RACISM - IT IS A REALITY
Racism has been a part of our society for many years. The sad truth is that it is more prevalent than ever. It seems every day you hear the stories of racism being played out in every corner of our society. The fact is that as long as people ignore it and act like it doesn’t exist, the worse it will get. The only way to resolve a problem is to admit and take responsibility for having a problem. The election of President Obama has exacerbated the issue of racism, but let’s not be so naïve as to think the problem wasn’t already there. It seems racism rears its ugly head when one race feels threatened by another race. I believe fear is what encourages racism and hate. What needs to happen is for people who are tired of all of the hate decide that we will no longer tolerate racism and hate in our workplaces, schools, police departments or any other part of our society. It is not farfetched to think this could happen. It will take people to not turn a blind eye when you see or experience racism. I think people tend to ignore racism if it does not directly affect them, but think about this, what if someone hated you or your child just because of the color of their skin? Imagine how that would affect your life. Wouldn’t you be afraid to leave your home? Afraid to allow your child to go to school? Afraid of losing your job? Afraid to drive your car at night in fear of being harassed? These are all real realities for some people that live in our society. Is it fair for someone to live in so much fear just because their skin color is different?
The best thing we can do for the future of our country is to refuse to tolerate racism on any level. My mother raised us in multi-cultural neighborhoods, so I was not really exposed to racism until I became an adult. I raised my children to not judge people based on their race, and I am so proud of the young men I have raised. It is not impossible to stop the trend of racism, but it will take people being more conscious of it, and every now and then taking a stand that may be unpopular in your social circles. I wish I could say that there was an easy solution to this problem, but there isn’t. Some people just feel that others are inferior to them and not worthy of the same lifestyles and comforts that they enjoy. I personally believe that you should be treated with respect and dignity in this country if you work hard, pay your taxes and abide by the law. There is no one race that owns this country and has the right to tell others, who is worthy to be here and who is not based on a person’s skin color.
Have you ever heard someone say that they are not racist, but admit if someone of another race moved next door to them, they wouldn’t like it? These people are racist. A couple of years ago I bought a home in a nice area of town, and a week after closing on the home a racial epithet was painted on the fence. It was hard for me to imagine that this kind of thing still exists in our society, but it does happen because it happened to me. Racism is very hurtful because it makes you feel like no matter how hard you work or how much money you make, you will never be good enough to live in certain neighborhoods or have your children attend certain schools.
For those of you that feel that racism is a thing of the past, I am here to tell you that it is alive and well in our society, and until people recognize the problem, and put stricter laws in place to combat this problem, it will continue. If you have friends or family that spout racist views, educate them and let them know they are destroying the fabric of this country by holding on to racism and hate.