This story is a metaphor for "White Supremacy" and how the White man has benefited from stuctural advantages applied to him as compared to Black folks.
I had an early morning flight at the Hartsfield-JACKSON Atlanta International Airport (if you leave off the "Jackson" in the airport's name you are usually subject to attack by Black folks. By the way - in Washington DC - these same people who will attack you for calling the Atlatna airport out of name don't call "Reagan National Airport by its offical name. Funny how that works, isn't it? ).
As I was walking in the "passenger mall", the corridor down below which links the concourses together I noticed how access to certain re
souces provided different results in the short run.
Namely the "People Mover" system - the escalator which is laid out flat provided an advantage to a White man who had been walking next to me.
I typically walk to my concourse rather than ride the train because it provides me with the exercise that I usually don't get while traveling and being in a rush all of the time. I noticed that when this White man got on the people mover and continued to walk at the same pace - he was able to put great distance between himself and me with the benefit of the "society that was stacked in his favor". As hard as I attempted to keep up with him - as my prior training in calculus taught me - with each interval of time - his total rate of forward movement was greater than mine because he was on a moving surface while I was on a relatively stationary surface. (Well that is unless you are a scientist and consider that the Earth itself is constantly moving. ) Boy that relativity is something to behold.
By the time I got my camera phone out and powered on this is how far the White man got in front of me with his "system aided" performance:
I thought about all of the Black people who had been denied access to the "people mover system" over time and thus they had to be "Twice as good" as the White man because their ground was moving with them.
This is a picture of a SECOND WHITE MAN who was once behind me and he too, witht he benefit of the SYSTEM working in his favor was able to pass me by though I was walking as fast as I can.....as a Black man:
Then something happened. 'DESEGREGATION'!!!!
I too, a Black man, was allowed to ride on the People Mover System! Just like the White man! Notice by the railings that I am ON the moving side walk rather than beside it. Notice the ground that I had gained on the White man. Each people mover system has about 100 feet of stationary ground between them as you go between concourses. I used this "equal time" to make up ground on the White man:
From both my EXTRA EFFORT and the fact that I had access to the same accellerator as the White Man - I was able to over take his lead and I beat him to Concourse D (he is behind me and my camera view. I was not about to turn my camera back upon him and take his picture.) :
Lessons learned - it takes BOTH Desegreation, Legal Recourse AND THE WILL FOR BLACK FOLKS TO ADVANCE BY DOING WHAT IT TAKES in order for the full benefit of managed anti-racism policies to be expressed.
Had I just jumped on the People Mover and allowed it to carry me forward The White man STILL would have been far ahead of me. I had my goal on ARRIVING AT CONCOURSE D rather than the past discrimation that I faced by being barred from the people mover system. Thus I ARRIVED THERE SUCCESSFULLY AND I ARRIVED THERE BEFORE THE WHITE MAN.
Lessons learned: You can only use YOUR PRESENT to determine your FUTURE.