When I look at my two-year-old nephew, I wonder what he will think about us when he is older. His father is white and his mother is black, so that makes him half white and half black. He was born in an era of this country where a man who looks like him is his President. He will know not of a time where good men and good women thought our country would not see this day, as this day arrived nine months prior to his birth. He will never ponder the potential of a woman born to Puerto Rican parents in the Bronx, as she was already sitting on the Supreme Court bench when he was born. Nor will he wonder about the legitimacy of love between same sex couples, as this too shall pass before he remembers his first memory. He will be confused by our euphoria over the barriers that we broke, as those barriers will seem so distant to his young mind. He will know an America that is post-racial.
Unfortunately, this American Dream is a nightmare to some. A nightmare to those who cling to their guns armed with bullets bloodied by their hatred. Where drunk white men spit out venom of racism towards 19-month-old black babies and punctuates it with a slap in the face. Where white supremacists forbid the healing touch of black nurses on their infant children. Or undocumented immigrants are treated with language and abuse once used for victims of our heinous history of slavery. These people still exist in these United States of America, but they are holding onto the last threads of a quilt woven together by disappearing string, as we are destined to reach the America my nephew already lives in.
These moments of desperation by a few in our nation are not setbacks, for our progress is too great to give their actions that much weight. As our nation grows towards a more perfected union, we will feel some pain. Growing pains. Pains that we feel when we awake, pains that we feel when we are walking or running, and pains that we feel when we go to sleep. Pains that my two-year-old nephew feels everyday, as he is definitely a growing boy! But with all great periods of growth, once we reach our height of equality, the pain we feel today will be no more. There will be some who will walk during this journey, some who will run, and a few who will hide in their bunkers in fear of our potential. But when they come out and do not see their shadow of hatred looming over the young kids playing in the yard, they will realize that the Spring Awakening is upon us. Overwhelmingly, the people of this great nation, Black and White, Latino and Asian, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and non-believers, gay and straight, believe in the optimistic ending where we will arrive in an America led by our nephews, nieces, sons and daughters whose vision for this country will be shaped by a narrative of inclusion and celebration of our differences. That is the essence of a post-racial America. Post-racial does not mean that my nephew has to give up his black identity or his white identity. Post-racial does not mean that racism will cease to exist when he casts his first vote for President in the 2028 election.
Post-racial does not mean that he might have to work harder to get ahead. However, this two-year-old child will witness an America that recognizes that an injustice against any group of people is an injustice against him. He will understand that the rights he takes for granted are worthless unless he fights for those same rights for others. He will believe that it is our diversity of many that makes this nation special, not the monolithic resistance of a few. As more and more young people look like him, a color that is uniquely American, it will be more and more difficult to judge a man or woman by the color of his or her skin and not by the content of their character. This land is his land that he will inherit, from California to the New York island. The land of not just the free, but more importantly, the brave. The brave ones who will lead our country to a more compassionate, tolerant and generous nation. This is America, the beautiful.
Michael Skolnik is the Editor-In-Chief of GlobalGrind.com and the political director to Russell Simmons. Prior to this, Michael was an award-winning filmmaker. Follow him on twitter @MichaelSkolnik