I have lived a very diverse life that started out in a culturally diverse community. It took several years to start understanding the concepts that divide racial cultures. It was several more years for the ideas to sink in that people could actually dislike or hate one another without even knowing each other…based solely on their racial heritage. The thinking behind racism confused me as a child, and frankly, it still does. Of course, this blog is not about racism; it’s about people’s attitudes towards it.
Obviously I have an issue with condemning others without knowing them; I always have…and I have always been very vocal about my feelings. Said feeling have been met with apathy, opposition, and denial. Some people don’t care about others, period. I write those people off as lost causes. Others argue that racism is valid for some ridiculous reason or other. I try to reason with these people as much as I can, but most of the time I just have to accept that they are lost causes as well. The people who have frustrated me the most are the deniers. People who believe this world is a happy, harmonious ball of loving fluff, and refuse to recognize issues of racism at all. When offered hard facts and statistics to support your claim of systematic racism in America, they rationalize the figures, cite the fourteenth amendment, and make excuses.
I have been trying my best to show the world how our system is horribly unfair. Blacks, hispanics, and poor people are extremely disadvantaged at every level in our society. If a person is both black / hispanic AND poor, the system becomes nearly insurmountable. People of color are profiled as “prone to violence”, “hot tempered”, “belligerent”, and a host of other negative things that puts police and other authorities on edge. This contributes to more “routine” stops spiraling out of control (because police expect something to go wrong–causing it to) ending with innocent people being hauled into jail. Once in the system, lack of funds cause these people to heed the advice of inadequate, court appointed counsel that tells them to plead guilty to something they did not do for a lesser sentence. This keeps a fresh supply of innocent people strolling through the revolving doors of our for-profit penal system, ensuring that the big corporations make their money off of the backs of the little people.
Until now, people have called me crazy, treated me like dirt, thrown out terms like “conspiracy theorist”, and worst when I’ve tried to explain how this corrupt system works. Now that some of this systematic racism has a media spotlight on it, people are beginning to say, “maybe there’s some merit to these claims.” The big problem is, to resolve these problems, American society will have to face some really uncomfortable aspects of itself. One thing Americans cannot stand is being uncomfortable. So, will the problem of systematic racism remain en vogue long enough for us to do something about it? Or will our society go back to hiding from its flaws?