Generally, I get straight to the point in my opinion pieces in order to be concise and maintain my audience’s engagement.
However, I’d like to start with a plea. Many people who read an article centered on racial issues stop reading midway because of their disbelief that racism is present and dangerous. However, I beg readers of this article to read every line of it and try to get a true understand an issue that tends to be ignored.
Each week, a new racially-related incident occurs, and is given nationwide attention via social media and news outlets. In the past couple of weeks alone, the President pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the charges against him for his discriminatory approach to finding undocumented immigrants that violated the rights of many Latinos. He was even called a ‘patriot’ by the President in one of his tweets.
Additionally, during a DUI traffic stop in Cobb County, Georgia, Lt. Greg Abbtt told the white woman he pulled over, “We only kill black people,” as a way to calm her down when she claimed she was scared to move. These are not isolated incidents; they are only representative of the wider spread amount of racism that is felt everyday by people of color.
Although many White people watch these incidents in horror on the television and see them on their phone notifications, very few make genuine efforts to speak out against the hatred that their counterparts face daily.
White people get to turn the television off after seeing these incidents and return to their lives of less oppression and more privilege. Minority groups can’t turn off the discrimination and adversity like a television.
Just because large rallies led by Neo- Nazis, White supremacists and White nationalists such as Charlottesville don’t occur every day, doesn’t mean minorities don’t face hatred and discrimination that is illegal on paper, but prevalent in real life. Minorities can’t be the only ones who fight bigotry that affects their daily lives, there has to be some White support. For some White people to be passive about racism or completely deny it is as bad as the White people who perpetuate racism themselves.
Just because an issue doesn’t directly affect you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stand up for what is right. By doing nothing about someone else’s suffering caused by institutionalized racism, you portray yourself as someone who condones racism.
Not every effort made has to involve making picket signs and marching in the streets screaming clever chants. Making a difference can start with not electing leaders who discriminate against people of color and holding them accountable for when they do. It can also start with calling out racism that you may see a friend or relative potray.
Take a look at where your humanity lies at the end of the day. Asking why you should make an effort to combat racism is essentially asking why you should care about another human being. By that point if you remain passive, tone-deaf and uninterested, just know that you are taking part in keeping racism alive.
All I can hope is that this resonates with White people who refuse to acknowledge the truth to racism. Newsflash: it’s real.