Modern-Day Racism In America
In the latest episode of "Who Is America?" Sacha Baron Cohen held a meeting at City Hall with folks in Kingman, Arizona.
The purpose of the meeting - aside from pranking the folks - was to see how they would react to a Mosque being built in their town with the promise of some major economic development for the city.
As the discussion spiraled out of control with outrage from the citizens who attended the meeting, the subject of mutliculturalism was brought up by one of residents.
As Cohen's character praised the man for bringing it up and adding how Black folks and multiculturalism help provide a boost to the economy, the community and so much more, the conversation became even more heated with one of them saying:
“There are black people here that aren’t welcome. We tolerate them. They’re lucky to be here at all.”
Here's the thing. I'm not at all surprised by that statement. I wasn't shocked in the least. Because that statement is a testament to the America we live in. It's the America we've lived in our whole lives.
We were born into this.
While many folks haven't been fully aware of it, most people are just starting to wake up and see it for what it is, and what it has been.
It is a testament to the toxic environment people of color are subjected to on a daily basis. We are simply tolerated. It doesn't matter how much we contribute to society, we are just tolerated.
Lucky to be here at all.
Regardless of how ignorant the people who say these things may be, there are those who are lawyers, doctors, cops, judges and politicians who are the power behind the institution of racism that this country thrives on.
These educated racists might have been a little more low-key with their racism throughout their lives, but they now reside in positions of power, in sheltered communities, above the law.
In America we have two types of racists. We have street level racists like the folks represented in Kingman, Arizona and we have the hidden racist who wield true power.
The power to ruin lives, commit murder, kidnap children, and oppress marginalized groups without consequence. Without pushback. Without accountability.
I've dealt with street level racists my whole life. Fighting back. Calling them out. Exposing them.
It wasn't until I got older that I started to see just how corrupt and racist our societal system in America really is. And it was because of people of color who have stood up to expose these things - and continue to do so - that any of us are aware of it at all.
I'm happy to have joined them in this fight bringing my experiences, my knowledge, and my ideas to the table because in order to win, it's going to take all of us.
More and more Americans are starting to wake up to this and becoming allies. Pushing back and holding those in power to account.
Sure, street level racists are a problem, but they can be dealt with in the same ways we have dealt with them throughout history.
But to deal with those in power requires a new line of thinking. A next level strategy that's already working it's magic through the power of diversity. It's that thinking that will truly turn this country around with real tangible results and lasting change.
It may or may not happen in our lifetime, but we must remain committed to laying the groundwork for future generations to keep pushing for a truly free society.
We must do this in the names of those who came before us providing us with the blueprint for success.
Racism and bigotry in America still exists in 2018, and they're more pervasive than ever.
We can change that.
It's up to us and only us.
You have two options right now. You can join the fight, or get out of the way. I remind you that silence only benefits and emboldens the oppressor and I will not be silent. None of us should be. Because if they can come for us, they can come for you too. Don't think they won't.
I know what I'm doing.
What are you going to do?