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Updated on August 1, 2015



A Gallup poll conducted by CBS News reveals that nearly six in 10 Americans, including heavy majorities of both whites and blacks, think race relations are generally bad, and that nearly 4 in 10 think the situation is getting worse. By comparison, two-thirds of Americans surveyed shortly after President Obama took office said they believed that race relations were generally good. This article tries to explain why!

Of course "race relations " is a two-way street, but when I walk on an elevator wearing a Donna Karan suit, carrying a briefcase obviously dressed for a business meeting and the white woman already on the elevator tries to squeeze in the corner while not so subtly clutching her purse I can only believe she is not seeing "a business woman" but "a black woman" who is a threat because of preconceived notions.

And when I am walking down the street in that same suit or even jeans, tennis shoes and baggy T-shirt and a white man circles the block beckoning me because of his preconceived notions that ALL black women must be hos (slang for whores for those of you who don't know) or sluts ...again I can only conclude he is not seeing "a business woman," or just "a woman" out for a walk," but his preconceived notions of what he believes "a black woman" is based on centuries of stereotyping.

Now, to say that all white people do that would, indeed, be stereotyping and to unfairly and unreasonably treat all white people badly because those things routinely happen to me and most black folks, would be prejudice. But you don't have to live and work in a predominantly black world, so you have the luxury of keeping black people in the periphery of your existence.

But for people of color in this country, living on your periphery has never been a luxury and we are living in a white man's world. Most black people I know, including myself, have several white friends (I'm talking about friends you invite to dinner, whose children and parents consider you part of the family), as well as Asian, Hispanic and other races...but for most of my white friends I am the only black friend they have. So perhaps we could all just start relating to one another as just "people," hmm?

But once we do that we'll have to stand up for ALL people when we see consistent and blatant injustices done to any people -- be they black, white, brown or purple. Lastly, stereotyping and prejudice are wrong from wherever it stems, but when the political system, judicial system, and the police system relies on stereotypes and prejudice to determine one's fate that is a travesty for this so-called Melting Pot...a country supposedly built on the idea that "all men are created equal."

You see the only way to "hold these truths to be self-evident" while holding slaves and defending the moral, spiritual and ethical implications of slavery was to systematically de-humanize black people through stereotypes that blacks were godless, unfeeling, sexually charged animals who needed to be controlled for their own good ...else how could the Massa and his Missus sleep at night, look themselves in the mirror and go to church like they were actually godly people.

And that dehumanization continues today or there would be masses of white people protesting the blatant police brutality against black people that is in everyone's face now ...instead of naively asking "Why is race relations a one way street." If you saw us as just people, let alone Americans who deserve no less than any other American, you would not only be outraged, you would be heartbroken that anyone would be subjected to such blatant disregard for human life.

Of course race relations are worse since a country built on enslaving and oppressing Native Americans, Chinese, African Americans and all people of color elected its first Black President. Every racist belief and tendency became magnified by those who believe they have something to lose if they open their minds and hearts to the same people they've oppressed (or idly sat by in their suburbs and do nothing to right obvious wrongs).

White South Africa fought against black majority rule for so long because they feared the people would take revenge for decades of violent repression. But that didn't happen because Nelson Mandela -- a man who forgave his jailors, treating them like human beings to the point they came to love him -- led that country to a place of commonality, peace and ultimately community.

If any discussion you're having on "race relations" does not acknowledge the root of the problem-- that this country was built on violence against people of color that continues daily you are just part of the problem.

So why is "race relations" a one way street? Isn't it also about how people of color relate to white people? It seems to me, there is a lot of stereotyping and prejudice on behalf of people of color as well as whites.


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    • profile image

      Big E 2 years ago

      I could protect white people better if I was a black man. I want to go undercover as a black man.

      if I was a black boss I could get more productivity out of black employees.

      if I was a black police I could handle black criminal better.

      if I was a black teacher I could get more out of black students.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I think there are forces like the progressives for instance who could not care less about race, class, and sexual orientation. I think their real end game is to get America to a point where someone like Bernie Sanders can admit his support for socialist policies can be elected anyway. All other programs or policies are constructed to either weaken opposition to the notion of a socialist government or to strengthen support for it.

      If you look at things through that prism then it becomes clear that progressives might use racial issues on purpose to divide and conquer. But if this analysis is true then they are not looking for racial equality or racial harmony. If you look at things that way then some of the otherwise inexplicable things that are said and done perhaps become a little clearer.

      There are many other threads that are being woven into this tapestry but one that I want to point out here is this one: There is no reason for progressives to stop doing what they are doing even if we don't like it. They are wining. Note for instance that a group of angry republicans took control over the house and senate and the next thing you know the republican leadership is rolling over for almost all of Obama's policies and only giving token lip service to opposing Obama. Why change when you always seem to win in the end?

      There is one questionable tactic that could come back to haunt even the master tactician progressives. That is their ongoing effort to weaken and attack Biblical Christianity while encouraging Islam and Sharia law. No matter what they say to the contrary, Biblical Christians will eventually stand idly by and watch their nation being changed in a way that not only does not include then but actually criminalizes what they believe. This has already happened in places like Canada and Europe and will inevitably happen in the US. However, all of the freedom , power and autonomy that the progressives are giving to Islam, Muslims and Sharia law means they are raising up a rival that believes that God and not Karl Marx is the sole arbiter of truth. And Muslims don't roll over and play dead the way Christians do.