This I Believe: We Must Not Forget! We Must Change!

The yellow star of the Jews is my skin; it is something I cannot take away.  It is with me when I walk, when I talk, smile, sleep…  It is a mark that says I cannot be trusted, it says things like, “Watch out, she might steal something!” and, “follow her around the store, she might want to steal something, you know her kind.”   A stamp that labels me as “ghetto”, and therefore the least likely to get married, the least likely to succeed…  It is that which makes people ask me if my little sister is my daughter, when I was only a child myself at 14!

As I look back I ask myself – why?  Why do people think this way?  Then the eyes of my understanding are opened, I quickly realize that it is ignorance.  Ignorance; the lack of education, the lack of awareness is holding people making them live in the delusion of the past.  People still believe that we “the blacks” – are the peasants of the earth, and in the 21st century are still “slaves”.  The chains of 500 years ago are welded to my skin still.  It cannot be scrubbed off nor changed.  A burden to me; it weighs me down and cause me to collapse under the weight of ignorance of an uncouth world.  There is no way to remove them.  So when people say, “times have changed, there is equality.”   I say, “Bull*%$O!”  It is a barefaced lie; times have not changed, we are not equal the covering may be different but it is still shroud.

I believe that Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X all fought in vain, because to this day there is still a human hierarchy, a caste system.  To this day people are scared when they see “black” people.  And the word “nigga” is tossed around like the oceans that swallowed hundreds of Africans on their way to captivity.

Yet I also believe there is time for change.  I believe that we can make Martin Luther King’s dreams become a reality.  The ignorance of the world can be destroyed.  The way to do this is by talking about the past.  Like Moshe the Beadle in Night we need to go from door-to-door telling, educating, and warning so that maybe – maybe one day equality will come.   At the same time I fear that people would not listen like in Sighet.  Like the inhabitants of Sighet would they think we have gone mad?   Or would they join the revolution only to forget about it later, only for life to return back to normal?

Now you see my fear, what I truly believe that we will forget about our past, our struggles…  We will forget just as we have forgotten Darfur, Rwanda, Haiti, and the Japanese earthquake.  To forget is the greatest danger of all, because it opens the gates of our hideous past, and allows genocides like the Holocaust to occur again and again and again.

2 thoughts on “This I Believe: We Must Not Forget! We Must Change!

  1. Dearest Ewurabena,
    Well you may have taken awhile to complete this post, but you certainly have made it worth the wait! This is truly awesome work! Your ideas, examples, and style are truly inspiring! This truly is a model of an EXCELLENT Personal Response. Thank you for all your thoughtfulness! This is my Ewurabena!
    Ms. Hunni!

  2. Ewurabena ! I LOVE your blog. It’s easy to tell that you really took your time with this one. You were extremely successful in breaking down and tracing where faith showed up in the novel. Specifically, I loved when your said “Like ostriches hiding our heads in the sand, the rest of the world ignored what was going on in Europe and it happened again in Rwanda and in Daffur.” This was an amazing comparison!

    Love, ash!

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