We posted this video not to be divisive but rather to be create awareness and to insight an intelligent dialog about the history of our great nation; as good, bad and indifferent that history may be. As you listen to the words of Fredrick Douglas through the majestic voice of James Earl Jones think about the time frame from which he was giving this speech and through your process of critical thought compare and contrast his words to today’s society.
Make of this post what you will, though be mindful that it is our intention to influence your worldview. However, more importantly want to create awareness and provoke thought about the great yet tragic history of our Nation. The essence of ColorBlind Enterprises (CBE) is acceptance and though fundamental, it takes courage to be able to accept. Author Peter Van Breeman, S.J. (1974) had this to say about “The Courage to Accept Acceptance”:
One of the deepest needs of the human heart is the need to be appreciated. Every human being wants to be valued. This is not to say that everybody wants to be told by others how wonderful he is. No doubt there is that desire, too, but that is not fundamental. We could say that every human being wants to be loved. But even this admits of ambiguity. There are as many varieties of love as there are species of flowers. For some people, love is something passionate; for others, it is something romantic; for others, love is something merely sexual. There is, however, a deeper love, a love of acceptance. Every human being craves to be accepted, accepted for what he is. Nothing in human life has such a lasting and fatal effect as the experience of not being completely accepted. When I am not accepted, then something in me is broken. A baby who is not welcome is ruined at the roots of his existence. A student who does not feel accepted by his teacher will not learn. A man who does not feel accepted by his colleagues on the job will suffer from ulcers, and be a nuisance at home. Many of the life histories of prisoners reveal that somewhere along the way they went astray because there was no one who really accepted them…A life without acceptance is a life in which a most basic human need goes unfulfilled.
Acceptance means that the people with whom I live give me a feeling of self-respect, a feeling that I am worthwhile. They are happy that I am who I am. Acceptance means that I am welcome to be myself. Acceptance means that though there is need for growth, I am not forced. I do not have to be the person I am not! Neither am I locked in by my past or present. Rather I am given room to unfold, to outgrow the mistakes of the past. In a way we can say that acceptance is an unveiling. Every one of us is born with many potentialities. But unless they are drawn out by the warm touch of another’s acceptance they will remain dormant. Acceptance liberates everything that is in me. Only when I am loved in that deep sense of complete acceptance can I become myself. The love, the acceptance of other persons, makes me the unique person that I am meant to be. When a person is appreciated for what he does, he is not unique; someone else can do the same work perhaps even better than he. But when a person is loved for what he is, then he becomes a unique and irreplaceable personality. So indeed, I need that acceptance in order to be myself. When I am not accepted, I am a nobody. I cannot come to fulfillment. An accepted person is a happy person because he is opened up, because he can grow.
To accept a person does not mean that I deny his defects, which I gloss over them or try to explain them away. Neither does acceptance mean to say that everything the person does is beautiful and fine. Just the opposite is true. When I deny the defects of the person, then I certainly do not accept him. I have not touched the depth of that person. Only when I accept a person can I truly face his defects. (Breeman, 1974, para. 1)
We highlighted some of the more poignant sentences that emphasize the importance and power of acceptance. Let’s be clear, the content of the video is from the perspective of a former slave about what America’s Independence Day meant to the enslaved of his time. Consequently, though slavery is long gone part of its idealistic and pernicious legacy is still being perpetuated today in such areas as education inequality, institutional racism and discrimination. CBE simply asks; let not the old world views of the past continue to permeate our mind and souls, but rather let us acknowledge and accept the past then seek the truth to begin the process of viewing the world with our hearts, which we at CBE call “Vision-less Sight “. This will facilitate the progression of our society and culture in realizing the true nature of man and his purpose, and give us the courage to accept acceptance.