I grew up in the 80's and 90's in New York City. My family went to a church whose leadership was all black, the pastor being a black woman. The congregation was a wonderful mix of black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and every other background that lived in the Big Apple.
My closest friends were black, white, and Hispanic. I played regularly with the Jewish boy down the hall. And my best friend from school was a Muslim whose father came from Saudi Arabia.
Most people I grew up with didn't care about race. We had far more in common than we had different. I spent many hours after school in my Muslim friend's house, playing video games and practicing the wrestling moves we saw on TV. As a Christian kid, I had no problems with the Arabic artwork on the walls that displayed passages from the Koran. And in turn, my friend had no problem with the images of Jesus or the Bible verses proudly displayed in my home.
Every Sunday I went to church, sitting side by side with my black friends. We went over to each other's houses for birthday parties, holidays, and get-togethers. I remember defending my black friend Joe, who chose to put ketchup on his hotdog at a BBQ rather than mustard (I still don't know why I was so passionate about that one, but there it is).
Yet thirty years later I'm being told our country is divided. I am being told that the vast majority of white Americans participate in institutionalized racism. I am being told that--despite having the first black President, one who's served for two terms--America still seeks to denigrate minorities, particularly black people.
Radical activists groups like Black Lives Matter want the world to believe that white men are the root of all evil. That we are actively working against honest black men and women in this country, purposefully trying to prevent them from getting a good education, jobs, and growth in our society.
I didn't know I was so evil.
Here I was, a young single white man, busting his ass to build a career for myself as a writer and cartoonist, apparently trying to stop black America from achieving their dreams. By virtue of being white and successful, I am the enemy.
Can this be true? Was the wonderful diversity I experienced and enjoyed as a child a figment of my imagination? Was it just because I was a child and was too young and naive to realize as a white person I should have hated all my friends and neighbors?
But no, that can't be true. Along with all my young friends, our parents got along. My mother was good friends with the parents of my black, Jewish, and Muslim friends. I had both white and black God parents. Surely all that was genuine; my family wouldn't go to all that trouble just to prop up my childish notions of equality and racial harmony.
So what has happened over the last thirty years? Did we really slide backwards? Or perhaps there are forces in our society that ignore the reality right before their faces? Perhaps there are groups that want to jump on age-old, in many cases forgotten, grudges. Like healing wounds they try to reopen these problems, not because they want to solve them, but so they can exploit them for their own agenda.
Black Lives Matters wants you to believe a false narrative about our country. They want you to think that police--highly trained individuals of all races, that dedicate their lives to protect you--are institutionalized racists. Liberals like Hillary Clinton want to put all the blame on white people, simply to pander to black voters.
We know that many of the riots over the past year have not been organic uprisings among regular Americans, but stunts orchestrated by George Soros and his cronies. What the media wants us to believe about black Americans being outraged over police shootings is false. The fact remains most Americans aren't being motivated by a sense of racial injustice.
But are African Americans still being oppressed by our society? I would never belittle the real problems black Americans face every day. There is still plenty of prejudice between people of different color. Much of that today, however, is propagated by the media, Hollywood and other entertainment outlets that put cultural divides between Americans.
We still have far more in common as people than we have that's different.
Let's just look at the facts. We have a black president who served for two terms. The richest, most successful Americans in media and entertainment are black. According to reports, Oprah is worth 2.8 billion dollars. Not her companies, not her networks, but the woman. Combined, Jay-Z and Beyonce are worth 1 billion dollars. This is billions, with a B. You don't reach that kind of affluence in a society that oppresses its citizens over race.
The success of these individuals only further cements our American value that anyone who is willing to work hard and invest in themselves can achieve great things. Much like a hippie from a working class family can redefine technology like Steve Jobs, a reporter can create her own talk show and parlay that into a media empire like Oprah.
Not to mention men like Tyler Perry, who recently beat out top box office draws like Tom Cruise with his Halloween movie. Madea's Halloween was number one at the box office for two weeks in a row. I promise you that Americans of all race went to see that movie, not just black Americans (full disclosure: I went to see it on opening weekend).
And then there's this: Lil' Wayne's tirade over Black Lives Matter. You probably saw his reaction when a reporter asked him about what he thought of the movement. He didn't even know what it was (shocking!) and when she explained it to him, his reaction was priceless:
You better believe the social justice warriors lost their minds over this. Some called for the rapper's death. Other's claimed he hated black people for his denouncement over BLM.
But all that Lil' Wayne was doing was expressing common sense. He is a rich, successful black man, thanks to the support of Americans. If there is any proof that we believe their lives matter, he is it.
Not to mention the other people I listed in this article.
So what's the point? Why are there forces out there hell-bent on tearing us apart? It all comes down to the real root of all evil, and it isn't white men, it's green cash. The leaders of Black Lives Matter have benefited from the massive media attention. They've been able to acquire cash from the interviews, books, and websites that feature their rhetoric.
They don't care that they are deceiving many young black people with their lies.
Politicians who support these kinds of groups do so to win elections. The media gives them a platform because hateful, vitriolic, divisive content drives clicks to their sites and ratings for their network. It's a sad but true fact of human nature.
So we can say that movements like Black Lives Matter are not about racial equality or justice, but are about exploiting old wounds in an effort to make a few people rich.
But the facts, as in every SJ matter, are against them.