What Oprah Knows For Sure About Race
Joy and triumph are felt by people of every creed and belief. And though it's true what Maya Angelou always said—"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike"—it's also true that our unalikeness makes us whole. A whole family. A whole community. A whole nation. A whole world.
It’s your differences that make you you.
I sometimes feel a wave of sadness for us spiritually deprived, unconscious creatures who just don't seem to get it. Years ago on my show, a grieving mother recounted her dying son's last words and final breath. "Oh, Mom," he said. "It's so simple." Those words made a lasting impression on me.
It is so simple to see that we’re all on the same journey, carving our paths with every choice and experience. With every action and reaction. Quite simply, to live well, we need to love well.
The audacity it takes to judge another because they don't look or sound or act like you goes against the current of humanity. Every time we discriminate against a woman in a headscarf, the whole of us suffers. Every time we treat a brown-skinned man with a Hispanic name as though he's "other," we do harm to our collective human soul.
Emmett Till's accuser has finally admitted—after six decades—that the young boy's racist murder, a murder that tore the soul of our whole country, was wrong. Shouldn't have happened. And though she can no longer remember exactly what occurred, she says it didn't take place the way she testified.
The senseless injustices will continue. Trayvon Martin. Laquan McDonald. Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice. Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the Indian engineer fatally shot in a Kansas bar in February. The nine good people killed at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
All different names and different circumstances, but all Emmett Till.
When will it end? When we decide to end it.
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