Full Definition of racism. 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. 2 : racial prejudice or discrimination.
At one time in my life I believed that everyone wanted to end racism, but as I grew older and had more life experiences, I learned that there are many people who either don‘t understand what racism is, or they don‘t understand enough about it to care. I have found others who think racism is just part of life, and then there are some who even use racism as a way to make money and gain notoriety.
Yes, I would like to see an end to racism. At one time I lived on an Indian reservation with my wife, who was born there, and I learned the closer you got to that reservation, the more pronounced the racism became. When I moved from living close to the Canadian border in Minnesota to the Deep South in North Florida I learned that racism is part and parcel of life in the South.
A black man on Facebook, whom I respect, wrote this, “Real change will come when whites are willing to give up the power, perks, and privilege their color allows them.”
I never thought the man was delusional, but that statement makes me wonder. When in history has any population given up their power and privilege to share it with anyone else of another race or their own race? That just doesn‘t happen. Also, I don‘t think our nation is ready to get rid of racism. I think it is so ingrained and taught by all races that it is not going away for many generations. There are powerful people from the black and white communities that want it to stay the way it is. Yes, there is money to be made with bad race relations. This from Powerline:
Mississippi was the last state to integrate their public schools in the early 1970s. Of course, as soon as the federal government started talking about integrating our schools, “White Flight Schools” started popping up all over the country. Almost every southern county had at least one, and most are still in business today. There are many of these “White Flight Schools” in the North, too.
Still, today there are millions and millions of Americans who started out life with their parents, grandparents, their minister, and almost every elected official telling them that the races in this country are different. Like, “Those black people are just different than we are, Johnny,” and they probably didn‘t use the word, “black”. And let‘s be real here, black parents have said and still say nasty things about those, “God- damn crackers.”
So, if you grew up for the first 10 to 20 years of your life being taught that racism was OK, but it wasn‘t called racism, how the heck do you reprogram those thought processes that were ingrained into your brain; given to you over a long number of formative years; given to you by people who loved you and whom you loved; and given to you by people whom you respected and who held positions of great responsibility?
So, when we tell people their parents and grandparents and ministers were all wrong about racism, that is a hard thing to sell. So, why are so many people perplexed and surprised that we still have a racist country? How can they expect anything else?
Let‘s think about our churches. Yes, for sure we have black and white churches. White people have the Anglican Church in North America, and black people have the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church and Connection. The black church has been the center of the black community for over 150 years. Do you really think exclusively black and exclusively white churches will integrate any time soon… or ever?
And it isn‘t just dorms that are being segregated. Colleges and universities are sending us back to pre-civil rights days.
We still have black sports—basketball, and white sports—hockey. We still have black music—Rap and Hip Hop, and white music—Classical and Country. Yes, I know there are exceptions, but as a genre of music, I think these race patterns hold pretty much true.
What can we do? How are we going to change things, or can we ever change things? Hate is powerful, and you can see it on our news almost every day. We have people who hate the police, and we have people who hate black people, and we have people who hate white people, and there is no doubt some people hate Hispanics, and there are Hispanics who hate white people. And let‘s not forget the Muslims, not maybe just a race, but thought of as a race by many, and oh, how about Jews and Indians. I think it is safe to say that we see and hear way more about hate than we do love.
Every once in while somebody posts something on Facebook where somebody from one race helps out somebody from a different race, and we all say how nice that is, and many click that “Like” to show how we approve, but let‘s face it, those postings are the exception being dwarfed in number by postings that show hate in one form or another.
If you go to a poor section of any city and visit their schools and parks, you will see how that section of the city is taken care of, and you will realize there is a lot of hate shown by the government of that city toward the poor people in that part of town. And crazy as it seems, many times the majority or all of those city council members are of the same race as the people who are treated so badly. No, I can‘t explain that.
If you go to a government meeting, say a county board or city council meeting, you will hear what a disadvantage bad schools give poor people who are petitioning their government for help. It is like there are two languages: those who are well educated in the elected position, and those who didn‘t get a good education asking for help.
You can‘t take a tour of any city large or small and then say we don‘t have racism or that we are even working on our race problems.
At one time I was working downtown in Saint Paul, Minnesota, right near the Mission and the Dorothy Day Center, and who comes driving through with a police motorcade? Walter Mondale, the Vice President of the United States heading north to the gated community where he lived. I can‘t even tell you how fast they were moving, but they had one of those strobe lights that would change all the traffic lights to green so that the VP wouldn‘t have to stop and see, if he even could see through the very dark almost black tinted windows in his limo, what the plight was of the poor people in his state‘s capital city.
So if our education system and our entertainment industry and our sports industries, and our own government are not doing much at all about integrating our races, and our Christian Churches continue to stay segregated, how do you expect people who grew up after integration became the law of the land to not stay in the racism they grew up in? At this rate, racism is here to stay.
In writing this I had to decide if white and black should be White and Black. Some news outlets never capitalize either one, some always capitalize both, and some only capitalize Black, but not white.
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