Is There a Race Problem? Or is it just a ‘Me’ Problem? (OPINION)
There is a race problem because it is a "me" problem.
Riots. Looting. Police brutality. Discussions that turn into arguments that turn into "un-Following" or "un-Friending" on social media. People of color being abused (to the point of death) by police.
No one will argue that there isn't a race problem in this country. If they do argue that there isn't a race problem, then they are blind to the statistics. There. Is. A. Race. Problem. In. This. Country.
To fix a race problem, change needs to happen. We've changed laws to include people of color (13th,14th, 15th Amendments), changed more laws to include people of color (Civil Rights Act 1964), and then changed more laws to include people of color (Voting Rights 1965). Why did it take so many changes, when it should have only taken 1? Why do we have to keep enacting laws just to "include" people?
Because of 2 reasons: 1) when slavery ended, it didn't, and 2) people don't want change.
When slavery was abolished with the 13th Amendment, that should have put people of color on a level playing field as everyone else (namely: us white people). But we couldn't do it. We would still enslave them for minor offenses because we couldn't fathom sharing. We couldn't fathom having to pay decent wages for labor. We couldn't fathom not being "above" them. And, God forbid, we couldn't fathom our daughters falling in love with "that black boy". Why? Because change is hard. Psychologically, it is hard. And until people can understand why we stand so firm in our beliefs, no change will happen.
Let me say that again: until people can understand why we stand so firm in our beliefs, no change will happen.
People resist change because they believe they will lose something of value or fear they will not be able to adapt to the new ways. ... It's a significant change to their daily routine, which is deeply emotional because it threatens their level of safety and security. - Susanne Madsen, Liquid Planner
You are scared of change.
You just said, "Not me; I'm not scared of change", didn't you?
Yes, you are scared of change. I am scared of change. It's natural. Everyone, to some extent, is scared of change. Whether it's the fear of losing your job (change), the fear of losing your life (change), or the fear of losing a majority vote (change), everyone has a fear of change on some level.
Now, who would argue that we don't need change to create equality (and equity) between the races/genders/religions? People who are either afraid of change, people who are not privy to what is going on outside of their neighborhood, or racists, bigots, and hypocrites. So, which is it? Are you afraid of change, are you unaware of what is going on outside of your neighborhood, or are you unable to fathom putting people who aren't like you on a level playing field? I am hoping that it is either one of the first two, or a combination of those two, and not the third.
Here's what needs to happen: we need to look at ourselves. We need to have conversations. We need to learn about other races/religions/genders to understand and have empathy for them, with them. We need to be the change we want to see in the world.
If you are not willing to learn about others to understand their plight, or not willing to CHANGE YOURSELF for the benefit of others, you, my friend, are part of the problem. If we keep pointing fingers at others and never level a finger in the mirror, we will never better ourselves. If we keep relying on what we were taught, but not what we could learn, we will never better ourselves.
Have a conversation with yourself, then have a conversation with someone who holds a different opinion. Someone who doesn't look like you.
I am going to get a bunch of feedback on this opinion piece, and I hope that I do: it'll mean that people are reading it. And those who disagree with me are the ones I am hoping to read this, because they are the ones who need to hear it. They are the ones who will claim that it's "their own fault" for "acting the way they do". "They" act "that way" because of what "we" have been doing to them for hundreds of years.
The playing field still isn't level, and one of the reasons it isn't is because you think it is.
If we are to end racism and bigotry, we must begin with "Me".