Racism Still Exists……REALLY???

 

not sure if you're the one

By Kenneth Justice

~ Does racism still exist around the world? Sadly…..it does.

Today in the United States we are celebrating the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” that he delivered in Washington D.C. so many years ago.

King was a civil rights activist, champion and now in the 21st century he is a legend.

King was a proponent of non-violence. He did not believe the answer to solving societal ills was through violence, murder or killing of any sorts………I wish the people fighting in Syria right now could adopt King’s views.

More than a generation after King gave his famous speech, race relations in various parts of the world are still not where they should be. In the United States, even though we have elected an African American President, there are still a lot of black-white race relations problems (coming from both sides of the aisle)

One of the things I really enjoyed about visiting Europe was the almost total non-existence of racism between whites and blacks. It was refreshing to go throughout the British Isles and observe a seamless unity in race relations.

This is not to say that Europe is some kind of Utopia when it comes to social issues; far from it. After all, it was only a few years ago that the Protestants and Catholics stopped killing each other in Ireland, and just last month I read a BBC article about growing tensions between those two groups even still!

I’ve long held the opinion that the reasons blacks and whites enjoy a greater love and respect for each other in Great Britain is because they didn’t fight a bloody civil war over the issue….am I wrong?

Slavery in the United States was ugly, evil, awful, and morally corrupt. What the whites did to the slaves is absolutely unthinkable and I’ve often thought of those white slave owners as being sub-human barbarians. They were evil.

Unfortunately, the bloody civil war, although it ended slavery……it didn’t end racism.

I look toward my English brothers and sisters in Great Britain with great respect in the way they outlawed the evil practice of slavery and were able to do it without a bloody civil war and without creating bad race relations for hundreds of years to come.

How did Great Britain do it?

I am something of an aberration in the United States, although I have the means to live in most any community I would want; I intentionally chose to live in a lower income and diverse area. I didn’t want to live in upper middle class community which is cut off from reality; cut off from diversity.

On my street I have Chaldean’s, Muslim’s who speak no English, African Americans, and Asian families who have recently immigrated to the United States.

I live in a very diverse community and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I don’t say this to ‘toot my horn’ but merely to point out that if I’m going to be consistent with what I preach; ‘that racism needs to end’, then I need to align my actions with my beliefs.

I’m sure if you analyzed my life in great depth you would find areas of inconsistency and hypocrisy……none of us are perfect.

But as someone committed to the community then I believe it is important for me to ‘practice what I preach’.

Racism needs to end.

Racism needs to end because it is something that God frowns upon.

Racism needs to end because it is morally wrong.

Racism needs to end because it is destructive to a culture.

Racism needs to end because there is a better path.

Racism will only end when everyone in a society commits their lives to ending it.

Lots of thoughts this morning as I sip my coffee……..

Kenneth

 



Categories: Really???

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

28 replies

  1. When you share that you make life choices to end Racism, that gives us all ideas of how we can make a difference. The interaction your children have with peoples of other cultures and races instill tolerance and love in them. That is more than words. That is changing attitudes in the next generation.

  2. I think a big problem in the US is the size of your country. People are able to separate themselves, not live with other cultures and hold on to their racism. You have chosen to live in a diverse neighbourhood. In the UK, most people are living in such close proximity that they are forced into diverse neighbourhoods. Eventually people learn that everyone is the same and that they can be friends, intermarry, etc…
    There is still plenty of racism in the UK but it just isn’t as tolerated.

  3. Everything terrible would end if people just stopped doing it. All Violence, all hatred, child abuse, and intolerance…everything…all we have to do is stop doing it. But we won’t…that’s the sad part.

  4. Great blog. Sadly what you say is true racism is still alive and thriving in far too many places!! Its heartbreaking and belongs in the dark ages!

  5. I really enjoyed reading your blog today! Thank you! As someone who is multi-racial, I find it extremely important for more people to have conversations about racism in order to address the issues, and begin to move forward. In America, it is probably the most “uncomfortable” topic for people to discuss, and therefore, I believe, that many simply try to avoid it. But the reality is, if we don’t talk about it then it won’t ever change.

    • Agreed; it’s tough for a lot of people to discuss because their particular lifestyles are often void of diversity.

      I have a young friend who likes to think he is highly educated, highly liberal, and highly diverse…..yet he has no African American friends and he only hangs out with white middle class kids around his age; thus, he talks about ideals and embracing everyone in love but he doesn’t practice what he preaches

  6. I still can’t fully tell if racism is taught or if it is just in certain people’s nature to be against anyone “different” from them. I say this because while I grew up in a “white” community I never found any reason to be afraid of people of other ethnicities and the only time I have ever had negative thoughts about other people it has been because of their actions and not because of the color of their skin. I know people brought up in the same environment as me and people brought up in diverse environments that do show signs of racism, racism I know their parents do not harbor. I think it just boils down to personal insecurities and how individual people handle them, until we can get society to be confident in themselves we are going to fight amongst ourselves because we haven’t figured out why we’re all so defensive yet.

  7. Interestingly most of the black people came, or are descended from people who came, to Britain in or after 1950s. Before this there were very few black people because those who had come here and stayed intermarried with the working (lower) class white population and as they were the minority the black population the white genes took over through the generations. Notably though, many slaves never came to the UK; they went to the colonies in the america’s owned by English people to pick sugar and cotton.
    Do you have classism in the US? There is a lot of unrecognised classism in the UK. If you are middle class you are likely to be able to engage successfully with society’s systems, if you are upper class you can do whatever you like, whereas if you are working class and especially if you are lower working class you will find that it seems to be quite difficult to get ahead.I think maybe you do have this as I know the expression “white trash” comes from america, which is a similar thing to what is often called a “chav” in Britain and an expression used for lower working class people (although other names for this are being considered as they’re often not working)
    This is important to this discussion because a greater proportion of black people fit into the working class category. I heard that some research found that things like career progression were better explained by class than race.
    Racism does also still exist in Britain, particularly in those areas where there are less black people. As has been mentioned it tends to reduce with intermingling. But I live in London and go to a church with many black people. They tell me some of their experiences. It’s often the little things – the people who hold their bags tighter when they see a black man – but other times its open abuse. Shockingly there is also racism within black people. dark black girls get teased for being dark by other black girls. That’s the thing that really breaks my heart.

    • ‘classism’ definitely exists here in the U.S. but because we’re such a huge country (as far as land mass) it exists in varying degrees depending on where u live. There are large pockets, like in rural states and areas, where you won’t find much of it, but in a lot of those places you’ll see higher levels of racism because there is less diversity.

      You made a lot of great points

  8. I’ve given a lot of thought to the whole question of Racism, I’ve come to determine we all have our biases and prejudices… I don’t like to admit it but the evidence is all around me…I believe the biggest perpetrators are the media and the government that both continue to point out our differences at every opportunity. I think a Standing Army (which most countries have) is an ultimate expression of Racism…

    • I can’t disagree with u TJ, one of things I love about costa rica is that they don’t have a military…..yet there is this other part of me that wonders how much more evil could occur if countries disbanded their militarists….because we know ‘all’ of them won’t. It’s a tough issue

  9. How interesting reading some of the above comments. I left my homeland as a 10 year old. My first day at school in my new adopted country, the following happened: the school dental nurse examined my teeth in front of the class and ask this question: Why are your teeth so white? The headmaster asked: Kura is a New Zealand Maori name for girls, can we call you Kura? My new place in class was, at a desk at the very back of the class. I don’t even recall anyone else being in the same row. These memories are repeated at times when in a group discussion with friends or other times, surveys. My comments are always the same: I’m 10 years old in a foreign invironment, what colour should my teeth be and brushing is using a toothbrush, my main diet was, fruit, fresh vegetables, fish, and on special occasions chicken and pork. Did the nurse think that coming from a place she doesn’t know about, my teeth would be in a bad way? All the clothes i had on was new so it had nothing to do with my presentation. I would have told her if she had asked smarter questions. Why would i want to be called anything else other than the name i met you with? Asking whether i can be called by a shorter name is one way of find out. I was being called a Cook Islander, which i neverever head of before that day.
    As i got older, i realized just how previleged my childhood had been, suddenly i was in an invironment where i was being educated to look around me and make judgement. People had different identifications whereas i only new two types: the ones with brown and white skinned which of course had no reflection of who they are, your skin, your hair, your clothes, your house, blarr blarr blarr. Sorry guys, I am from a very, very large family. The biggest from Aitutaki, the name of my island. I do not hesitate to reprimand any child within my reach that throws out descriminating comments towards anything or anyone. I cannot control what happens out there, however, i can control what is infront of me, because i believe it can make a difference when you take control of it on the spot. When out in public, i do act on it, again, when it is right in front of me.

    My name is Aiaikitekura. English is my second language. Now back to the question of racism around the world. I don’t use the word myself, however, i believe discrimation falls close enough to the meaning and it is alive and well. The majority of the time, i believe, it doesn’t come in words, it comes in actions and behaviours. My daughter, one day while in a shop with the son-in-law, got the worse reaction they have ever experience from two much older adults about being brown and white. Now, if those two adults was to ever see their children, wat would they think? Three children, the only thing brown about them you can’t really see. The 2 oldest are brown eyed and the youngest, blue eyed. Not a sign to show their mixed blood. Hey, just sharing and thank you for sharing your stories. Have a fantastic Week!

  10. Racism is just a word. It means different things, even though the core meaning is the same. I can not understand the racism in the US, since I have never lived there and I can’t quite describe as racism the fear for the unknown that some people feel in the UK. (as described by another commenter above) Things have been said about racism in Greece as well, but I am afraid that it is a bit unfair to put everything in the same bag.
    For instance, if you feel and act like every person is filled with love and kindness you are bound to get hurt. You avoid certain places not because you are a racist but because you are in danger. Some characteristics of good and evil are imprinted in the conscience of the population of each country and yet the waves of (economic) refugees have brought with them new characteristics that can not be deciphered easily, so caution is a rather easily explained reaction. But call it racism? Hmmm.

    But what I would like to throw into the discussion is the possibility to resolve cultural differences that sometimes instigate racism. I mean some ethnic groups have a certain way of behaving that some times freaks out the western society. ( In Egypt the new constitution that was passed “neglected to forbid” cliterectomy, in Bangladesh children at the age of 4 years, work like slaves for 1$ a day, in Thailand women and children are sold, etc) If someone brings such beliefs it is easy to be spotted (and since the law forbids such acts, punished), but some times the differences are slimmer and hard to notice, yet they appear and influence behavior. If we go to these countries the laws are strict for us and we have to accept their ways. But since westerners visit these countries only as tourists it is not an issue. I believe that the original idea of nations and countries, although much fought in the modern globalized world, was to keep people of same beliefs in one place, preferably the land of origin.
    I fear that racism has much to do with economic inequalities, and that if economics inequalities were resolved there might be a more serious chance for tranquility. Or maybe it is just human nature to fight each other…

    • When it comes to economic inequalities the subject gets to be a bit murky…..because its difficult to narrow down a particular standard to use.

      For instance, I go to Costa Rica every year and by U.S. standards Costa Rican’s suffer from ‘economic inequalities’ because their income, lifestyle, and other factors are VERY different and ‘less than’ the average lifestyle in the U.S…..

      however, life in Costa Rica is so much better (literally) than in the U.S…..Costa Rican’s enjoy the longest average lifespan of all countries around the world!

      Thus, while the average U.S. citizen might think Costa Rican’s are “poor”….I do not. They are very rich! They don’t need to have a huge house because they live in paradise; all their time is spent outdoors cuz the weather is perfect all year round.

      So if we used U.S. standards to judge costa rica we wouldn’t get a fair picture of the country.

      I agree with all you wrote……just pointing out that ‘economic inequality’ is a very difficult issue because of the millions of variables connected to the subject.

    • I should have been more precise about economic inequalities. What I meant is that if there wasn’t any need for people to leave their countries for a better future, the cultural and religious differences would be minimal and people happy. Now that the western world (well the wealthy 2% that resides in the western world) devours the wealth of these countries, the waves of refugees from these countries is simply a matter of economic inequalities.

  11. The question is, what is racism? Racism is discrimination according to one’s race. But the House, and everyone else, knows that discrimination is a loaded word. Let’s rephrase it. Discrimination simply means treating things differently, as in to dis-crim-i-nate, to differentiate, to recognize a difference.

    Does recognizing difference need to end? I don’t think anyone would make that claim. We should also remember what Aristotle said: to treat unlike things alike is the greatest inequality, inequality which we consider, when unwarranted to be unjust. Thus to treat things that are unlike alike is to engage in an act of injustice.

    When addressing race, the question must be as follows: Are the races sufficiently different to warrant different treatment? Should we treat the Chinese child differently from the Irish child, and both differently from the Somalian child? And if so, what does that treatment look like? According to what values?

    We know that people are different and we act differently according to those differences. The elderly receive deference. The young receive guidance. The poor receive support, the rich are expected to give it. Race is much the same issue. We simply need to consider what such treatment should look like from the position of maximal moral good.

  12. Unfortunately there is still a lot of racism in Britain it’s just been concealed and is usually hidden as a joke

%d bloggers like this: