Take a look at that picture with those captions.
I have a friend (more like an acquaintance) who posts shit like this all the time on Facebook. Last night, he posted this image. His caption above this picture was, “I just can’t figure out why people think racial equality isn’t still an issue in this country.”
I almost never, ever get involved with shit like that on Facebook. Not only because it leads to unhealthy bickering and arguing, but because it just gives me an ugly, gross feeling, and throwing around my personal opinions isn’t something I care to take part in on Facebook. I say “almost never” because last night, I caved and said something. After Googling those 2 names and doing a bit of research, I commented on the picture and said this:
“Man I hate to get involved in this, but I Googled both of those names and found out the following: Shanesha Taylor has not yet been convicted, so right off the bat, the picture is misleading. Also, the picture conveniently left out the fact that Shanesha lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. So in the 38 minutes during her interview, her 6 month old and 2 year old were in a car with a temperature that reached 100 degrees. Yes, 38 minutes locked in a car….in a desert. It doesn’t matter what race you are – if you or me or anyone else had left kids in the car under those conditions, we’d face the same potential penalty, even if we had good intentions at the time. Catalina Clouser took a plea bargain. Because of our justice system, people can commit horrible crimes and receive laughable punishments, especially if you plead guilty so you can receive a “lighter punishment.” Whoever created this image is clearly an angry individual, and they tried to draw racial comparisons where there are none. I’m 100% for equality. I truly don’t give 2 fucks what race you are. We’re all human beings and that’s the only thing I care about. But people need to realize that complaining about racism by making shit up like this when it has nothing to do with race at all, does nothing but perpetuate the very thing it claims to be against. Spreading propaganda only contributes to the problem.”
You see, life is a subjective thing. If people would stop and think for just ONE MINUTE about that, they might realize a thing or two. What do I mean by that? I mean that you can draw your own opinions about almost anything you want, and your opinions may be completely different than someone else’s who saw and experienced the exact, same thing. In this example, an individual saw racism where there really isn’t any. And THAT, my friends, fuels racism.
I am absolutely for equality for everyone. I don’t care what your race is. It doesn’t matter to me. So I definitely understand the desire to end racism. I get it. But this sort of shit accomplishes nothing. You know what it really does? It makes people hate each other even more. That image aims to help the racial issue, and instead accomplishes the opposite.
In a world that desperately needs unity among its people, this image divides us even more. When you go through life believing people are racist towards you – such as my friend on Facebook – you’re going to see racism everywhere. Your mind will be tuned to perceive it, even in moments where there is none. My friend suffers a lot. I can tell from all of his posts. I have no doubt he has indeed been racially profiled before, been called racial slurs, and been the victim of racism many different ways. I understand everyone has their own way of dealing with their emotions. But a line needs to be drawn somewhere, and spreading false information and propaganda like that image is where that line should be, because it only adds to the very thing my friend despises.
The older I’ve become, there more I’ve come to understand that if you really want the world to change, you have to live by example of how you want it to be. As Eckhart Tolle once said, “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but rather the thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.”
I am a black person, though not American.
This may get flames, but to fellow blacks in the USA, I think you all bring on your own problems. I agree frankly with this OP, as granted racism against anybody is never acceptable. That said, x white person who called you nigger as a child or teen doesn’t mean “the man” is continually going to put you down for the rest of your life.
Black America’s issues IMO stem from defeatism, negativity, and a victim complex. These need to be overcome if they want to better their lot. And there is no Jim Crow or worse slavery to inhibit them now, if anything as of 2014 blacks are the freest they’ve ever been in US history. That is pre and post 1783.
It basically comes down to this: if you’re a racist person, you’re going to perceive racism everywhere. I have an uncle, for example, who thinks black people hate white people. He hates Obama just because Obama isn’t white. He thinks Mexicans and black people are thieves and liars and racist and all sorts of negative shit. I can remember times in the past where he thought something was racist, and I looked at him like WTF…what the hell is racist about that? He and I had 2 entirely different views of the same event. But because he’s a racist person, he saw racism in it.
I think it’s very ignorant to say that black people bring their own problems; not only is it a generalization but it’s not true for the most part. And just because a black person says that, that does not give it anymore validation than if a white or asian person says it. If you believe that blacks are the freest they’ve ever been, you may be right however that does not mean that they are free. There may not be Jim Crow laws set in place anymore, but you should look into Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow.” The U.S. may currently have a black president, but the government still targets people of colour through the criminal justice system in particular. A perfect example is the punishment difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Black people are more likely to use crack cocaine whereas white people are more likely to use powder cocaine (this is because of geographical location which can be explained through the history of real estate, once blacks gained housing rights, they were placed in neighborhoods through real estate agents to remain in the same “racial group.” Social research proves that once a neighborhood reaches 10% black people, the whites start moving out); they are different forms of the same exact drug meaning they both have the same effects yet possession of crack cocaine receives a higher punishment. President Nixon was the first to coin the term “war on drugs” and Nixon was a racist. The war on drugs became a thing as people of colour started gaining more rights. It’s important to truly understand history before jumping to the conclusion that “blacks bring their own problems.” Maybe some black people perpetuate the stereotypes that are held against them but not anymore than any percentage of people from other racial groups.
That picture is shill-work. It’s not just racism. Every hot topic nowadays from sexuality to gun laws… I think people in general are fed up for the right reasons. Too bad too much of that energy gets caught in these shit news.
My black friends response to your post: “Racial equality will never happen until the oppressors feel and understand oppression (i personally don’t believe this SHOULD actually happen…but its the same principle as eye for an eye) Until then, the oppressors only know oppression empathy. His views are born straight from privilage. Im glad he did the research on that picture because it is propaganda. But i do wonder what he has to say about the recent Clippers owners news…and if he honestly THINKS the problem with the race card for black people is their victims mentality/self-fulfilling prophecy of seeing racism everywhere. It seems as if he’s ignorant just like most people making arguments about this subject that deflect it as if black people are the problem haha. Trust me, im sure EVERY black person wants to believe they live in a united states that isnt racist but every few months or so theres another case in the news stating otherwise…and then every couple of years theres a completely assbackwards situation you find yourself getting stuck with/or dealing with…that at the end of the day logically has no OTHER reason other than racism/profiling. So to sum it all up…until theres a moment in time in the US where it presents black people with a reason to actually believe our society isnt either visually or psychologically racist…black people will always live in a heightened state of racial discrimination sensitivity. Amd if black people really have a problem…their problems lie in the fact the fact that they cannot forgive nor choose to trust the race of people that oppressed their ancestors in the past….i hope you dont take any of this offensive haha”
Dude, how does his response strengthen your point? You can’t just say that and expect to get anywhere with people. You want people to stop claiming racism? Heres your chance, respond to a person who experiences racism!!
Another point I’d like to add is that people often aggregate others. Despite modern society saying we must see others as individuals.
So the issue as I see it is not coping with past scenarios and seeing them as isolated incidents.
I couldnt agree more with your point. I know that we all have stereotypes that were imprinted in us as kids and for me I try and rework all that non-sense that was instilled in me growing up, either from friends, family or media. I think that the more people talk about and post shit about racism, the more its going to happen. I had a conversation with someone on FB about this and they thought they were just raising awareness, but shit we all know racism still exists. Our government (United States) has been spending billions on the war in the Middle East, and in the mean time doing everything they can to make up hate people from that region, thinking they’re all terrorists. So yes racism is alive in this world, but we need to not give it the energy to spread. Its the same with negative thoughts in your head, let them pass, dont fight them because then you give them energy. So I believe its best not to spread things like your FB “friend” who posts shit like you showed above. Im not saying that if someone sees racism in public they shouldnt stop it, but thats not what these people on FB are doing.
As a person of color, I only have this to add. I have had to work my ass off twice and thrice as much as my peers in USofA to get forward in life and there were many instances when it was crystal clear to me and anyone else observing that I was being discriminated against because of my race and color. Subjectively, it pissed me off and upset me. Subjectively, it also propelled to work harder to get ahead in life and I did. The way I saw it and experienced it, I could either cry racism and spend my energy on that and I couldn’t have been blamed for doing that. Or I could do what I learnt to do in middle and high school when dealing with bullies. Use the agitation they caused in me to push myself to grow beyond their reach. After all, what are racists if not bullies? And what are bullies if not ignorant, insecure, scared people who need everyone to look and seem like them to feel safe? And who caves in to that BS if they have even a little bit of core strength and faith in themselves and their own uniquenesses? Not me. Not the hundreds and thousands and millions of people of various ethnicities who immigrate across their own home country borders every year in search of better opportunities for themselves and/or their families. When you have your priorities right, when you have your shit together, when you take responsibility for hauling yourself out of whatever tough hole life put you in, when you focus on your own growth instead of on why you are not being helped by others, or why life isn’t fair because it dealt you a bad hand, when you can look at your ‘bad’ hand and see it as a gift from life to make you stronger than those who don’t have such challenges to deal with, racism becomes simply yet another challenge on planet earth to grow through.