- Dec 2018
- New England
Change doesn't happen in a day and it doesn't happen evenly. Yes, there's ugliness and you often don't have to look to hard to find it.I've brought this up before after realizing just what friends of mine go through on a regular basis. We like to think we have all moved past racism after the 60s, but we haven't as much as we might like to think we have. I have black friends who, if they are alone, will not walk on the same side of the street as a young white girl for fear of making her uncomfortable. They will fill their gas tanks full beforehand on long trips to avoid having to stop for gas in certain states. They will only go in certain retail stores if accompanied by white friends.
I asked why. They have all said, "it's not worth the risk if somebody decides they have it out for you, or want to blame their shit on someone else. You're a stranger and a black man- easy target and easy to blame for anything. One little thing goes wrong and you end up in jail for not doing anything."
That is disgusting that American citizens have to feel that cautious. The sad thing is, they're right. That is sadly, reality. Overcoming that kind of BS works for the extremely talented like say, Michael Jordan. It does not work for the average black guy. That's not just a hurdle, it's a massive wall that they have to deal with.
We have got to start acknowledging that this still goes on and then we have to start working to eradicate it.
Yet in the span of half a century we went from institutionalized segregation to a point where an electorate that was 75% white voted a black man into the White House, twice. Is there another nation in the world where this dynamic -- a member of a historically oppressed minority is elected as leader by the historically oppressing majority -- anywhere else in the world, ever?
Racism is not particularly an American issue; it's a human failing, and I think an argument can be made that the US has dealt with it better than most, and possibly better than any nation ever has.