Just Imagine

Imagine standing in front of a stove with two pots before you. The pot on the left contains liquid that has been boiling for about five hours. The pot on the right also contains liquid but the burner was never on, and as such, is room temperature. Six minutes ago, the fire was turned off on the boiling pot. When this happened the liquid started to cool, however, it continued to visibly be boiling for another four minutes. So currently, neither pot has a fire under it and the pot on the left hasn’t been visibly boiling for two minutes.

Imagine placing your right hand in the pot on the right and your left hand in the pot on the left. Do you expect to feel a difference?

The experience of reaching into the pot on the left is like the experience of being a Black American. The fire was on for five hours (500 years of racially based slavery), it was off for four minutes but still boiling (Jim Crow and blatant discrimination being legal), but in the last two minutes, the boiling has stopped (blatant discrimination is stopped being legal). The moment a liquid stops boiling it doesn’t become room temperature. The moment blatant racism stopped being legal, Black Americans didn’t suddenly stop being impacted by it. The liquid is still hot. The unequal treatment of Black Americans still exists. The experience of reaching into the pot on the right vs that on the left is still not the same.

I hope that one day it is.