By: Ernie Hurt
Not since the turbulent times of the 1960’s, has the issue of racism been on the public’s mind as it is today. Recent events in Missouri and New York have shaken the issue back into the forefront of American’s lives, leaving another trail of pain and frustration for people of color.
The atmosphere is different since the times of Martin L. King and Malcolm X, with alliances of every race standing up for the widespread prejudice. American people of every shade of skin have protested en mass in several major cities for justice and for recognition of the crimes of criminal police.
Racism pretty much built this country as sad is it is to say. In the early 1600’s, English Protestants faced oppression in their homeland and decided to find a place to escape persecution- a place which would become the North American continent that many of you live in today.
When they arrived they were met by natives of color. More often than not, they reacted with hostility and violence, believing that the natives were savages and of an inferior race and morality. After several generations, the federal United States was born and prospered with the massive work forces of African Americans that were imported as cattle to ease the lives of often wealthy plantation owners.
Despite the fact that slavery had been going on since biblical times, southern Americans fed the horrid beast of racism, even to the point of war. With the Confederate Army losing the Civil War, African Americans would still have to face the lion’s share of the racism in our country for the next several decades.
Even though a lot of the ongoing tribulations we are in the midst of today are based on white police officers killing black citizens, I still think that we as Americans have forgotten that racism, or more correctly-bigotry- is bigger than Black or White. My great-great-grandfathers came from Eastern Europe and Wales. They came during the huge immigration of foreigners into the United States during the 1800’s. Many never even made it off the ship before being beaten and robbed. They also faced racist scum from the bottom of the “melting pot”.
Believe it or not, when the Amish emigrated from Germany, many Americans treated them as bad as any other ethnic group that attempt to chase the American dream. From the Asians that built the great railroad systems to the Mexican Immigrants that inspired the American Southwest, Racism was the bedrock of our system.
But I digress; there is hope for our country yet. I consider myself to be a bit cynical of modern society, but I feel that relations between Caucasians and other races have improved quite a bit. People are opening their eyes and seeing that life is bigger than color. We as humans, face so many more threats that require us to join forces to combat the True Enemy.
The Earth is trashed, religious nuts continue to kill for their gods, and the Sun could explode at any moment. I understand that innocent people have given their lives to open the wound of social injustice, but can we as evolved beings still condone violence and nonsensical actions to find our justice?
March if you must, but please consider the bystanders. Consider the police officer that has to go home and deal with his bitchy wife and drug addicted teenage son. Consider the store owner that will have nothing if his shop is burnt and looted. Last but not least, consider your kids. Do we really want to teach our children that violent demonstrations are a logical solution to a problem that is deeper than logic?
Racism is not in our DNA, it is taught and ingrained into people of all races.
Maybe instead of fighting, we should take time to open our minds and see the simple truth that people are people. We all are made of the same shit and we all strive to survive within our environment.
In closing, I leave you with a quote from Muhammad Ali:
“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
Think about this the next time you feel like you have been done wrong and ask yourself, Is it the color of their skin, or is this person just a dick?