I try to keep an open-mind. I try to educate myself as much as possible. I also try to put myself in the shoes of other people.
I must admit that I find it difficult sometimes to put myself in the shoes of people who participate in hate against those who are different from them, especially in regards to race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
I just can’t bring myself to understand how people can be so hateful. I would like to, though, so that I can help change it. It just appears that people like that don’t want to change. It’s like they have something subconsciously telling them to fight against ever admitting that discrimination in America or systematic racism is still a thing.
I am by no means justifying their behavior. But I just don’t get it. On the topic of Black Americans, this country has been horrible to Black Americans for a very long time. And you still have people protesting for their rights. Not only are people protesting against systematic racism in American cities, but they are protesting all around the world.
Why are we still fighting for basic human equality and human rights? Why? I just don’t get it. What is wrong with people? Are people really so selfish that material things and privileges are more important than people being treated equal?
I posted this question to Quora: What are your thoughts on how we can end systematic racism in the US?
Most of the answers that I received completely denied that systematic racism even exists. And of course, the people denying its existence (at least the ones with photos) were all white people.
That’s interesting. They deny what millions of people are protesting and fighting against, yet have never actually experienced it. I can’t wrap my head around how they can deny the existence of something they don’t experience.
Then I realized it is their preferred choice to deny it. Because if they deny it then they don’t have to acknowledge it. And if they don’t acknowledge it… it doesn’t exist in their world. Therefore, they don’t have to have any accountability for it. They don’t have to fear their privilege being affected by it. They fear change. They fear losing their status, their material things, or their wealth. They fear sharing too much privilege with any other race.
Here’s some of the answers I received:
“I would say that the first step is to stop pretending that there is ‘systemic racism’ in the US. Come to think of it, that’s the only step.”
“You can’t end something that doesn’t exist, systemic racism sounds like something that’s come out of a university’s campus.”
“Systemic racism ended by the early 1970s so you are fifty years late to that party.”
“There is no systemic racism in the US. The US is the least racist country in the world by far.”
“It doesn’t exist.” (this exact response was posted twice by two different people)
“There is no systemic racism in America. It’s a myth. Stop drinking the koolaid.”
“There will always be a few racist among both Blacks and Whites but there is NO systematic racism. If that were true you would not have had Obama elected or so many very wealthy Blacks!”
Those responses actually received more “up votes” than any of the response that actually attempted to answer the question. I would like to believe that means Quora is filled with a lot of people who are ignorant to how racist the American system really is… and hopefully that it doesn’t mean this is really how the average person thinks.
However, it wouldn’t surprise me. People can be very ignorant to things that do not affect them. That’s why we still have hungry and homeless people in the world, while others fly around in their private jets and own multiple mansions.
It’s rather sad to me that people still cannot see that systematic racism is a problem in America. Shit, even basic human decency and kindness are still a problem in America.
Just look at the prisons that are filled with mainly Black Americans. Black people are far more likely to be arrested on drug charges than white people. They also are more likely to be denied bail and receive more harsh and far lengthier sentencing.
To date, only 10 Black Americans have served in the Senate.
Look at the differences in the way Black people are treated by the police in America. I mean come on people!
How can you truly believe as a white person, you don’t experience life differently in America than people of color do?!
Put your privilege aside PLEASE, and try to view things from someone else’s perspective.
Unemployment is still higher for people of color. People of color are still underrepresented in high paying jobs. The wage gap still exists. People of color are still underrepresented in the government. They still don’t have the same access to healthcare. The poverty rate is still far higher among people of color. White people still have access to better education in schools that are funded much more. Banks and mortgage companies still deny people of color far more often than not. Even though, they “banned” redlining… it is still practiced.
Yes, some change is happening, but to say that systematic racism isn’t still a thing is ridiculous. It is obviously still a thing because you have an entire country of men and women protesting against racial inequality in the system.
Someone did post this as an answer:
“Eliminate “race” as a checkbox on forms.
Teach people real Anthropology.
Teach children to be kind to people different than themselves.
Seek to learn about people of different ethnicities, not to condemn them.
Seek economic justice for all and provide real economic opportunity to all who seek it.”
This gave me some hope. The first comment they made is a hard one, though, because if you eliminate race as a checkbox on forms… it could be hard to have statistics on what is really happening. I understand the meaning behind it, but I don’t know if that is a step to solve it.
I hope one day we can get to a place where we don’t need to check that box. And people don’t view people differently based on race or anything. I hope one day we can just view one another as fellow human beings. But we obviously aren’t there yet. And I hate to say, but I don’t believe we are that close. I believe we have many years to go, but we have to keep fighting.
I believe the younger generations are definitely part of the answer.
I believe they naturally believe in equality far more than older generations do.
Someone also made the comment that we should tax racism. I couldn’t tell if they were really being serious, but I do know this:
There would be a lot of broke people in America if their racism was taxed.
If you still don’t believe it is real, just ask Ben & Jerry’s about systematic racism. I imagine you have had their ice cream. Why don’t you drink some of the “koolaid” too (as one of the Quora members said) and help us make real change, rather than denying the existence. That is if you actually want it changed because with some of these people on Quora… I don’t believe they want it to be changed.
Well that’s too bad because some of us that believe in equality are DEMANDING change. And we will get that change.
Thank you for reading and cheers to those fighting in the fight to bring equality to all!
This post was previously published on Medium.com.
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