White America Is Waking Up To Black America’s Centuries Long Struggle

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racism is wrong

As the saying goes: The first step to a cure is admitting you have a problem. For a very, very long time, White America simply refused to admit that Black America was a very, very different and horrible place. A place where the color of your skin could literally cost you your life.

The good news is, America is finally FINALLY taking that first step (again):

A recent study suggests that larger numbers of white people may have evolved their thinking about deaths of unarmed black men in police custody. In January of this year, in reference to Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, 56 percent of white people thought the police shooting of the teenager was an “isolated incident,” as opposed to the 31 percent who believed it was “part of a broader problem,” according to a YouGov survey. Contrast this with a poll in taken in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore recently, where just 36 percent clung to the idea that it was an “isolated incident,” while 38 percent saw it as “part of a broader problem.”

And this is why it’s important that we constantly talk about how minorities are treated differently than whites. This is why it’s important to talk about every unarmed black man gunned down by police. This is why #BlackLivesMatter, well….matters.

You see, it’s very easy for the white majority of America to bury its head in the sand. After the news footage of Selma shocked America, we paid attention for a little bit and then went right back to ignoring the problem. There was a bit of public outrage after Rodney King, and then we just shook our heads and went back to shopping at the mall. We took that first step, decided the long road to true equality and freedom was too much and closed our eyes again.

But now, there’s a constant bombardment of stories about the police murdering unarmed minorities. It’s not that it’s happening more than it used to, it’s simply being caught on film more often and we are a very visually oriented society. We may not believe it until we see it but when we see it over and over and over, it damn well changes our way of thinking.

It’s almost literally a reversal of the ongoing trend where the evening news drastically over-represents black men in reports of criminal activity. Show black people (unfairly) as criminals and people will think of them as criminals. On the other hand, show them (accurately) as the victims of unwarranted police violence and people will start asking why this is happening.

After all, you can wave away Rodney King as a junkie that “had it coming,” but what about Tamir Rice, a twelve-year-old gunned down in under two seconds for playing with a toy gun? What about John Crawford III, a man standing in a Walmart talking on the phone while also playing with a toy gun? What about Eric Garner, a man allegedly selling loose cigarettes? It’s become impossible to pretend that every instance of the police killing an unarmed black man was the fault of the black man. Even though only a small fraction of those deaths are caught on film, the fact that so many of them show a reckless disregard for human life by the police is changing the public’s perception of law enforcement.

Once upon a time, the police were over the moon with the advent of mass surveillance. It allowed them to treat everyone like a criminal and gave them power to harass whoever, whenever and however they wanted. Now, that mass surveillance is being used against them and may finally force them to stop behaving like an occupying force in black neighborhoods.

The best part about all of this is that as (white) people start to understand that the police treat minorities differently, it lowers their resistance to the idea that America itself treats minorities different. After all, if the cops think its OK to harass, beat and murder black men with stunning regularity, is it really that hard to believe that, say, banks charge black people higher interest rates, or simply deny them loans and mortgages based solely on the color of their skin?

Is it really a stretch to believe that black children are suspended and expelled for behavior that earns their white counterparts a slap on the wrist? And just how often do lawyers and judges throw the book at black men while letting white men off with a warning? Why is it that crack, a drug traditionally used by blacks, carries mandatory sentences that are harsher than cocaine, an almost identical drug traditionally used by white people? And doesn’t it strike anyone as strange that two identical resumes, one with a “white”  name and one with a “black” name can be submitted, but the “white” name is the one that gets 50% more call backs?

Once you accept the reality that black people are systematically discriminated against and have been for longer than you’ve been alive, That’s when change occurs. That’s when you can make a conscious choice to push back against the constant programming to be afraid of black people. That’s when you realize that you can take steps to shield your children from that same programming. And that will inevitably lead to the end of the white supremacy that so much of White America is dedicated, either consciously or unconsciously, to preserving at all costs.

The end of White Supremacy does not mean the beginning of White Discrimination, it simply means an end to Black Discrimination. The playing field will be even. That, unsurprisingly, terrifies a lot of white people. But there’s only so many unarmed black men they can watch be callously murdered by police before their revulsion and outrage overrides their fear.

Even in AmeriKKKa.

 

Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info

 

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