UNITED STATES—Race, it is a loaded word one that so many people clam up and turn around in fear to discuss and it baffles my mind. For some reason we live in a world where the word ‘race’ or any discussions around race make people uncomfortable. I don’t know why, but guess what America: WE NEED TO GET OVER IT! Race exists in this country and the more we ignore the notion that race doesn’t matter we continue to see the issues that we have regarding discussions about race and how it impacts our country economically and socially.
For starters, slavery has to be the big one that I cannot fathom why we cannot talk about it in schools and why we cannot have a conversation in general about it. No matter how much people attempt to ignore it, slavery is a black scar on this country. It existed for hundreds of years, it tore families apart and it was a brutal mistreatment of Blacks in this country. I have no clue the number of slaves who were killed, who were brutally beaten, women who were raped, children who died from working in extreme heat in the fields; the list can go on and on.
The one thing people fail to acknowledge about slavery is that it was economically beneficial to many Whites in this country who were slave owners. They got free labor people. They used that labor to make money and that money turned into generational wealth for many families in the present day rather you want to hear it or not. Hell, we had a Civil War in this country as a result of slavery where people did not want it to end and there were others who thought it was vital to make amends for a wrong.
We had segregation in this country up until 60 years ago. Think about that America! There were people who could not dine, eat or visit certain areas because of their skin color. Could you imagine not being welcomed into a public place because of your skin tone? That would be a tough pill to swallow would it not? No one wants to hear these details, but this is the history of the United States. You may not like it, but it happened, hell in some parts of the country it is still happening and it’s like a secret that people don’t want to talk about.
Discussions around race are not geared towards hateful rhetoric; I think that is a myth. The goal of discussions about race is NOT to spread hate or anger its education and this notion of white guilt people need not to internalize, but understand racism has a direct impact on the person or persons who experience it. If you have never been discriminated against or judged on your skin color you have no idea what that does to a person on a psychological level. Don’t ignore the conversation about race, participate, so we don’t further perpetuate issues that continue to repeat themselves in the present.
People who grow up being isolated or uneducated that other races exist tend to be ignorant or uneducated on how to interact with such and as a result based how they should ACT or BEHAVE as a result of things they have seen on TV, in MOVIES or in the NEWS. Guess what? Not all you see is true or accurate.
I’m a firm believer that racism is not inherent it is taught. People are taught to be racist at an early age. For a lot of people it’s a direct result of grandparents and parents who grew up in a time where keeping races distant from one another was acceptable and they haven’t evolved with the times.
Hell, it’s 2022, and if you think race isn’t an issue, just watch “Big Brother 24” where a White contestant wanted to create an all-White alliance out of fear that all the people of color were working together because they were similar. Really? Really? Yeah, it blew my mind watching and the edit of the producers to NOT show all that was actually transpiring, when those who watch the live feeds know exactly what was going on in the house, proves once again the issue about race no one wants to discuss because its uncomfortable.
Guess what, life is uncomfortable and we need to get over it. The more we clam up when issues about race are discussed the bigger the problems we’re going to continue to have and we’re going to continue to make the same mistakes as made in the past people. Have the conversation, learn, educate and be better than what those before us were. People will argue back why we have to discuss race it’s so we don’t repeat the past people.
You cannot sit here and say you don’t see race because guess what we’re not a colorblind society. We’re a country that likes to identify and group people. It’s unfortunate, but it is WHAT WE DO! When you fill out an application there is always a question asking you to identify your race in most situations. Could it be a way of grouping people or attempting to understand how we can ‘collectively group’ people? Very much so, but unless everyone happened to be blind, race is always going to be a discussion people. We see and we automatically identify. We should NOT be doing that, but we are and we should stop lying to ourselves about it.
We can all be better about not judging a book by its cover or relying on stereotypes to determine or assume how someone not like us might behave. I always say stereotypes can be dangerous because they can lead to prejudices which ultimately lead to racism and discrimination. It’s a domino effect America, read a book, have a discussion, learn about others and DO NOT base what you think or perceive on what you’ve heard or seen, but thru actual interaction.
The word ‘race’ is not a dangerous thing, its life, we’re different there is no secret, but just because we don’t look the same doesn’t mean we don’t share more similarities than differences. If we can only get to that core, this country will grow tremendously.
Written By Peter Sanders