In the wake of the recent tragedies this past week, I am writing on a topic I simply can’t ignore. Ignoring it is what got us here in the first place.
Do you remember the 90’s sitcom with Martin Lawrence called Martin? Do you remember his famous line he said all the time, especially when he was frustrated? He would say, “Can’t we all just get along?” I haven’t seen that TV show in a long time but I remember that phrase.
For the past several years here in the United States, there has been so much unrest. It seems these days we are fighting with each other over every little thing.
Other things, however, have needed to be talked about for a long time but had been pushed under the rug. Until recently. If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you know where this is going. We are talking about racism. I don’t know about you but in light of the killing of two black men by police officers this past week, then cops killed in the same week, I feel like we just re-wound the clock back to the 1960’s and we are living the civil rights movement all over again. Of course, most people who lived through that would say it was a lot worse.
Here’s the thing though, racism never went away. It was always there, trudging in the muddy waters of our collective psyche, just waiting to climb its way out again. Instead of hashing out our differences and talking about racism and how to solve it, our society decided to hide it away in our closets. They missed the opportunity back then to figure this shit out.
Yup, instead of facing the issue head on and dealing with it, they decided to stick their heads in the sand like an ostrich. Yes, they did make new policies and made discrimination illegal. They passed new laws but they didn’t TALK ABOUT IT!
Suddenly racism and sexism didn’t exist. They acted like as long as we ignore the problem it will go away – eventually. I do believe our leaders at the time truly believed that as long as they made discrimination illegal, racism and sexism in particular, would just go away. I believe their intentions were good but it didn’t solve the problem. What is the problem though? I think that’s what so many are confused about today. Because we have buried this so deep do we even know?
I was watching CNN yesterday and several intelligent people were talking. They mentioned that even though we don’t acknowledge the existence of racism, it’s in our subconsciousness. Our subconscious thoughts are every bit as real as our conscious thoughts. The best way I can try to explain this is a little snippet from my childhood.
Growing up in a major city and the surrounding areas can be a complex experience. While my family would never openly say something racist, behind closed doors I heard racist comments all the time.
When I was 16, a family member had seen a white woman walking hand in had with a black man. Interracial relationships were a big controversy back then. She said, “Look at that. That makes me sick!” I had to ask why it bothered her so much. Her response was, “Because it’s wrong!” I then said, “Well, they’re not bothering me. I’m not walking in their shoes. I’m not living their life.” I am very much about the motto, Live and Let Live.
That really pissed her off so when another female family member came by, she had to tell her all about my evil way of thinking. Both women decided to “educate” me on the evils of black men. You know the stereotypes: How they rape white women and beat them up. Except that every man who ever hurt me was actually white. I know better as an adult.
It’s that subconscious thought that I’m talking about. In all of American society whether you are white, black, Hispanic, or other; we all have these stereotypes in our heads about the other races. We have similar stereotypes between the sexes. Similar between the social classes and sexual orientation. The list goes on.
My point is this: Maybe the officers didn’t consciously attack those men out of racism. But what about subconsciously?
I don’t have an answer to solve this problem but what I do know is that we have to stop hiding our skeletons. We must bring them out of the closet and face our demons. If we don’t deal with this now, we will hand this problem down to the next generation. The two men didn’t deserve to die. The officers in Texas didn’t deserve to die. We have to do better than this! What are your thoughts? Please be respectful when commenting.
I am adding this video of a YouTuber that I like. He’s a thinker and I love thinkers. He gives another perspective.
Thanks so much for reading!
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