Racist People

August 11, 2010
Many people want racism to end in our country. The problem is—many people won’t let it end. Racism has been a part not only of our country, but our history and our culture, for hundreds of years. Africans were dragged onto ships and forcibly taken away from their homelands, their families and friends. They endured whippings, gruesome beatings, rape and so many other terrible acts that we cannot even begin to imagine. They were the central part of the slave trade. They were not seen as human beings, but animals, inferior to whites.

Our nation’s history has seen so many incidents of prejudice that it sometimes makes you want to think—we’re not so great after all. Native Americans were often times massacred and relocated from their homelands (which, of course, were originally in America!). They were forced to travel on the Trail of Tears, where N. Americans buried their dead alongside the road. Even to this day, Native Americans continue to be one of the poorest and most widely ignored racial group in the United States.

Ignorance. Oppression. Prejudice.

None of it’s new to us. None of it should surprise us. But it should push us to stop for a minute and observe. We are constantly making the same mistakes over and over again.

Despite our brutal and bloody history with racism, racists continue to speak and act today—spewing their racial hatred, their distrust of minorities, and claiming to “wage war” against the racially “inferior.” It sounds like a lot of talk to me—a lot of talk without any actions to back any of it up.

Racist people can continue to say ignorant things under their breath when people walk by. They can continue to be virtually invisible to society and the world, but the simple fact is that they are still here, living among us, and they will never go away. As long as there is something different about us, we will continue to discriminate, be discriminated against, and look down upon one another. There is no end to a war on concepts. The War on Racism, if there is even any such thing, will never be won.

But it’s not all too bad. There is still hope. I hope that the younger generation of America will be smarter than the last. I hope that the young minds and hearts of tomorrow will be more accepting and understanding than the previous.

Racist people can hide behind their Internet forums and their screen names. They can stand in a line wearing brown shirts, black ties, and bright swastika arm bands around their biceps, while doing the Nazi salute, and also while being protected by law enforcement in riot gear (racists have civil rights too). They can gang up on minorities and those who appear different to them. They can go out on hate crime sprees and instigate fear among communities.

But let me tell you something. Racists should try walking through the ghettos of Compton, or the projects of D.C., or the barrios of Los Angeles. They should try driving through those neighborhoods while flashing Confederate flags and swastikas. They should try spewing their racial hate right there, in those places. They should try standing head to head, and toe to toe with opposition protestors, and without police protection. They should try doing those things, but until then, they should continue to hide behind their screens and speak under their breath.





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Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 14, 2010 at 3:04 pm
I agree: racism is very sad. It will be seemingly an infinity before it ends, but the best we can do is subdue it. Great article.
 
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