The Struggle is Real
It seems that every other week our headlines are filled with stories about race in America. From black people being killed by police, white women who ‘feel’ black, and comments about Mexicans being ‘rapists’ and ‘drug dealers’, we are inundated with facts, opinions, video clips, etc. on race in America. Well here’s what I think…and just in case you have a problem with what you THINK I might say then you can stop reading now. There is an issue of race in our country. I’m not claiming to know the cause behind any incidents that have filled up our television screens. But anytime a man kills nine people IN A CHURCH BECAUSE THEY WERE BLACK, and it’s on and off the news in a matter of days, we have a race problem in America. Yep, I said it. Go ahead, clutch your pearls and gasp.
It really should come as no surprise. Anytime there is a system where people are classified based on a characteristic or attribute there’s going to be a problem. Hence sexism, classicism, ageism, and whatever other -ism you can think of. You know those little boxes you mark on all government forms and various other documents? They create, whether we choose to accept it or not, a system where people can be marginalized and discriminated against because they don’t have the POWER of another group. (You do know that all -isms are about POWER right?)
We can spend all day extoling the response one should take when approached by a police officer, or how activists shouldn’t pull the race card, or how Donald Trump is just crazy but at the end of the day, those are just distractions from talking about the truth. The truth is that our country was built on the very idea that certain groups of people were lesser individuals. You can say that all that was over a long time ago, but the ignorance of racism from that period got passed down just like all other family traditions and belief systems.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people who are able to disconnect from their traditional family belief system and realize that racism is real and needs to be addressed – I’m related to and friends with some of those people. Then there are people who say racism doesn’t exist or isn’t a problem because Barack Obama is president and others, who while they acknowledge there might be an issue of race in this country, it’s not that big of a deal so let’s just all get along. And a whole bunch of folks in between.
At the end of the day we can all choose to believe what we like. But the day my FIVE YEAR OLD came home and told me that a ‘friend’ in school told her she shouldn’t like people who had dark skin, I was slapped in the face with just how real the struggle STILL is. And you can believe we had a long talk about it.
Until next time…