Advertise on the Tentacle


| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |


Advertise on the Tentacle

May 14, 2004

Sweep up the Debris

Derek Shackelford

As a contributing writer to this website, I feel very fortunate to articulate views on different subjects and issues. It is not always easy to convey messages to readers who disagree with the position that is being taken.

There is a responsibility to try to be as accurate as possible when presenting factual information. As for opinions, well everyone has many of those.

One of the issues that I discuss is race. It is not the only issue I write about, but it is articulated often. Race is one issue in America that creates different - and sometimes emotional - responses.

Is race an underlying motivation for all the problems in our world? A one word answer is NO.

Does race play a prominent role in the problems in these United States of America? A word answer is YES.

Now, that is not to say that it is the cause of all the problems. As a society we are so uncomfortable with the discussion of the topic. Even in Frederick County it is not addressed and - for the most part - is swept right under the rug.

Yes, I will agree, there have been many improvements in race relations in Frederick County due to the persistence of blacks and whites alike.

Also, keep in mind there has been blood shed, sweat poured, and tears cried in order for our world to be a better place.

What I do as a contributor to this site is address the issue with which so many are uncomfortable. In fact I write what many of us think in homes, workplaces and communities.

As a black man, I do not make any apologies for writing from this perspective. Black men have been pillaged, disrespected, and abused since stepping foot on the shores of America. Should this be used as a crutch?

No! But the facts are undeniable.

Do I simply hold everyone accountable and responsible for the plight of black men?

No! I place some of the blame at the feet of black men also.

We can do better. We shall do better. And we will do better.

So for this cause I write from this perspective: to educate; to liberate; to empower; and activate the minds and hearts of people of the reader - black or white.

So I am not uncomfortable with writing or discussing the issue because writer James Baldwin reminds me that:

"The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. The purpose of education, finally, is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions, to say to himself this is black or this is white, to decide for himself whether there is a God in heaven or not. To ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity. But no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around. What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will obey the rules of society. If a society succeeds in this, that society is about to perish. The obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society and try to change it and to fight it - at no matter what risk."

This is the reason why I write - to challenge our society to be great, no matter the risk. In fact, buildings of discrimination, prejudice, and racism have come down. When buildings come down, debris still lies around. All I am trying to do is sweep up the debris.

Yellow Cab
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

Advertisers here do not necessarily agree or disagree with the opinions expressed by the individual columnist appearing on The Tentacle.

Each Article contained on this website is COPYRIGHTED by The Octopussm LLC. All rights reserved. No Part of this website and/or its contents may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means - graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems, without the expressed written permission of The Tentaclesm, and the individual authors. Pages may be printed for personal use, but may not be reproduced in any publication - electronic or printed - without the express written permission of The Tentaclesm; and the individual authors.

Site Developed & Hosted by The JaBITCo Group, Inc. For questions on site navigation or links please contact Webmaster.

The JaBITCo Group, Inc. is not responsible for any written articles or letters on this site.