Monday, February 26, 2007

No Shock At All

Over the weekend, Al Sharpton found out that his ancestors were slaves owned by the ancestors of Strom Thurman. It is no shock that Turman's ancestors owned slaves. Like it or not, that is part of our past. I guess the connection between Sharpton and Thurman is somewhat ironical. But as they say, there is only 6 degrees of separation between us all.

But what really got me was the response from one of Thurman's relatives. While most of Thurman's kids flat out deny that there is any connection (after all, smoe of his kids still deny that Essie Mae Washington-Williams, Strom's biracial love child, is related even after DNA proof), a neice of Thurman had this to say.

"I doubt you can find many native South Carolinians today whose family, if you traced them back far enough, didn't own slaves," Senter, of Columbia, South Carolina, told the Daily News.

While she is right about the first part of her statement, the second part shows how much bigotry remains in the hearts of many.

She added: "And it is wonderful that (Sharpton) was able to become what he is in spite of what his forefather was."

It is wonderful that Sharpton became something in spite of his forefathers? Are you kidding me? She is saying this like being a slave is some kind of genetic affliction. If you can't see the bigotry in her statement, then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

"You know, it is really amazing that Sharpton can read and write and all... his great grand father was a slave, you know."

Might just as well say, "it is amazing what he has become since his parents were midget albino left handed cephalopods."

One of my relatives tried to contact the descendants of a former slave owner who was the father of my great-grandmother (a slave). They refused to acknowledge that one of there own could ever have stooped as low as to have ever copulated with a black woman.

I think one of the problems we face in moving forward is accepting the past. There is a good number of us who are of African decent that have achieved despite or affliction of being related to people dumb enough to have been born into slavery or enslaved outright. I have a feeling that there are even greater things to come.

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