There is no sitting this fight out. Failure to take a stand against racism is in fact taking the position that racism is acceptable. For some people, racism is like Judge Potter Stewart once described pornography, “But I know it when I see it.” For others, including defenders of President Donald Trump’s racist tweets. (One might reasonably ask, which ones?). They never see or hear the evil which is racism in order to defend the source.
The fight against racism will not be won and lost during the Presidential campaign or in the halls of the Senate or floor of the House. It will ultimately be one when We The People make clear that racism is unacceptable. Until there are actual consequences, those that engage in it will continue because more often than not, it serves a purpose.
For Trump, the best excuse for his racism is that it’s an appeal to his base; a political ploy. Of course, he wasn’t a politician when he was sued by the Federal government twice for Housing Discrimination against minorities in New York. He wasn’t a politician when he was a cheerleader for the Birther movement, claiming President Obama wasn’t born in this country. Nor when he placed a full-page ad in the New York Times advocating for the deaths of the Central Park Five who were later exonerated by DNA evidence.
“Maybe hate is what we need if we’re gonna get something done”
Never one to apologize, to this day he still attacks them and vilified the settlement they received from the City of New York.
“It’s a disgrace!”
Racism doesn’t begin and end with Trump. It would be wishful thinking that voting him out of office will be the end of racism any more than it died when Barack Obama was voted in. The Internet has given people the ability to express what’s on their mind, often anonymously. Without the fear of immediate repercussions, although some have lost their jobs by going too far on social media when they thought no one would notice.
If the same energy people use to identify, shame, and remove people from positions of influence over our children and/or our laws was extended to include your co-worker or neighbor who feels comfortable enough to share their racist views. Racism if not wiped out, could be driven deep enough into the darkness that people rightfully fear expressing it in word or deed.
What cannot be acceptable is for public officials to support the racist actions of another because it meets their needs. By supporting, ignoring, deflecting, minimizing, or mischaracterizing what we all know to be true. They are as big a problem as the original offender and should be evicted from office as well. They are not only allowing racism to exist but to prosper. To see racism and do nothing, is racist in and of itself.
When the Supreme Court turns its back on racist redistricting and gerrymandering; policies expressly designed to reduce the power of minority voters and representation. That’s racist. By allowing the proponents to declare their purpose was merely partisan and not racist. SCOTUS has aligned themselves with the racists. This is the body that gave us Plessy v. Ferguson, Dred Scott v. Sandford, and more recently Citizens United has given up the pretense of being against racism. Even the decision on race they hope we applaud is flawed. Brown v Board eliminated school segregation in name only, adding “with all deliberate speed” to dilute the result, The Supreme Court won’t eliminate racism. It must be we the people.
“We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts”
Racism is a thing not to be lived with but a thing you destroy. Endeavor both to eliminate it and not to practice it. The first thing to do though is deciding which side you’re on, take a stand. You’re either with racism or against it. If you’re with it… bless your heart. The arc of history is said to be bending towards justice. If you’re against it, you can neither be passive or silent. See something, say something… do something. You might start with elected officials from the President on down who either use racism, excuse it, or both. Anyone who justifies racist tweets or policies must be removed, if you do nothing, you’ve chosen a team.
This post was previously published on Dialogue & Discourse and is republished here with permission from the author.
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