ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Racism And Humanity: Why Can't We Just Accept Each Other?

Updated on June 2, 2020
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.

Source

It's Nearly Impossible To Know What To Say

Like pretty much everyone on the planet who's been following the news even peripherally, I still am trying to process exactly what happened in the moments leading up to and following the death of George Floyd.

It's easy for us Canadians to say that racism is something that predominantly happens in the United States. It's easy to dismiss what's happening in the United States right now as a uniquely American phenomenon.

But it's not.

If it was, we wouldn't have issues like we saw in the case of Sammy Yatim, a young man who aggressively moved on a passenger on a Toronto, Canada streetcar while brandishing a switchblade, and who was shot eight times by Toronto Police Officer James Forcillo. We wouldn't have issues like we're looking at in the case of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, where the family has suggested they believe the police, who through a lawyer said needs to "adjust the way they respond to calls involving people suffering crises," according to CP24, might have had something to do with her fatal fall from her balcony.

These were all people of varying lifestyles and colors, and while the investigations into Korchinski-Paquet's and Floyd's deaths are ongoing, there appears to be one common link: fateful interactions with the police, and it would be all too easy to dismiss all police as incapable, dispassionate, racist individuals who have it in for anyone who is not white.

However, this is not the case. If we were to say that all cops are like that, we are negating those who work hard to treat people fairly and without prejudice. We can't say that any one group is "just this way" or "just that way" either because then we are stereotyping people without attempting to understand what they truly are like.

I realize that I am speaking from a place of white privilege; while I've had a handful of interactions with the police, these have been limited to times when I've been issued traffic tickets for driving too quickly, and I've never once had to be in fear of what the police might do if I did something that they might deem inappropriate in the heat of a moment.

I am appalled by the numbers of stories I see where people of various ethnicities have had excessive force visited upon them during traffic stops or other interactions with the police. I am appalled by stories like that of George Floyd, who was apparently stopped by police because the store owner believed he had passed a counterfeit bill.

I'm appalled that the world we live in is a place where my own children have done research and sadly realized that racial inequality is a reality for too many. My 11-year-old actually researched instances where people who were not white have experienced excessive violence - if not death - at the hands of police, and while I was impressed that she actually looked into it for her own understanding, I am still bothered that she has now realized the magnitude of this reality at such a young age. I realize that there are those who actually live this reality at her age and younger, but it is still sad that she is getting a glimmer of how pervasive this issue has been.

I'm appalled that the United States has erupted in riots that seem to span the union. I am even more appalled that according to Toronto Star, tear gas was used to clear a peaceful protest across from a church that President Donald Trump used as a photo op as he attempted to call for an end to the violence that is currently gripping the United States. In looking at history, though, the United States has been here before; remember the Rodney King riots in 1992? Remember Stonewall in 1969?

It breaks my heart that my oldest was in tears because of what's currently happening in the United States, and I have to remind her that while the police in this situation (and, unfortunately, many other situations like it) appear to have grievously erred in handling this situation, not all police would act and react the same way. It's heartbreaking that families are watching the businesses that they have built from the ground up being destroyed because either protesting has gone horrifically wrong or people who claim they are protesting George Floyd's death are taking advantage of a tragic situation and looting.

Will anyone look at the rampant prejudice and racism that grips the United States, and in some cases, Canada, and work to end the discrimination that exists? That remains to be seen. If there's anything we can learn from history it's that very frequently, we humans have a hard time learning the lessons from our past.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)