Racism and Us

Racism.  It’s one of those words I think we do an injustice to in this country.  Racism has gone from whites thinking they are better than everyone else to reverse racism.  (Now would be a good time for me to state I’m pretty sure reverse racism is just plain ol’ racism.)  We discuss what racism is, but we rarely discuss what the consequences of racism and hate are.  We tend to keep our discussion of racism in this country confined to academic settings or political settings.  That way it is easier to ignore racism among us.

Racism is coming to light again in our country.  From JT Ready and his group of neo-Nazis who are patrolling our southern border in full militia gear to people in NYC beating up a couple of Muslim men joining in a protest against a mosque in lower Manhattan we seem to be seeing an explosion of racism.  The leader of the Tea Party Express, Mark Williams, published a “Letter to Lincoln” written in horrible English and supposedly from “Coloreds” leader, Ben Jealous.  (For some reason The Tea Party Express has taken down the letter after bad publicity, but thanks to Gawker you can still read it. http://gawker.com/5588556/the-embarrassing-racist-satire-of-tea-party-leader-mark-williams)  What was once something left to the extreme of our society has come to light once more.  Even politicians, such as Sarah Palin, have begun to throw around “racist” and “racism” as just another political attack.

Racists during the last couple of decades were, well, everyone could tell they weren’t very educated.  Now, the racists aren’t from the trailer parks.  They are pastors standing in front of mega churches.  (Okay, Pat Robertson and the 700 Club was always slightly racist.  His comments after 9-11 and again after the Tsunami, Katrina, and now Haiti have proven the man is a poor old guy who is full of hate and doesn’t understand love.)  They are politicians who have – and are – elected to offices.  Tom Tancredo has given speeches that the Mexicans are coming to kill everyone, including him and his grandchildren.  Sarah Palin (I do hate to do this one, Governor, but you have set yourself up) sent out a Tweet complaining about a mosque going up in lower Manhattan, setting up another round of “all Muslims are terrorists.”

Now is a good time to bring up 9-11 and the Muslims who died.  I know someone will mention that they were flying the planes.  Yep, and they were working to support their families in the Twin Towers.  They were the police officers who raced to the scene.  They were in the fire department and didn’t hesitate as they ran in to buildings that were falling down.  They were in the Special Forces who left that morning for work, and showed up in Afghanistan a day later.  They were in the first troops on the ground.  They are still there fighting for you and me, and over in Iraq.  They are fighting with troops who question their loyalty.  They are coming home to a country where more and more people consider them terrorists just because of their religion.  And I don’t understand how one person’s service and sacrifice to their country is different than a white or black person.

Ah, the military.  The great melting pot of America.  If you haven’t been around the military, it isn’t white.  Every shade and color is in the military.  Most military families have children who aren’t the same color as their parents.  Yep, the military has racists.  It the weirdest places you find racism thriving; like our military.  I hate to say this, but Homeland Security is right.  Militias are recruiting from our vets coming home.

So, racism is growing, or at least coming to the light.  Got a silly question for you racists.  Do you guys love anything?  How can you when you let hate fester in your hearts?  Do you really think you can prove that God created some races to be subservient to others?  Oh, and to you guys and gals in those “certain colors are better than other” churches (and those churches come in every color under the sun), you guys are aware Jesus wasn’t your color, right?  Funny thing, he was born to a Jewish mother.  Under Jewish law that makes Jesus Jewish.  Cool, huh?  Your personal savior isn’t your race!

For the rest of us, I’ve come to the conclusion that we are the problem with racism.  We allowed it to fester under the surface for the past few decades.  Us younger guys are probably more at fault than our parents.  We grew up knowing better.  Yet, we stand by while Arizona passes a new law that is racist.  Yes, some of my black friends, racism isn’t just against blacks.  Do we need to go over my whole getting my family kicked out of a church because I wanted to date someone at the church again?  Yeah, his Chinese parents were not cool with him dating a white girl.  That’s racism, people, not some funky reverse racism.

Racism affects us more than it affects those who are racist.  Think of the racists in your family.  Admit it, you have a few.  How have their beliefs caused your actions?  Did you date who you wanted to date?  Or did you let mom’s beliefs keep you from following your heart?  How old were you before you saw your first person from a different race?  Can you remember your reaction?  Your parents’ reaction the first time you brought home a friend who was from a different race?

The racists aren’t who are hurting from their hate.  Their hate has already destroyed them.  We allow ourselves to be destroyed by their hate.  We allow their hate to keep this country from having an actual discussion on racism.  We allow our parents and grandparents apologetic beliefs on racism to keep our generation from discussing something that is now our problem.  We cannot allow this to continue.  Or is that the world we want to leave our children?  Do we want our children to still live in a world where hate has become alright and mainstream once more?

See that comment link below?  This is one of those posts that means nothing if people don’t click that little link.  This is one of those blog posts that either goes in to the black void of cyber-space or starts a conversation.  I hope it’s the latter.  Tell the world what you think.  Then, keep the discussion going in the real world.  Let’s be the last generation that sees this kind of flare up of racism in the main stream.

-Amanda Nicole Trisdale

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3 thoughts on “Racism and Us

  1. hmmm…definitely interesting. Racism, IMHO, is one of those things that people can point their fingers until they have been on the receiving end of it. Being one of a handful of “white” people in predominately black culture let me be on the opposite side.
    Racism a cop out. An easy way for one to point their finger at another person, and not take personal responsibility for their own actions or in-actions. How easy would it be to blame someone for our failures (individual or collective), rather than taking responsibility for where we have failed.
    Rather than coming together to create a plan of action, it’s easier for one to point fingers.

    The other hand though, Amanda, is that subcultures have perpetrated the “woe is me” mentality. There are leaders within the subcultures trying to ‘dig’ them out, without avail to the subculture. Case and point Thomas Sowell. One of the smartest men I know, happens to be African American, and has some of the most profound things to say on the topic. I revere him.

    And yet, look at the Black Panthers. It seems, perhaps in my naivite’, that they are more culturally acceptable than Neo-Nazis – both of which in my mind are disgraceful.

    I do, however disagree with you on the Robinson comment. Particularly referencing Haiti. While it shouldn’t have been said at that time, it’s true. The Haitians teach the same thing (about Haiti being given over to the devil). The part that is incorrect is that the Haitians brought this upon themselves. I don’t agree with that. The Bible is very clear that the earth is waiting and groaning for the Lord’s return. There are massive things happening in the spiritual realm that western culture has a very difficult time understanding. People are being healed physically because of something catastrophic. I am not condoning what Robinson said, it was the wrong time and place. But you have to concede that a portion of what he said is true.

    Ok I’m done with my ‘comment’. Only to say that racism crosses party line (Republicans and Democrats), it isn’t a “you” or a “me” issue, it’s an us. I think, as a country, we are letting things slide that we wouldn’t have with a President of a ‘different race’. Don’t get me wrong. It’s about stinkin’ time we have a President of a different skin color (but where are the Japanese American’s or Mexican American’s running for office???) or a woman in office. But more questions of race have arisen in the past 2 years, than I can recall in my short existence here on planet earth.

    Now, I’m really done. 🙂

  2. My bad not including a bit I thought I had about the African American Separatist Movement. It was in an earlier draft but somehow did not make the final mock-up. And I think it is on both sides.
    The easy ones to spot, currently, seem to be the ones in the Tea Party Movement. I will believe the Tea Party that they are not part of the GOP or the Democrats. When people who claim they are leaders in the Tea Party (Tom Tancredo or Bill Williams) make racist statements, it reflects on their party, in my humble belief. Bill Clinton did a nice one during the 2008 primary season down in South Carolina when he said something about people of a certain race voting for Obama because of his race. I can’t remember the exact words. Governor Palin’s Tweet was fresher in my mind since it was this weekend.
    We did have a half-Mexican run for the nomination in 2008. Governor Bill Richardson is the son of an American father and a Mexican mother. His sister is a doctor in Mexico City. (I think it is actually in the city.) Secretary of State Hilary Clinton almost won the nomination. I remember not being sure if there would be a floor fight at the convention until a few days before the nomination.
    Southern Poverty Law has a great map online of hate groups by state. I can’t remember something like this, but I wasn’t alive in the late 60s & 70s.

  3. Dare I step out and offend my friends, but I think Bill Clinton had a valid point. It was something I heard from my African American friends that they felt SUUUUUUPER compelled to vote for Obama since he was the first African American to run for office. Strange. I remember Allen Keyes.
    Step further. How about age. I had a guy come to my door during the 08 elections, and was grilling me on why I wasn’t voting for a particular person who is now in office. I flat out told him, I have no issue with the color of his skin (in fact I think it’s downright stupid to base a person’s abilities on their outward appearance), I just didn’t feel right about it…had to go with my gut. His ONLY response was, “but you’re young!” Yes, but I don’t make political opinions based on my age, or the age of the candidate.
    I think as humans we make (unfortunate) decisions about people based on our past experiences with them – young, old, race, gender, whatever. I also believe that by focusing on it, it makes the problem worse. Companies have to have X number of women, X number of ‘minorities’. Dumb IMHO. I’m definitely NOT a feminist, but they do have valid points…Sorry, I digress.

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