Racism is vile and ugly and I hate it. But the worst part is, it comes up when you least expect it. I have many friends, family, and loved ones who are people of color, and I love them to death. But I’ve come to realize that sometimes racism isn’t just that simple. While I was fairly privileged growing up I was never raised to ever view or treat anyone differently because of their skin color and/or ethnic background. But if I am honest, it still happens. I don’t like to think of myself as racist, but who does? I like to think of myself as accepting, forward-thinking, and progressive. Taking into account the needs of the many minorities around me. But then there are moments when I’ll be sitting in my car and a group of Black men walk by and I feel this sudden urge to lock my doors, as if I truly believe I am in danger. That is racism and it’s ugly and I’m ashamed of it. Do I lock my doors? No. I know better. I know the truth.
I know that’s not who I am but, I would be naive to pretend it doesn’t exist. If I acknowledge the problem I can address it. While there are some people who are straight up racist trash, I truly believe that there are people who don’t see or choose not to acknowledge the systemic racism in their lives. It may seem like a small thing, after all locking a door doesn’t hurt anyone. Right? Wrong.
If I think that people of color don’t see subtle unchecked acts of racism, I’m a fool. They see it. They see the attack on their character, they see the lack of action, they see the lack of sympathy. When we refuse to acknowledge the racial issues in our society they feel the rejection and the hurt.
We need to stop pretending that racism doesn’t exist. Because it thrives in almost every single person. But unlike blatant racism, it wreaks destruction completely unchecked.
I’ll talk more about this in another post, but one of the most frequent forms of racism is when a innocent young Black man is murdered by a police officer, a man who is supposed to be protecting them from the worse that the world has to offer. And does the officer see justice? No. He is praised as a hero while the name of the innocent is dragged through the mud and he is remembered as a criminal. The only thing worse than losing someone you love, is watching them be defiled and ridiculed in the months and years following their death. Wake up! We should be morning with these people not assuming the worse of their lost loved one and only giving the benefit of the doubt to their killer.
This isn’t an isolated case while they will fade from the memory of the public after a few weeks the names of people like Philando Castile, Michael Brown, and many others, will be engraved on the heart and minds of their friends and families for the rest of their lives; and if they never forgave America for what they did to their loved ones, I couldn’t for a moment blame them.
This is not a victory for America, but an addition to our long list of wrongs. A show case of our preference for violent solutions rather I am ashamed of my country and pray for God’s mercy.