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Division will cease when we stop dividing

By Toni Dowrey

Many of us have been thinking of Charlottesville, the white supremacists, the statues, the changes and possible war. War with the world and among ourselves.

There is fear, uncertaint, and anxiety. There are power struggles with the left and right. There are people fighting to keep history standing, while others fight to tear it down. There are people not acknowledging the national anthem in protest for their beliefs. Where does it stop?

Protests have become so regular that many just don’t pay attention anymore. Many find them to be a nuisance and fuel to already-set fires. We have people protesting hate while showing hate during their protests. We have people protesting for equality but yet still waving a “difference” flag.

This is all so counterproductive. Yes, protests have made changes. Yes, one person can make a difference. Yes, we need to fight for what we believe in.

But while we are fighting for change, we need to be what we are fighting for.

Fighting for equality will not change anything as long as we keep dividing ourselves. We are equal. I know some may disagree with me, but if you look at what people have accomplished, it is reality.

We have women, gay and black people in highly regarded positions. Oprah Winfrey, a black female, is one of the wealthiest women in America and continues to better herself and the world around her. We have had a black president, the highest office in the United States of America, elected by the American people for two terms — with white people populating around 61 percent of the nation, meaning many white people voted for a black president.

Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O’Donnell are white gay women who inspire us and make us laugh. And they both make a lot of money.

We have women, gay and black government leaders, actors, business leaders and executives. You have the opportunity to be what you want to be if you work for it. Just like me.

I am not in any of those job categories, and I work hard for every dollar I make; the only one who holds me back is me. I have to push and work to get to where I want to be.

There will always be a need to stand up for people’s rights, for equal pay and against injustices. However, America has come a long way since our forefathers.

They started a great country. They may have done it in an inhumane way by taking the land from Native Americans and using slaves, but we have come a long way from then.

Today, we are the only ones holding ourselves back. If we want to be equal, we need to stop keeping ourselves separate.

The ones who fight about division are the ones holding back equality. We are as equal as we make ourselves, and the biggest equality we should have is being against the spreading of hate.

Toni L. Dowrey is a motivational speaker and author from Suffolk. Visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/findingyoubook.