by Gray Graham
America is not that far removed from legal segregation and discrimination against people of color. Even today with laws, things are still not equal for those discriminated against in the past.
The reason is because for the majority of White Americans they see nothing wrong with the actions of their parents and grandparents in the past and they do not see anything wrong with their actions today. Instead of acknowledging the hate of the past they want you to forget about it and stop talking about it. They simply do not care.
Things are changing in America though. Tweyty-five percent of the country is now between the ages of 18 and 35. This new generation views themselves as individuals beyond the stereotypes of the past. They reject the labels of African American, Latino, White, Christian, and American. The question really is whether this is a trend that will continue beyond the current generation or if it is just this group of people.
While things may be changing that doesn't mean that they have changed for all. Contrary to what many believe America has not really changed that much for a large group of people. So while America can elect Obama president, march for Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, celebrate immigration reform, and celebrate as gay marriage becomes the law of the land, there is still a large group of Americans that are repulsed by every single one of these advances in civil rights.
The hardest thing you will ever have to teach your children is that there are evil people in the world. It is something that many parents don't want to believe themselves so they never teach their children this fact. There are just some people in the world that are evil and they will do evil things to you and it doesn't matter what you do. You can be on your best behavior and that still will not save you.
I understand we do not want our daughters raped and our sons murdered but the reality of the world is that is a danger that far too many will face in their lives and we should teach our children everything we possibly can to protect them the best way that we can.
In the past people of color understood that certain actions could lead to something terrible happening to you. Going to the wrong side of town could lead to your death. Wearing the wrong clothes could attract attention and led to your death. Not to say that not doing these things would keep you safe but that anything that made the odds go down is better for your survival.
Over the past 15 years it seems that many people of color have forgotten this reality. Somehow they believe that all the racists and bigots of the past have disappeared from the country. They forget that many of the people that released attack dogs onto women and children, burned down churches, raped an African American girl walking home from school, or lynched someone that was alone are still very much alive and well and so are their children and grandchildren.
I know it would be nice if all of this was something of the distant past but it is not. It would also be nice if it was only a few people, but it is not. Now there is still a rich and powerful element of hate that lives in America and it is an element that is not going to be dispersed quietly. Now this is an evil that will always be with us and that can never be ignored.