Everyone was born of a mother, of a father, and of a time; it was said that there is a time and a place for everything, but not everyone was born at the right time. There has never been an era where everyone was socially accepted, some people lived in eras that were not ripe for their purpose and were unwelcoming to their humanity. Every era has its own ethos and the ethos of an era is determine by the mental and emotional states of the people who lived in that era, the social emotions (the emotions that others cause us to feel) of the people are the thermometer that tests the temperature of the character and moral nature of an era. They help to determine what is socially acceptable and unacceptable, and also define who is socially welcome and who are the social outcasts. For most of humanity, history women were born to unwelcoming times, times that degraded their humanity, times that only measured their physical and sexual worth but discarded the mental and emotional worth of their humanity. If women had the choice to choose an era that would best honor their humanity, femininity and freely allow them to be who they want to be, they would have a very difficult time finding this era in most of human history. And I am sure that if Ota Benga did have a choice to choose a time to live in, he would not have chosen 1906; the year he was bought by the Bronx zoo and shared a cage there with the apes. He felt so unwelcomed as a human being in this era in which he had lived that he decided to evacuate it by way of suicide. Some eras were blessed by figures that transcended their time but they were often rejected by the people of their eras; This was true with Christ. He lived in an era that prioritized law over love and they used their love for the law to crucified him, not for a crime but because he was not of their kind. The power of that time had come face to face with one whose knowledge exposed their ignorance, whose kindness condemned their greed, and whose love transcended their laws and time; so they envied the Christ. The envy and hatred of the Pharisees and Sadducees (religious leaders) were the nails that were used to crucified Christ; because his love and teachings were unwelcomed in their time.
We have often heard about the power of thinking and how the thoughts of great minds had shaped people of all ages, but we often underestimated the power of emoting and how the emotions of ordinary people had also helped to shape all ages. History had shown us how political, religious, and secular leaders have weaponized the emotions of the people in order to shape the times that they lived in, for their own selfish reasons and materialistic greed. Throughout the span of times, these leaders have used fear to control the people, the fear of hell, the fear of being punished, and the fear of being socially outcasted. And it was the paralyzing effect of this fear that had caused many good-hearted people to remain silent and inactive in times when humans were being commoditized like cattle and the oven of the holocaust was tasting the flesh of innocent people. Even in this time of ours, the social emotions of embarrassment and shame have forced many people not to express themselves the way that they really want to express themselves and to reject those who they really want to accept socially. Sometimes even love was affected by the time that it was born into, just think about how many interracial couples truly loved each other and enjoyed being together, yet their love was handcuffed and arrested by Jim Crow and its laws. The darkness of the night became the bed in which they expressed their love, but with the rays of the sun came the law that prohibited it and forced them to be separated from each other. We have a collective responsibility to stand up for what is right in the time we live in and to ensure that the humanity of everyone is welcome in this era of ours. History will not only remember the inhumane acts of leaders but also the silence and inactions of the masses to these inhumane acts.