StLSass

Archive for November 2015

Yes, I am a white woman who was born and raised with all the white privilege one could ask for, and yes, in my lifetime I have been guilty of not understanding what exactly people of color are so bent out of shape about at times. However, over the past year as I have found myself “waking up” to the world and what has actually been going on all around me, one thing that has surprised me the most is the blatant racism that I have noticed in so many aspects of my everyday life. I thought we were living in 2015 not 1950. Yet slowly I have come to see exactly why communities of color are so pissed off, and I too, have become pissed off at the ignorance of so many people that continues to perpetuate the racist world we live in.

Being a St. Louis native, the events of Ferguson last fall really hit home. What also hit home was all of the posts on Facebook that popped up in my feed so quick to praise Darren Wilson and condemn Michael Brown as a thug who got what he deserved. He was black, he shoplifted, and then he attacked an officer, so for too many, it was cut and dry that this boy deserved to die. Death. An entire life lost, and according to so many it was justifiably so. However, let’s change two things. Let’s say he was white and this was had happened in West County instead of Ferguson. I can’t help but think that all of those support Darren Wilson posts I saw on my feed that would have been swiftly replaced with outcry about police brutality and calls for a change in policy.

It is that right there, that irks me the most. People who can’t see the bigger picture of everything that is wrong with our society that led to the almost inevitable events of Ferguson. That because police abuse of power in predominant neighborhoods of color is so accepted in our justice system, that it has become “okay” for an office to use deadly force against an unarmed child because he was “big, black, and scary”.

People don’t seem to understand racism and everything that it encompasses. They don’t understand that it is an issue about HUMAN equality in ALL things. They don’t understand the long list of obstacles that is automatically handed to a person of color simply because they were born with darker skin. Obstacles such as having access to quality education, being targeted by laws and law enforcement, overcoming income inequalities, facing discrimination in the work force, or hell, facing discrimination potentially everywhere you go in the world. Let’s see how well most people would have fared in life if they were born into a world that is constantly reiterating that they are a lesser person. It’s not even just racism towards yourself, it is towards your entire family, towards your community, for generations and generations.

To begin to understand those inequalities is a start to understanding racism and the deep roots that it has in our society. This is where we need to start. With an understanding of ALL the injustices that people of color are subjected to, how those have affected their everyday lives, and how that ultimately effects every situation in their life. It is only when we start to understand theses deep roots present in our everyday lives that we start to see the truly large and destructive divide that racism has cause in our society.

It is so much more than white vs. black. It is advantage vs. disadvantage. It is about feeling like your rights matter just as much as the person next to you, and our constitutional right to feel equal.

Today so many claim they don’t see in color, but what they are really doing is simply saying “Okay, we’re equals now”, without taking any action to fix the underlying issues that have created this huge racial divide. Words without actions is not enough. We must stand beside each other, as equals, and fight back against racism and the current world that it has created.

…So to those who think that the people of Ferguson went too far, who feel that the events that transpired at Mizzou recently were a silly charade, or who think that racism isn’t really an issue in today’s society… You are the ones who don’t understand. You are the ones who need to change. YOU are the problem.

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