When the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock the Native Americans became victims of racism. No one taught the Pilgrims to be racist. They were racist when they got here. If their reason for coming to the new world was freedom; why didn’t they extend that freedom to the Native Americans?
During the Civil War, 94,000 Confederate soldiers were killed, 31,000 became prisoners of war and 194,026 were wounded in battle. The decision to put their lives on the line was not a decision they made as they were eating their grits one morning. It was based on their contempt for people of color. Feeling this strongly about people of color seems to go well beyond teaching.
Before Pres. Barack Obama was in the White House long enough to use the toilet, Mitch McConnell and the present day “Dixiecrats” had a meeting to strategize how they could undermine Obama’s presidency. A new political element called the Tea Party was given birth as a direct result of America’s first president of color. One of the Tea Party’s first goals was to join Donald Trump in proving President Obama was not born in the United States. When that failed it focused on how his administration’s out-of-control spending would send America deeper into debt. Where was the Tea Party, when George W. Bush turned a $123 billion surplus, left by President Clinton, was turned into a $5.07 trillion deficit? Or as Trump sends the nation’s debt speeding into the trillions of dollars?
According to the Pew Research Center, more and more states are making it harder for people of color to vote. The most common methods used are voter ID laws requiring forms of identification that are often difficult and expensive to obtain. The presumption seems to be that people of color will vote for candidates of color. I’m a black man and if I had a choice between voting for Herman Cain or Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders I’m feeling the Bern.
Why wasn’t white America in as much of an uproar with the George Zimmerman and the Michael Dunn verdict, as they were with the OJ Simpson verdict? After all, in each case innocent and unarmed people were murdered.
Why hasn’t a white police officer killed an unarmed white person that they thought was reaching for a gun?
America’s war on drugs is a war on people of color and some of the methods used in this war are giving birth to the reintroduction of the “Jim Crow” laws.
According to the “Sentencing Project”, the American prison and jail system is defined by an entrenched racial disparity in the population of incarcerated people. The national incarceration rate for whites is 412 per 100,000 residents, compared to 2,290 per 100,000 for African Americans.
While these overall rates of incarceration are all at record highs, they fail to reflect the impact of incarceration on young African American males in particular. One in nine (11.7%) African American males between the ages of 25 and 29 are currently incarcerated in a prison or jail. The uneven incarceration of communities of color means that the effects of this situation go beyond the individual. The large-scale incarceration among young African American males presents serious long-term consequences for employment, families, and general quality of their lives and if they have children, before your incarceration, they are so far behind in their child support, when they are released, their minimum wage job will not allow them to catch up.
In her book “New Jim Crow,” Michelle Alexander writes: “People are swept into the criminal justice system — particularly in poor communities of color — at very early ages … typically for fairly minor, nonviolent crimes,”. “The young black males are shuttled into prisons, branded as criminals and felons, and then when they’re released, they’re relegated to permanent second-class status, stripped of the very rights supposedly won in the civil rights movement — like the right to vote, the right to serve on juries, access to education and public benefits like housing. Many of the old forms of discrimination that we supposedly left behind during the Jim Crow era are suddenly legal again, once you’ve been branded a felon.” “Today there are more African-Americans under correctional control — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.
Racism in America is also systematic. Any application that’s filled out in America has a race section. In this section, we are asked if we are African America, Native American, Asian American, Spanish American or Arab American. Even the Census forms ask these questions; but why don’t they have a category for European Americans instead of white? The only races that are broken down by continent are the continents of color and on every application, white is listed first.
Could Hitler’s treatment of the Jews have been a behavior he learned from American history? After all, his treatment of the Jews mirrored the European treatment of the Native Americans and African Americans; which both occurred long before there was a Hitler. I hear people say race relations, in America, are getting better. America has been a racist nation since 1619 and here we are in 2019 and racism is still one of the two most powerful elements in America. When are we going to realize it’s here to stay?
In my opinion, America has a racist element. We can talk about it, complain about it and protest against it but until the racist element is as eager to eliminate racism, as the victims of racism, it’s here to stay. One of the many lessons America has taught me is there is a difference between freedom and equality.
As I have said before, racism in America will end the day after Atlanta’s William Tecumseh Sherman Day Parade.