Today’s racism is much less overt than in the 1960s. While the problem seems epidemic in the US it still exists elsewhere. The fact that the statement “I’m not a racist but..” is still used to excuse some of the most obviously racist statements by well-meaning people shows that racism is still widely accepted. It’s totally okay to be proud of your race whoever you are, it’s not okay to think that makes you more important than someone else.
All Lives Matter
The epitome of the “well meaning” racists is the term All Lives Matter. While Black Lives Matter remains a controversial group, the idea that these well meaning people rally behind is that everyone is important. It’s a good concept, equality, but it’s also got nothing to do with the whole reason the Black Lives Matter movement exists in the first place. BLM was created because of a deep problem with black discrimination specifically in the law enforcement community. By taking away that purpose, the ALM movement is denying the problem exists. Statistically, black men are more likely to have issues when in contact with law enforcement, despite the majority of contact being with white people. This isn’t even specifically white officers, black officers too have been caught out being discriminatory. Law enforcement is a difficult job, and at the end of the day if you break the law then you certainly deserve justice, however, using a heavier hand specifically because an offender is black is exactly what BLM is trying to publicize.
Historically, history is written by the victors, and for thousands of years white Europeans have been on top. Whether it was the British empire controlling India or whether it was white democrats supporting slavery the denial that the white race has been in charge of some of the worlds worst atrocities is denied. Just read some of the newer textbooks on American history – you’ll find very little about the Trail of Tears and in many cases the entire event has been rewritten to be “voluntary”. By using the term All Lives Matter, people are essentially saying that this is okay. Most white Europeans have a secondary identity – they’re German, Polish, Scottish etc. They have a history of where their roots come from. While geneticists can pinpoint where anybody’s roots come from most black people do not know their roots. They know they are “African”, but have no clue about the range of cultures that could encompass. That history was stolen from them by white slavers. It’s not even the same as the Irish slave trade which admittedly had more slaves brought to the new world than Africa. These people retained the fact that they were Irish, while the rest were simply given a continent as an identity.
Other Causes and Racism
It’s interesting how closely the fight against racism and the fight for the rights of women mirror each other. Women fight for equality, against discrimination, for equal pay, for recognition, and for the right to exist as people with their own minds in many cases. They’re not asking for superiority, something many people misunderstand. In fact, if you take the word “women” from most of the rally cries, and most of the complaints and replace them with “black people” you’ll find that the cause is almost exactly the same – there is still inequality. We are not an equal society. While it would be communist and even idyllic to imagine such a thing to be possible, much of the feeling behind racism and it’s general acceptance is changing. the younger generation doesn’t agree with the racism of the older generation.
Better education, more access to information about other cultures, and a wider appreciation for things outside of our own race is killing racism, but it’s happening slowly. Too slowly for most people. Instead of the sweeping change that the civil rights movement the pace is at a crawl. Those in charge (usually white, older people with deep seated white supremacist upbringings) don’t want change because it would not only go against their upbringing (and no one likes to think their parents were wrong) but it would also open the way for people who disagree with them to take control.
The End of Racism
It’s a sad fact about the human psyche that at our most, base our drive to survive, is often coupled with putting others down. Racism is about control. It’s about surviving at the top of the food chain. We are still racist because we still don’t see other humans – who are also trying to survive. We’re so busy focused on our own priorities that we don’t realize that we’re being greedy. If our children were to act so greedy with resources, bullying, and treat their classmates with the same indifference and superiority that most adults who use the term “I’m not racist but” do, they would be ashamed of them.
There isn’t going to be a solution to racism until it simply stops being important. Morgan Freeman once said that to eliminate the problem- we need to stop talking about it and he’s right. By identifying as black or white people rather than just people we create labeling and division. To stop the division in the first place the power behind those words needs to go away, either because they have become so common that they’re no longer forbidden, or by stopping the reaction that they create.
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