The opportunity for reaching your dreams is open to every American. Opportunity for having the type of family and career you desire is guaranteed to all. But, the outcome of your efforts is not set in stone.
As all Americans celebrate Black History Month in February, we must continue to rely on our attitude, preparation, and effort to help us achieve our goals.
As Blacks we must remember constantly to speak this, to show that we are the resilient, future people that our forefathers fought to get equality for.
The insulting terms acting white, Oreo, sellout, and Uncle Tom continue to discourage our race from reaching its maximum potential.
It is this tremendously ugly part of Black America that haunts me and many other Black Americans every day.
I have had the honor of serving Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, Governor Nikki Haley and Governor Rick Perry. I was the first Black to serve in the Lt. Governor’s Office and Governor’s Office in South Carolina as well as the first Black staffer in South Carolina for a GOP presidential campaign.
It is unsettling to me to think that I can still be ridiculed by many of my race for my unconventional political views, education, and social interactions rather than be evaluated on my achievements and the content of my character.
We as Blacks must understand that we can be who we want to be. We are the authors of our own life story. It is not written for us.
Moreover, there are many different categories of blackness. We should not allow ourselves to be put into a one-dimensional philosophy that is used to demean and disconnect our culture from the rest of American society.
Once we open our hearts, eyes, and minds, we will be able to fill them with the intelligence, consciousness, and conscience to lead us to our aspirations as Dr. King wanted.
A Black person with a book is not acting white or being a sellout. He or she is acquiring the information needed to find ourselves and be able to have a stake as good citizens in this land we call America.
It is when we start trying to be what somebody else expects of us that we start to lose ourselves.
Learning is the master key to open any door. The lock will never change. It is time we become able to walk thru that door.
Jordan Cooper is a senior at the University of South Carolina, a political activist and former staffer to Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, Governor Nikki Haley and Governor Rick Perry. Jordan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.