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THERE ARE NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE: A Message to The Divided States of America

A Message to the Divided States of America
© 2014 PJ Hayward, New York

Being a Caucasian-born person who has now grown old and having lived since a young age among and surrounded by non-Caucasian cultures, I feel privileged, blessed ….and burdened ….to have had my vision expanded and my state of mind enhanced and enlightened by bearing witness to the daily life, joys, hardships, trials, suffering and mindset of both the World of Color and the Non-Colorized World.

Walking this middle road, I have learned to look beyond the outward smiles and handshakes of all people who cross my path. Sometimes it’s just the tiniest flutter of an eyelash or slightest turn of the lip that reveals the inner workings of a hidden self. Often it’s far more obvious. But rarely can the reality under the skin remain buried at all times….some telltale sign will eventually reveal it.

Even as a small child I became aware that we live in two Americas.

I was very fortunate to grow up in a home filled with books and lively discussion of every imaginable topic. It was also a home filled with frequent visits by family friends from many different cultures.

Very early on I observed what was impossible to ignore back in those days. When we would go and pay visits to family friends of color, whether from the Caribbean, Asia, India, Africa or the Middle East, here in America the homes of virtually all of them were far from our neighborhood. Wherever they lived, these family friends invariably lived in neighborhoods filled with people from their own respective cultures.

When I grew older and could really understand both the obvious and the deeper subtleties at play in the dynamics of life, I was appalled and disgusted by what I witnessed and learned from those around me – including the people I had known and loved all my life, even my most beloved ones, my own family.

What I learned was that people of my own race, whether poor or financially secure, almost universally fall into a certain mindset. A state of mind so entrenched and impermeable as to be unrecognized by conscious thought. Even more…if a person were to be confronted about this, it would be most vehemently denied.

The mindset is that of a fundamental sense of Entitlement and Privilege. Beyond that, an even deeper sense of superiority over all other races and cultures and sometimes even over other Caucasian cultures in other countries and even here in America.

I am not talking here about those Americans who are clearly and blatantly racist – those people show themselves without effort.  I refer to those multitudes of both “average Joes” and leaders who consider themselves as fair and open minded.  What I am speaking of is so deeply implanted and so hidden from rational thought that often even those who see themselves as liberal intellectuals cannot escape it and as I just said, most would vehemently deny it.

Examples of this subliminal state of mind can be seen even in some of our own highly visible contemporary American leaders. After Hurricane Katrina for example, Barbara Bush, the former First Lady of the land, actually went on National TV and proclaimed that many of the displaced New Orleans families should be happy they lost their homes because now they will be so much better off, having the great fortune of soon living in nice, clean FEMA trailers and eventually moving to shiny new homes somewhere else (and not mentioned but nonetheless – in another state far away from everything and everyone they have ever known).

What Barbara Bush was obviously and loudly showing of course, was her elitist auto-assumption that because these families were 1: primarily people of color and 2: possibly of a lower income level, they all lived in some derelict shack someplace, one step above living in a cardboard box. It was clearly outside the realm of her imagination or her highly touted background as an enlightened, educated woman, that those folks might have lived in spotlessly kept homes, adorned with family pictures lovingly placed on little white doilies, comfy chairs where Grandmas or other elders might sit and knit or read their bibles and every other thing a homey domicile would enclose. This is what I mean by a mindset – it just never even entered Mrs. Bush’s mind that a black family home might look exactly the same as any family home anywhere in America. Incredulously, it never occurred to her that those families would feel devastated exactly as she would have felt devastated had it been her own happy home that had been destroyed.

Now America is engaged in a great struggle to keep non-Americans from entering our borders. We are doing everything in our power to deny to newcomers the exact same things our own (free) ancestors sought when they came to this country, even though our own ancestors stole this land from people who initially welcomed them and helped keep them from starving. Our ancestors thanks for this lifesaving welcome and help was to have those native peoples tortured, forced from their lands, slaughtered and the remaining survivors eventually herded into reservations where they were then generally abandoned or kept controlled by government supplied liquor and drugs.

America, I implore you…. take a look deep inside yourselves. ALL of us today are in a quandary as to how to foment peace outside our borders in a world seemingly gone mad.

We are a nation that once upon a time was respected and esteemed the world over. Once upon a time we were considered the most powerful nation on earth. Those days seem long gone now.

Other great civilizations have fallen due to arrogance, willfulness and insular thinking. If we are ever to regain our standing of respect with the outside world and even within our own borders, we must begin at home by examining our own heads and hearts.

To those of you who do not inhabit the World of Color, I address you particularly.

Examine yourself honestly. Realize that there are hundreds of millions of people who do not receive a certain respect and attention from the world simply because they show up someplace. In fact often, if not usually, they experience the opposite. They show up and are immediately viewed with suspicion, contempt or worse.

YOU can change that. Evaluate yourself honestly. Look and see what you yourself can do to stop the cycle of hatred that is more and more permeating this once great land.

One person at a time, peace and harmony can be achieved.

Be a Beacon – obvious to all who see you!

With hope, some will follow your lead.

Your comment will post even without your email address if you wish to remain anonymous

We will reply to all comments, and other readers often leave comments also, so check back every now and then for the latest!  :  )

10 thoughts on “THERE ARE NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE: A Message to The Divided States of America”

    1. Thank you so much A. Yes it is so sad, and even more so because of all the points I tried to make….the majority of those of whom I am speaking, are blithely unaware of their own inner selves. A I am honored and happy to be able to count you among those people I know who are acutely aware aware of the demons faced by people of color…more in some parts of the world than others. You understand perfectly everything I am trying to convey in this piece. Thank you.


  1. I fully understand the plight of people of color because I experienced for many years hatred and discrimination because I was born a Jew. This was in 1928 in America the land of the free and continued for many years thereafter. I do not feel comfortable among Christians because of my prior experiences at their hands. But don’t get me wrong, I realize that only some Christians are like that and the majority are intelligent and kind. However, my prior experiences have left me with this type of feeling. I still hurt!


    1. Thank you Rose. Yes it is true, but even worse, the persecution of Jews has been and continues to be a world-wide issue. Be that as it may, the same solution would apply (although probably also as hopeless – at least from my perspective). Whether people can ever be persuaded to open their hearts and minds to the truth…as I have said many times….I hold out very little hope of seeing that now…at least in my own lifetime.


  2. Lawdy, I did read your article yesterday and agree with it highly. Our society in America is very polarized in many different ways. Geographically people in the midwest region do not trust the people on the coasts, many do not trust the federal government at all, still others do not see the value of preserving our national parks or wetlands. You have been a person of inclusion all your life. You have passed that onto your son and I am sure that he is passing it onto his children. In the youth work field that I still enjoy I too try to pass the torch of equality and inclusion to all the children I work with. I find it offensive that the NCAA allows men to coach womens’ sports but not the other way around. This grand organization uses our children to fill their coffers with money made of their efforts but will not allow them to be compensated in anyway. That white Republicans can sit in a meeting a joke about hanging the President of the United States shows just how deep these problems run. I continue to admire you as a person of great character and honesty. I am grateful to be able to call you my FRIEND.


    1. My old and dear friend Al…As always, I can count on you to be on point and to speak openly and honestly on issues that many will not articulate at all. Yes it is true that the issue of American White Supremacy has infused itself into almost all areas of the broad issue of civil and human rights – from the obvious racially focused madness in our nation to the more covert glass ceiling issues that still soak through the fabric of every workplace in our nation – to even the little school children whose parents lead them at a very young age to continue the legacy of hatred and misunderstanding.

      I hadn’t heard that comment about hanging our President but when I looked into it just now I wasn’t at all surprised to see that it came from Joshua Black, a Florida Republican who was apparently running for Congress back in January. I read further, and it turns out he wasn’t joking…he later actually went on to justify his comment. The fact that as far as I can tell he was not immediately imprisoned for essentially challenging people to lynch our President, speaks for itself. If a black man had make such a comment about either of the George Bushs – or any other white politician – I would bet he would either be dead by now or at the very least either in jail or forced into some mental asylum.

      I thank you for your very kind words about my life-long quest to open peoples’ minds by trying my best to prove that is possible to co-exist with all kinds of cultures other than our own. I have and continue to maintain – as I wrote in this latest Post – that Unity CAN be accomplished even if only one person at a time. If enough “one persons” tried to set an example, before long it would be many. I guess in recent years, the uphill battle has become so steep as to be almost impossible in some ways. Yet we must keep trying so that our youth can have hope. Without Hope there is no point to life.

      Al thank you for your wisdom and your views. I hope you will continue to share your commentary with us on this site because it is extremely important to Speak Truth to Power as loudly and for as long as we can. Peace.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Keep on trying to enlighten people to the inequities, injustice and reality of the cause and effects of discrimination on minorities and immigrants. Thank you for sharing your insight. Peace and love.


  4. Thank you for sharing. It’s amazing this was written more than 3 years ago and things seems to have remained unchanged and I dare say maybe even have worsened. Especially after hearing comments No.45 made after incidents in Charlottesville, just to mentnion one of the many comments he made. I have to remain optimistic or what is the point of going on. Love, which I believe strongly in is a powerful force. We can use the force to help us overcome the negative behaviors of certain members of our society. You are right when you invite people to examine themselves and their thinking about certain people, but there is a class of people that doesn’t see anything wrong with the way things are. They don’t know that racism and /or discrimination exists because it does not affect them directly. I just want to say, racism and discrimination both are “woven” in our society. You know what happens to a piece of fabric when something “wrong” is woven into it, the whole thing has to be taken apart to get rid of it. There is no one willing to “wipe”the slate clean and start all over again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your very insightful and on-point commentary. Yes, you are totally right that one has to maintain a sense of optimism, if possible. I am afraid I think I have pretty much gone beyond that point tho. Those people you speak about who don’t see anything wrong in their behavior are a huge component of the people I am writing about. What makes it so egregious in my mind is that, as you point out, many of those people truly believe in their hearts that they do not have a racist thought in their mind and think they are living very all-encompassing lives. But, as I mentioned in this piece, they are the very same people that would go to their grave swearing on stacks of Bibles that they do not possess those racist and “entitled” qualities which are nevertheless so obvious to many others.
      BUT I do have GREAT faith in the younger generation! The young people I am blessed to know seem to embrace all cultures, religions and ways of life. To me, many of them are those Beacons of Light that I pray will shine before mankind to light the way of openness and inclusiveness for those who follow. Because as you say, the fabric with wrongness woven into it must be undone in order to repair it properly. My hope is that the fabric being woven by our younger generation will be that strong and mighty thread that never has to be undone .
      Thank you again for your wonderful comment! I appreciate your support of this website with your very welcome and insightful input.


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