Friday, March 13, 2015

Racism and the 21st Century...

I'm sure this comes as no surprise, but racism in America does in fact exist. It is still a problem, though, it is not the problem everyone thinks it is. Yes, the SAE frat at OU (and possibly other campus') was/is racist. They were WRONG. They are ignorant people blindly following a path of intended ignorance (because, let's be honest, in this day and age, we see things daily that should change the bold, all encompassing generalizations that are the root of, not "seeing" the hipocrisy is INTENTIONAL). Yes, this ignorance is not the province of the uneducated or of purely the rich or the poor, but has no actual boundaries. The worst to me however, is how things like the SAE chant actually BREED MORE RACISM. Hate does not combat hate; they are simply the same. So, is my pointing out that SAE members involved in that hateful chant ignorant changing them? No, it doesn't. However, I know that this type of wanton stupidity will only change when it is exposed blatantly to some of these individuals, and even then, it won't always work. At the same time though, there are people who can be swayed. They can follow a path led by great individuals such as Ghandi and MLK. A path of love (or at least tolerance), and not violence or hate. For example, a friend of mine posted on FB today how the people who worked at SAE (and to a degree, I suppose he sees supported SAE) and stood up for how they were treated by members of SAE, should be "put in a fire and burn because they can all go straight to hell!" This is hate. Hate of someone who just was working for a living and through no fault of their own are now out of a job. It is the same hatred that allowed for such a disgusting chant to be created. It is the same hatred that caused two Ferguson policemen to be gunned down, because they were police. This is the same racist hatred that perpetuates this ignorance. And, since the media has created such turmoil and fed on such emotion and hatred in order to get ratings and create "racist" issues, let's talk about Ferguson for a minute. I understand the desire to say Mike Brown was a victim. But no one argues that if he hadn't been wrong to begin with, the officer wouldn't have stopped to say anything. However, let's not forget why kids from poor backgrounds have longer arrest records and lack of respect for authority and such. So, when we look at the history of why African Americans and Latinos get longer penalties for things, they also *tend* to have longer rap sheets. However, this doesn't make it a *racist* issue. Yes, historically, (and continuing today), minorities make up the majority of the poorest sections of the communities. However, as we erode the middle class, this is changing. To say, think, or feel, that these issues ONLY happen to minorities is not the case. It IS in my opinion the case, that deadly exchanges with police occur more in minorities. This is primarily because most of the poor minorities have been dealing with these issues for generations, while for most caucasians, this is pretty new...and before this, they were taught respect of police. So, do white people get shot by police? Absolutely. Does it happen less? Absolutely. But, at least part of the reason is that they aren't charging police and instigating reactions. At the end of the day, how does killing police help this cause? Root cause here is how do we provide *hope* to these people? How do we recreate the American Dream of starting with nothing and at least moving INTO middle class? How do we deter criminals in these environments as being role models? All of these items are far more significant to changing this environment for EVERYONE than the few bad police. By the way, I won't spend a lot of time on this, but I understand the outrage in Trayvon Martin's case. I understand why he would feel he should go on offensive instead of going inside...but I also understand why so many people DON'T. This understanding gap needs to be corrected in society. THIS is a major problem. Now, Eric Garner. Again, I can understand his reaction and feeling like he was being harassed. I understand the police trying to do their jobs. Does anyone REALLY feel these officers wanted to hurt or kill Eric Garner? That these police were looking for an occasion to kill someone, let alone a minority, or even more specifically an African American Minority? They were called out to break up a fight (which Garner had already done) and were asking people to disperse to avoid further issues. This is where the trouble began. Again, Garner could have left and there is no issue. The police could have backed down, and there is no issue. Neither did and it escalated. THIS IS THE PROBLEM. This is NOT RACISM. It is behavioral, and the media (and society buy in to it EVERY SINGLE TIME) treats it as racial. Let's figure out how to solve the ROOT OF THE PROBLEM rather than call it racial and assume one or the other side is wrong. So, let's stop treating every issue as racial. Let's address the root cause, which is poverty, hope and our dead American Dream and make these solutions available to EVERYONE. This can't happen until we stop taking the racial bait when race isn't an issue, and we stop treating actual racism with further acts of racism and prejudice.

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