Decades after the Civil Rights Movement, America is still dealing with racism. The topic of race fills our news headlines, our city streets. Weeks like this past one make me battle weary.
Social interactions become manners of ethics debates. When a person is actually killed on a street all niceties end. Racism is powerfully harmful, both at that moment and historically. When you see racist actions, should you stay quiet became the lynch pin in this week. Do you have an obligation to reply and fight the ugliness of race hatred? I don’t think you have an obligation to reform the world, but it’s an awfully good thing if you have it in you to not let such things pass, if you can stand up for what its right please do so.
Under this new administration, the lives of non Anglo Saxon folks have been zeroed in upon. The complex, years-old systems that perpetuate systematic racism and biases are hard to tear down because the hate groups protect themselves at all costs. Like when you say #BlackLivesMatter as a means of convincing them that Black bodies aren’t disposable, and maybe we should make some changes in policies, they call you “anti-cop.” Like when you suggest we address racial disparities in the quality of secondary education with affirmative action, they say you want a “handout.”
I have had a few days to think about what is going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. President Trump supported people who by their nature and ignorance are anything but American. I watched the video of the violence. I watched these people march with tiki torches. These people are racists.
They want Black people gone. They cruelly ignore the pain and historical degradation of the Holocaust. They don’t want to live near us. They scowl when they have to work with us.
Most people think this kind of hate dwells in the KKK or meets at midnight in secret locations. No, these are the upstanding American citizens who want to send the Mexicans back to Mexico because they’re taking all the jobs and making America too brown. These are the people who believe Obama is from Kenya. These are the people on the other side of the executive desks judging whether to call someone in, because they have a black sounding name, no matter their qualifications. These are the people who call themselves “real Americans”. These are the Trump voters. They are the #AllLivesMatter screamers.
They hate us.
Current political discourse aside, implicit, unconscious bias is still everywhere, with large, concrete consequences for people’s lives—voting rights, access to education, employment, treatment by law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Jim Crow arose to cement a class alliance between poor whites, working class whites, and elite whites. The white southern elite greatly feared the possibility that poor blacks and poor whites would join together around a common cause. Jim Crow laws were deployed to create a black and white divide among the working class.
Opponents of affirmative action are often individualistic in how they think about the topic. They just think, there are two individuals: a white person and a black person. And, hypothetically, the white person in this case is more qualified than the black person. Therefore, the white person should be admitted. But that’s a myopic viewpoint. REAL MYOPIC.
Whenever you encounter this kind of crap: Speak up, don’t let it become normal, don’t treat it like it’s the state of the world now.
President Trump’s press conference yesterday has given sanction to idiots perpetrating racist actions and spreading racist messages. These are not fine people.