You are useless. You are worthless. You need me to take care of you. You are so stupid. You do not mean anything to anybody. These are statements that unfortunately, many people have heard throughout their lives from people who supposedly have their best interests at heart. I know, absolutely ludicrous, right? How in the world could anyone care about anybody and say such hurtful things? The answer is that they really do not care about them. They just think that they do. The verbal and emotional abuse is extremely damaging. Then, someone throws in physical abuse; and that only adds to the anguish and harm that someone has to experience.
Anyone who is being abused needs to leave their abuser in order to have a happy and productive life. They also need a safe haven to figure out how they can learn to avoid abusers in the future. For some people, it may be a friend’s or a relative’s house. In the case of men and women who were once enslaved in this country, one of the places was The Cozad – Bates House. I reported on this house before when I was reading about the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe and her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. For the first time recently, I had the chance to walk the actual grounds of this house. It is located on Mayfield Road indirectly across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art. A branch of East 115th Street is also next to it. Walking the grounds ( since they are still renovating the house), I felt that many spirits that had gone before us were present. However, these spirits were not scary. They were positive in nature. This house, known as Hope on The Underground Railroad, was truly a place where the runaways from slavery were treated with respect and dignity. They were not abused and told that they were trash. They were treated like human beings….the way that they should have been treated all along. Thank God that slavery has been outlawed!
The commemoration of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday happened this past week. Some people might ask why we still celebrate that. The reason why is to never forget how much not only African Americans struggled for freedom but also to draw attention to the problems that are still present in this country today. Racism is still alive and well in this country along with other countries throughout the world. Racism is wrong no matter what. There are people of all races and religions who are victimized, stereotyped and treated like garbage. There are also people who are not racists, are not prejudiced, etc who are treated like they are the scumbags who committ discriminatory acts. We need to listen to Dr King’s message and keep fighting hate and bigotry…in a non-violent way. The struggle has accomplished a lot. However, we still have a long ways to go. Let us all join together and walk together…fighthing amongst ourselves will not work. It is also what those racists want. We do not want to give racists what they want.