I’ve been hearing a lot of people lately question what racism constitutes. Here’s my definition: If two people do the exact same thing, one of them white and one of them black, but the reaction is different and biased against the black person, that is racism.
For example: President George W. Bush (a white man) often saluted with things in his hand (such as his dog or a coffee cup) and there was no negative reaction. President Barack Obama saluted with a coffee cup in his hand and his character/citizenship/integrity was criticized.
Another example: Lots of white people (myself included) have walked around their towns late at night with an Arizona Iced Tea and some Skittles. But for us white people, we aren’t bothered. For Trayvon Martin, doing the EXACT SAME THING, he was considered “suspicious” and he was hunted down and murdered.
Or, take the story of John Crawford III. He was at a Walmart buying a pellet gun (again, something plenty of white people have done without trouble.) John had the unloaded plastic toy gun in his hand, and was browsing the pet care aisle while talking on the phone. (Again, I’m sure all of us have been on the phone while shopping.) Totally unknown to John, somebody called 911, because they saw a black person with a gun. The 911 caller described John as pretty much being black and scary looking. The police came to the store (John was still on the phone and browsing dog food) and they ambushed him and shot him several times. He probably only realized what was happening a second before he was shot.
Now here’s the point where people try to say that Trayvon might have started the fight, or that John shouldn’t have been holding the gun, but by trying to defame the character of people who were killed for racist reasons, you are just continuing a cycle of hate. It’s the same thing with Mike Brown in Ferguson! The right wing media has tried to say that he was a thug and a criminal. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether he was a saint or a total jerk… Being a thug doesn’t give somebody the right to kill you.
I’m sorry to be posting these crazy long statuses, but it just drives me crazy to see so much casual hate in the world. The racists of today don’t need segregation or the n-word or anything like that. All they need to say is “I’m not racist, but…” and they continue the cycle.
There’s no such thing as “playing the race card.” There is just racism.
There’s no such thing as “reverse racism.” There is just racism.
Once we realize what racism really is, maybe we can finally put an end to it.