THE TOP 5 MISSED OPPORTUNITIES, FOR ‘AMERICAN’ TO COME BEFORE ‘RACE’.

Honorable Mentions: Assassination of Martin Luther King, Million Man March,
Voting Rights Act of 1965, Trolls/Ranters & Dreamers

Top 5 Greatest Missed Opportunities on Race

“All of my folks came to America
to be Americans, not hyphenated Americans.”
– Jack Kingston with Don Lemon, CNN

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A 2016 live performance, of The Neighborhood’s 2015 Song of the Year.
From Magnificent Discovery, via Dublin Ireland…. J.P. Kallio w/ Losing Faith 

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A successful survey, offers insight well beyond the intended needs and expectant goals. Even if we answer not a single question, by showing up or registering, we have become an accidental statistic. Not so much in relationship to the question on hand, but in a comprehensive look of human nature. Multiple Choice, Yes/No and a system of ranking answers, by way of someone else’s thoughts, while customary, the rigid parameters, rather created as subliminal manipulation or condensed into a 10-second window – for impatient online consumers – serve a valued purpose, but for who?

The One Question Survey was developed shortly after I began formulating my own list. I realized, almost immediately, that the topic was much bigger, than any one person’s opinion – referring to myself. After google-ing and finding no direct matches, the idea of a public poll became the solution to seeking answers of an unasked question. Momentum built quickly and by the time polls closed, the most participants ever in our 5 surveys over the course of as many years, saved the day, as the near 80% drop off, from the number of participants that read the question, to the number that provided an answer, would have sunk us. But instead, it has provided just enough insight, to warrant an in depth look on the subject of Human Nature.

But as for today…..

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The Question (Q1): What is the greatest missed opportunity, that could have altered the reality of race, as our foremost identity, before the idea of identifying ourselves and seeing others as Americans first?

Optional Question (Q2): What is the City where you live or the City you call home?

The Question of Missed Opportunity
THE RESULTS:
THE TOP 5 MISSED OPPORTUNITIES,
FOR ‘AMERICAN’ TO COME BEFORE ‘RACE’.

developed by Kendall F. Peson
with contributions by Poll Participants

No. 5
First Contact/Native Americans

First Contact/Native Americans
“Interview of Samoset with the Pilgrims.” (public domain of the United States)

“Seeing Native Americans as the first Americans.” – Cambria, CA

First Contact edged its way into the top 5, by way of a reluctant tiebreaker. But in the end, the poetry in the lack of words is so beautiful, it makes perfect sense. Cambria’s single sentence, was 5 words longer than all other entries, each simply writing: Native Americans. With the exception of number 3, there is no other choice with such a shared consensus and understanding, as to the missed opportunity when the settlers arrived in the new world and made first contact with Native Americans.

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No. 4.
Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Independence

“Specifically identifying that all humans are equal, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, etc, directly in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.” – Unknown

“I’d have to say it was writing in the 3/5ths clause. I think this was the slippery slope which both exposed the real thinking of the people who set up this country, and also allowed such sloppy nonsense to proliferate for many generations to come. If they had grappled with reality and admitted the basic humanity of every person in this country, we would have been able to untangle ourselves from that mental trap a lot sooner.” – Unknown ***(Named Best Individual Answer)***

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No. 3
The Election of
President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

“The election of Barack Obama.” – Columbia, Maryland

While two ‘missed opportunities’ polled higher, neither of those can compare to the election of the first Black President. After he won the election, there was a sincere and shared emotion, that the race dance was finally over. But alas, it was not to be. In the first election after Barack Obama termed out, the alt-right became a main player in the election of Donald Trump.

 

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No. 2
The Surrender of the Confederacy
The Surrender of a Confederate Soldier

“After the civil war and the freedom of slaves, a corner of America should have been given to free slaves to build their economic freedom. After Lincoln freed the slaves, 40 acres and a mule was promised, but reneged on. If African Americans could have been given that land and call it New Africa, I believe that would have changed our reality and most likely the relationship between the races. We could have built our own greatness and leadership.” – Marysville

“I think the abolition of slavery. Slavemaster’s didn’t want the free labor to end so slavery didn’t officially end until 1863 when it was ratified. Prejudice is taught so we now live in a time where it has been taught for over 400 years. Our society would be different (not entirely) if prejudice had been ratified too but feelings can’t be. If people’s feelings toward people of color had begun to change in 1863, then maybe we wouldn’t know the names of strangers….Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland…..” – Sacramento

With few exceptions, conquered nations are not allowed to erect and fly their battle flag. Specifically at the end of a long and costly Civil War. Over 150 years since the surrender of the Confederate Army and the fall of the Confederacy, monuments are just starting to come down, and flags lowered on state grounds. If trend continues, it offers the deep south’s next generation a fair chance to escape a racist past.

 

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No. 1
Slavery

TransAtlantic Slave Trade
TransAtlantic Slave Trade / Hold of Slave Ship

“I am afforded the privilege of race not being considered foremost in my identity. I’m a white male. From a distance I’d say that perhaps if the more deadly weapons of war were adopted first by nations where people of color were the dominant population there might be a different outcome, but by so easily putting down native peoples on multiple continents, northern euros were quick to espouse the divine right narrative.”
– New Providence, New Jersey

There is a certain logic New Providence presents, that can be debated, but denied. If Natives in the Americas and Africans on the Motherland, had been ready, not just to defend their own shores, but equally determined to conquer and enslave the white race in Europe, perhaps they would have battled to a draw and everyone would have just stayed put.

But events of the day – like long time nemesis Russia’s bold cyberattack on American democracy, or the awakening of China: the sleeping giant, turned world power; or living under the real and constant threat of a nuclear attack, as the Hermit Kingdom boasts the capability to back up its once idle threats – offers equal if not greater than credence, to the flipside: if every nation had been equally stoked with world domination, and equally yoked in its arsenal of firepower, mankind may have annihilated itself a long time ago.

Nonetheless, race as an American struggle, has outlasted all international wars, and with only intensity varying, it has been the same song playing since 1607, yet we continue the race dance, as if it is somehow new.

— written & edited by Kendall F. Person


An Extra: Voices of Trolls, Ranters & Dreamers

“This survey is gonna be filled with right-wing revisionist history.”  – Salt Lake City

“Back in slave days, it ought to have continued as making slaves of those we defeated in war and never about “trade”- Unknown

“I guess for me it was the day we all forgot that we are one race: the human race.” – Oakville, Ontario Canada

 

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Results to One Question Survey in Graphs & Numbers

 

 

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The Neighborhood’s 3rd Annual Peace Week, may have a different name, but the mission remains the same.  ‘Our Week of War & Peace’ begins Aug 21st. For the full experience, Like The Neighborhood on Facebook

 

 

7 comments

  1. I am British and white but pictures and tales of slavery, bigotry and prejudice leave me feeling diminished as well as angry. I have similar thoughts and feelings when I hear about the rantings of those bent on forcing their views of religion on others. No one has the absolute answer. Through reasoned discussion we may learn so much about each other and the world would be a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Obama’s election gave white (mostly male) racists the change to come forward and publicly. I live and work in CT, and the hatred of the wealthy white men is astounding. I was totally shocked. I disagree with liberal war against Confederate flags and other historical things. I am not certain or overly confident, but I think we can leave history in the open rather than destroy it. Look at Thomas Jefferson – no liberal seems to want his picture to go. Lee was a general for his home. I think we waste our effort by going after him. I know I am in the minority. (Also sorry I missed the questions.) Thank you – Spyro

    Like

    • Hello Spyro. Thanks for checking in. Rather I agree with your position or not – which I don’t – your opinion and voice are welcomed and matter. The Neighborhood will always be all-inclusive. Now in response, that’s what museums and books are for’, to preserve history. Not towering monuments of defeated war generals of a nation that no longer existed. But let’s go with your logic, why no replicas of slave ships parked near the Outer Banks. Or auctioning blocks or miles and miles of Native Americans trekking to Oklahoma, with each state park filled with statues of dead bodies along the way? Or let’s flip the script and erect a statue of Nat Turner in Virginia. As the leader of the most successful slave rebellion, why not erect a monument of him too? Because descendants of his victims would not tolerate it, even for a day, and I don’t blame them one bit.

      I have a literal question for you – as opposed to my sarcasm above – why did you feel the need to box up the people and label it liberal – although nothing at all wrong with liberalism or conservatism, for that matter – when you have no idea since the political ideology was not the question nor asked of the respondents? And let’s say the Marysville responder is in California, a bastion of liberalism right? Trump stomped a mud whole in Hilalry in Marysville CA so what do we do with that?

      Purposely no identifying factors were asked, with the exception of the city, which had nothing to do with this survey, but with the weekly Top 10 Cities and bonus points for participation. So without boxes, we just create them, then shove opinions with no faces inside of them because it easier to hold your ground against a box than an opinion. But those are my words, and I am not trying to put them inside your mouth. But I appreciate your assumption, for incidentally, it is the perfect analogy on how a Confederate Flag flying over a government building that the citizens walk into, leave us trapped in a confederate box over a war that they lost, and passing down an ideology that may have timed itself it by now. Let’s walk a different way. Bring them all down, and note in a generation or two if the deep south is singing a different song.

      Like

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