Racism Affects Us All

Racism doesn’t just affect one group.

I’m not a minority, but that doesn’t mean racism doesn’t bother me or that I don’t notice. In fact, it doesn’t even mean I’ve never experienced it, although it certainly hasn’t been a dominating factor in my life. Anyone who lives in an area where they are a minority runs that risk.

I lived for years in an area that was, if not actually Mexican-dominant, very very close. If you were not Mexican, you weren’t treated well some places, and you could be charged more for services. In one particular example, a Mexican neighbor described going to a fashion designers sales and if she spoke Spanish she got a better price than if she spoke English, and she had gone more than once.

Stop Over-reacting

Are we entirely free of racism? No, of course no – don’t be daft. But to equate a white kid today telling a black kid they didn’t think they could get sunburned with skin that dark with living in 1961 Alabama as a black person, San Francisco as a Japanese-American after Pearl Harbor, an Irish person in mid-1800s America (or Britain), a Tutsi under the Rwandan government, American Indian tribes on the Trail of Tears, etc.etc. etc. is stupid.

One real-world example in the news was a white a teacher putting a black child’s hair into an elastic band because it was a hot day and this made the little girl more comfortable. Her mother was enraged and believed the teacher “just wanted to get her hands in some Black hair“. To reiterate: It was a hot day and she was helping the little girl be more comfortable, just like any other student. If the teacher had refused to help the little girl with her hair because of her skin color (if she didn’t want to touch “black hair”), then the mom would have been justified in crying racism.

Taking an incident where one person was clearly trying to help someone of another color and turning the facts on their heads to show “racism” does nothing to improve the situation. It actually makes it worse. After all, if trying to help others and understand your situation brands you a racist, then why not just stick to people who look like you? And that is definitely one giant leap in the wrong direction.

Things are Changing

For those who are convinced racism is still a huge issue (no one denies it exists), Herman Cain, Ben Carson, and Allen West all enjoyed wide support in their quest for the Presidency (yes, I know West didn’t run – but the idea was supported) from lots of white people, and of course Barack Obama was elected and served two terms. This includes people who have expressed racist attitudes in the past and people in groups/areas that have been very racist in the past.

Things ARE changing for the better, we just need to get our prejudices and preconceived notions out of the way so they can continue to improve.