If you’re white, I’m not saying your skin color is a problem because it’s not, and it never is. However, if you’re colored, you are probably used to prejudice and scrutiny by the public eye.
The world has conjured up the idea that light skin means innocence and anything darker means criminal.
Society needs a wake-up slap to the face. We aren’t imagining racism, it exists. We shouldn’t try to define the quality of a person solely based off skin color, it isn’t equality.
Skin color determines innocence?
According to the NAACP, blacks are 10 times more likely to be convicted of crime over whites with lesser or similar offenses. In K-12 schools, more than two thirds of students referred to the police are either black or hispanic.
“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me,” President Barack Obama said in regards to racial profiling in America in 2013.
It’s a fact if you are of darker skin, or of a certain culture like Muslim, you are more likely to be cautiously approached or even avoided in public.
There was a time I was at a convenient store with a group of friends. One turned to me and whispered “terrorist” about a woman dressed in a niqab at the end of the checkout line. His defense was it was ‘just a joke.’
It’s perfectly fine to address someone’s culture and respect it, but berating it or insulting it isn’t okay. Chances are if you’re colored or wear a hijab, people are wary and quick to point fingers and call names as some form of hideous comedy. Do us all a favor, don’t pull race jokes. They aren’t comedic or clever, they are just insulting and unnecessary.
Media portrays unfair treatment
Skin color doesn’t define whether or not you’re guilty of something. Media is a big impact on society, and it likes humanizing white criminals and demoralizing those of color. Media has the tendency to give sympathetic profiles for those who are white and faced with crimes, in comparison to those of color with lesser crimes.
After opening fire in Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Robert Dear, who was white, was given empathy by media. Dear’s daughter’s ‘heartbroken’ reaction was the focal point of a New York Times article. In comparison, a CBS article on Rekia Boyd, an innocent, black bystander who had been fatally shot by police, was focused primarily on the Chicago officer who thought it was justified because he “felt threatened.”
If a crime is committed, it’s expected that a family member is upset by the suspect’s actions. That’s not news. Media note this: we don’t give a damn. A criminal charged with murder doesn’t get sympathy. Period.
To some, culture power means racism.
Embracing your inner culture and your roots shouldn’t have backlash, but it does.
Pop artists like Beyonce utilize their prominence to evoke awareness to bigger issues like the racial divide. While doing so, they get backlash and called “racist” on social media, with the famous hastag #BoycottBeyonce.
Hey, isn’t America’s emphasis on equality and diversity?
Her performance is misunderstood by countless amounts of people. Beyonce’s performance was a homage to the political group, The Black Panthers, who by no means were a radical hate group, but fought for systematic equality for Blacks.
Recently, Kendrik Lamar’s performance of ‘The Blacker The Berry’ at the Grammy’s has powerful imagery about the depiction of Blacks was an outrage to some, but a breathtaking movement for others. Lamar’s performance was an artistic portrayal of the adversity faced in history, and the culture he comes from. Just as Beyonce’s performance, Lamar’s was by no means racists as Twitter feed claimed during the show.
We are all human with equal rights and unlimited potential in life. Why can’t it be simple for us to accept that of each other?
Trying to end racism once and for all can seem like an insurmountable problem, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start.
What we can do is learn to be more accepting of different races, rather than pointing out the difference in one another or try and change it. We need to emphasize that Skin doesn’t depict ethics. Embrace diversity, it is America after all.
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