I think that racism in America is not based mostly in hate. By and large, American Racism is built upon privilege and apathy. It’s not that most Americans hate Black people. They just don’t want to hear about Black people problems.
Not to say that hatred doesn’t exist. Violent racism definitely seems to be on the rise these days. But it’s the prevalent apathy throughout our society that keeps racism and discrimination alive.
This apathy is not just limited to race. But what I would refer to as “truth in general.” We tune out anything of great detriment to us, as if it’s a major inconvenience.
Where was all the outrage when the Catholic Church was busted for condoning and covering up generations of child sex abuse? Why do we always blame rape victims? Why are we okay with tens of thousands of lives lost to gun violence annually? Why did we gloss over the CIA admitting on live television in front of Congress, that it used taxpayer money to sell arms to a state enemy to fund terror groups in South America?
The overall simple answer is we just don’t care.
Americans, on the individual and community level, only care about themselves. If it doesn’t affect them directly, it’s not their problem. White America doesn’t care about the KKK because the Klan isn’t burning down their homes or lynching their family members. White America has no stake in racial profiling, or playground-to-prison pipelines. Not because they hate Black people. Most of White America is probably indifferent to Blacks in America, as long as we look and behave the way they expect us to (just as they do the rest of the world). They don’t hate us, they just don’t want to hear about our issues.
The only way that they will care about us is if they can relate to us. And there is plenty connections that we can relate to. After all, we are all Americans. We just have to remind eachother of that. There is no one specific “look” for being American. If you are a citizen, by birth or by bureaucracy, you are American. And so is anyone else by that measure. We do have a lot in common. We need to do a better job of reaching out to the other side of the fence.
Racism won’t be defeated by anger or hostility. Anything we do in anger will only perpetuate the circle of violence. We literally have generations of proof of this never-ending failure. We can’t end divisiveness with continued division. We only make progress when we work together, move together, as a nation.
“One Nation, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice For All.”
(My first blog post since the site redesign, I didn’t feel like taking baby steps. Expect the diversity of editorial writing to be as colorful as what many find on my Facebook timeline; however, I intend to share more thoughtful, more robust content that would have been too cerebral for social media and short attention spans – Chan)