We’re Not There Yet

Politics

It’s always sad when the Daily Show has to use humor to point out a huge problem in our society that the media is incapable of reporting.

Yes, we still have a huge problem with race in this country and no, the problem doesn’t just exist merely because we are saying it’s a problem.

As I see it through a white man’s eyes, the crux of the issue is too many white folk refuse to acknowledge that it’s still a problem. Many blacks and Hispanics know all too painfully that abject racism is still around. Just because America has a black president doesn’t mean that all of our racial ills are absolved.

Anytime anyone tries to point out a racial disparity, whites are too eager to say that it’s only an issue because it’s being made an issue. Then to top it off, whites want to call blacks and Hispanics racists because they’re trying to fight for their rights.

Pretending there isn’t a problem is just plum ignorant. When there is a strong reaction among a minority class about anything, it usually means there is something to it.

Nothing highlighted this problem more than the Trayvon Martin case. I’ve written about this case ad nauseum and I won’t go into the details of it. I will restate the central issue of the case’s racial underpinnings: would Trayvon Martin have been let go or acquitted if he killed an armed George Zimmerman? My contention is no, he’d been arrested and charged.

But unfortunately, whites don’t see this conundrum. There are still two Americas, two justice systems and two views on race in this country – black and white.

Whites living between 1865 and 1965 saw what was happening to blacks in this country and willfully chose to ignore it. Now, whites now don’t even see that racism is going on.

I won’t pretend that I know what it’s like to be a minority. I’m a southern, white male and racism is not something I experience. So I can’t fully appreciate what minorities face on a daily basis. I do know enough though to see there are things that need to change.

Yes we have made great strides. We have a black president. There are three women and two minorities on the Supreme Court. The majority of college degrees are earned by women.

Things have progressed.

But there ARE still issues. Until we at least make a step in the right direction and learn about those issues, they’re never going to go away.
My overall fear is not just that racial equality will stagnate; I’m afraid that it will begin to move backwards.

If that happens, recovery will be even harder to come by, especially when people don’t, and won’t, see that a recovery is necessary.

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