Ok, it’s been a while since I posted, and it’s due in part to me being consumed with my thoughts on racism, and not knowing how I could express these thoughts without coming on too strong (maybe I’ve been reading too many books on race relations, I don’t know). This isn’t about being an angry Black woman or anything like that, more so about the wool that’s been efficiently pulled over many of our eyes. I haven’t figured out how to tone it down, but I’m going to share my thoughts with you anyway. I think my bigger problem is that I just have too much to say, but here goes…
As of the last few years, especially these last couple of months, it seems that we’ve been bombarded by the media with racist, or seemingly racist acts here, a hate crime there, from Trayvon Martin to Oscar Grant. There are, of course, many racist acts and comments that don’t even get the media attention that the two cited above have, like the murder of James Anderson by a 19-yr-old male, or the comments of former GOP candidate Rick Santorum. The fact that this stuff isn’t well-reported on isn’t what annoys me though. It’s the fact that when it is, well, everyone seems extremely surprised. Because you know, racism doesn’t exist anymore.
As a Black woman, I am constantly confronted with comments and actions that can be deemed racist. It seems silly, that people would be overtly racist in my presence, since they know my racial make-up, right? But no. My fair skin tends to make people forget who they’re talking to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told, “Well, you’re not Black Black“, or have been “in on” jokes full of racist stereotypes (“It’s because you like fried chicken, huh, huh” as they nudge me). I’ve even had people use the N-word around me, and THOUGHT IT WAS OK! And when you check people, whoo, watch out. You’re now labeled a reverse racist and a race baiter.
Most people don’t like to hear about this, because they believe that Black people are beating a dead horse, that we need to “get over it”. While I believe that some less motivated people use our past as a crutch, there’s no denying that racism is still prevalent. Just because you don’t hear about it on the news daily, doesn’t mean it’s not happening in your own backyard. When you’re not Black (or any other racial group that’s constantly persecuted), it’s easy to convince yourself that society has gotten better, and that we’re all one big happy family. Remember, although slavery was eradicated in 1865, it was still an institution for approximately 300 years. And Black people didn’t receive equal rights until the 1965 Voting Rights Act…years after my parents were born. There are still people alive who played a HUGE part in perpetuating the race crimes, who took part in the 500 year campaign to view the people of the African diaspora as less than human …you think they changed their mindset in 1965? Yeah, right.
Point is, stop thinking that the events that happen now are rare in nature, because they’re not. If you don’t like to see it, then educate yourselves, do what you can to make sure that it actually ceases to exist. I would have liked to make this post longer, but I think you’ve read enough. I’ll also be discussing this topic on April 27th, on BWE Network. Because I don’t pretend to know everything about everything, I definitely appreciate your comments and thoughts. Oh, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!