, convicted, and sentenced to public service.  One-third of my life remains.  There is no “catch-up” game plan.  How can I do what is needed in the time that is left?

Bill Benshoof

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1 Response to Racial Justice

  1. Barbara Stahnke says:

    Oh my this is incrediby moving. I have not yet written my history of privilege in action. I have thought about my history. I have spoken about my history. Both of these exercises have brought me awareness yet seeing it in writing makes me go “me too”. You have given me an exercise to work on…unpack my personal history in writing. Thank you for this, and words of wisdom for getting this out there.

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