The mass murders committed by Connecticut resident, Omar Thornton, earlier this week, were a tragedy no doubt, but they reveal what a lot of Blacks still face nowadays. Regardless of how the media, politicians and local and federal law enforcement spin it, racism is alive and well and it’s kicking as hard now as it has in the past. The difference now is that it’s masked infinitely better than it was back then. Before it was a little more blatant, but now they’ve found ways to continue the ignorance right in front of us!
When you think about it, we can only compare racism to one thing and that’s our crazy uncle. The same one no one wants to see or hear at get-together’s. At family gatherings, you try your best to make sure he isn’t invited and when you find out is, you hope he doesn’t make it. But if he does, you try to keep him away from everyone and/or handle him with kid gloves because if he starts talking, the truth about the family is revealed and you can’t shut him up; and since he’s an alcoholic, you blame everything he says on his drinking, yet you never speak on the truths he is revealing and instead sweep them under the rug.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is racism in America in a nutshell.
As a dark-skinned Black man, I experience racism daily. On the streets, in stores, on public transportation and at work. You name the place and I’ve experienced it there. There’s even bias amongst Blacks, but that’s another story for another time. If I could reveal all the instances of racism I encounter on a regular basis, I’m quite positive most Blacks would agree while whites would think I’m overreacting.
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Just pick up the paper and see how the news is reported daily and you’ll see why other races are biased against Blacks.
For example, let’s talk about former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s daughter, Caroline Giuliani. Since her shoplifting incident, she’s been treated with kid gloves, yet, several months ago, New York Governor David Paterson’s son, Alex Paterson, was detained for rolling dice and his photo was plastered across the front pages of our local TV sets and newspapers. Giuliani’s daughter? She was treated as a side note by local and national media as the store decided against pressing charges.
Another example: I go to many parties and the treatment of Black patrons at venues that mostly cater to us are vastly different from the treatment of white patrons at venues that mostly cater to them. I’ve seen, in too many instances, how the police treat us as criminals even when we aren’t doing anything wrong. One example is when we are either entering or leaving a club and are gathered on the sidewalk. As a people, we are harassed to the point that the police officers are practically daring us to say anything that would ‘provoke’ them to arrest and/or physically remove us from where we are. Yet, I’ve seen scores of white people standing outside of a club, acting belligerent in front of the cops, and they do nothing but watch. I’ve even seen drunk, disrespectful whites yelling at police officers and all they do is tell them to calm down. No, not with Blacks, if we are on the block, we’re doing something wrong in their eyes.
I can go on and on about the blatant and hidden racism that goes on daily, but you can read between the lines when you hear justifications like the ‘Stop and Frisk’ tactics, which is a legal way to harass Blacks and Latinos. What else? How about the hiring practices at corporate companies, subpar treatment at restaurants, housing discrimination, the criminal justice system, etc. The list goes on and on.
So in the end, I ask the question: “Will racism ever go away?” In my lifetime, I doubt it. With the way all of our systems work, we will be facing racism for the next several generations….