by Gray Graham
We are long past the time where saying I am not a racist is enough. In 1817 saying I am not a racist was a revolutionary thing. Saying I am not a racist was groundbreaking in 1917. It is now 2017 and you are going to have to do a lot more than say you are not a racist in the United States today if you want to be opposed to racism in America.
Hopefully the first thing you notice about what I just said is that it has now been over 200 years since the founding of the United States of America and we are still talking about racism as if it is a new topic. Some people say that they don’t understand that racism still exist today. Apparently many believe that since we took down the Jim Crow signs, gave a few people a position, and allowed a few to earn some money, then racism died for everyone else suffering today.
In spite of the overwhelming behemoth of evidence and data, there are people that will tell you that discrimination is not real. An unjust criminal justice system is not real. Impoverished neighborhoods are not real. Gentrification is not real. Failed neighborhood schools are not real. Inadequate health care is not real. Biased laws are not real. Nothing that shows the great racial chasm in the United States of America is real.
Instead of facing this evil and working to change it, we get the responses of shut up about it or well I am not racist and what can I do about it to pleas for help. Most of the responses we received today when we ask for help have to do with electing a leader that white supremacists love and receiving threats from the authorities or our employers.
The United States has always been a country built on the idea of keeping white males in power. Throughout our history any challenge to white male authority has been crushed. Today instead of just out right destroying the opposition, they find one of our own and just have them repeat the same hateful message and color it as being diverse because it came from just one of us out of millions. It worked in preventing the slaves from knowing they were free and it works today.
So no you do not get a pass for simply saying you are not a racist if you do nothing else to end racism in America because whether you are a racist or not, if you are not actively working to end it then you are benefiting from it every single day of your lives.
And before you say you don’t, there is plenty of research that clearly demonstrates that white Americans know that it is better to be white than any other race and they would not give it up for anything else. Even when you are biracial or appear to be biracial your life is easier than someone that does not.
Racism is not going to change in America until there are as many people actively opposing racism as there are people actively engaging in racism. Being passive is not an option that is going to usher in change in America.
So if you want to end racism and not just say you are not a racist then you are going to have to actively oppose racism in every area of your life. That includes your family and friends that are racist. That includes your co-workers that are racists. That includes the candidates you vote for that are racists. That includes the businesses that you give your money that are racists. That included your pastor and church leaders that are racists. You have to make opposition to racism part of your life.
Until you do this then you are not doing a single thing to end this hate that continues to destroy the lives of people and their daily struggle. Over the past few years it has become abundantly clear that many Americans are completely oblivious to the struggles of others and I fear nothing is going to change that anytime in the near future.