Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Racism still runs rampant in modern day America, and we allow it

Race should be colorblind
As a follow up to my article from early this year about MLK's dream. I decided to take a deeper look at my feeling about race relations in this grand country of ours. However before I do I need to issue a disclaimer: The opinion you are about to read will likely not be popular. However, the truth sometimes isn't and I see what I'm about to say as fact. (It may even be considered to be by some, racist. But take to heart that's not what it's meant to be.) With that said, let us begin.

Last time I tackled this issue I said that I look forward to the day when I can stroll down N 5th Street with my brother-from-another-mother Kendrick screaming for joy that at last White and Black parameters no longer exist, we are just humans and God's children. I still look forward to this day, but with each passing day that goes by, I see it slip further and further away.

And that became no more apparent then almost 3 months ago on July 4th, our nation's Independence Day. Chris Rock tweeted that day, "Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks." I can remember quite vividly literally smacking my head. I bet I looked like Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender episode titled "The Cave of Two Lovers". (See the screenshot here.)

I remember not only smacking my head that day but being enraged that someone could stoop so low. Yes slavery is a black (no pun intended) stain on our country's history, but I hardly think the so-called "joke" was appropriate. And when people took the inevitable offense they were told to "lighten up" and that it was "only a joke". Slavery is hardly a joke and if we keep excusing jokes like this from comedians, MLK's dream will never become reality.

Then we switch subjects to Trayvon Martin. This story has been a hotspot all year for the American public and the handling of which has further fractured racial relations. (I personally believe some of it was a deliberate ploy by the media, but that's another subject altogether.) As most, if not all, of us know by now, Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. Since the story came to the national spotlight, it's been a grand target for speculation on the motivation behind the shooting. Some say it was self defense, thus in compliance with Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Some say it was racial profiling by Zimmerman because of Martin's hoodie. This problem was relatively minor on the national scale until so-called black leaders got involved. Once Sharpton and Jackson got involved, it became another dog and pony show. Another opportunity for these "Reverends" to spew their racism, sugar coated as activism.

"But, Aaron, Martin's death was the result of racism!" Give me one solid shred of evidence that is based in fact and not talking points that this was actually about racism, and I'll take it all back. Until then, it's for the court to decide what happens to Zimmerman, not me.

Now let's move on to our last subject, a subject I've spoken about in private quite a bit with my family but never had the guts to say because of my fear of being labeled. No more. I'm talking about Miss Black America, BET, Black History Month, etc. Tell me, why is this allowed. Don't get me wrong, black history month is nice but, well, Morgan Freeman said it best.

Now about Miss Black America, there's no Miss White America. There's no Miss Asian America. There's no Miss Hispanic America. Some have said in reply to this "Well, Miss America is essentially 'Miss White America'." And while I'm leaning towards giving them that argument it still doesn't make it right. If a beauty pageant was created and specifically called "Miss White America" what would happen? It would be called racist, and rightfully so. I contend that Miss Black America is racist. They should be competing with every other American in Miss America. And those that listen to history would be right to point out that Miss Black America started when blacks weren't able to compete in Miss America, that's changed and so Miss Black America should end.

And this entire argument about Miss Black American could be transposed in to an argument about BET. There's no WET (White Entertainment Television).

The point of all this is that it's seriously time to put an end to it all. Racism is racism, no matter how you paint it and it's wrong. Do we want to advance towards Dr. King's dream or not? You can't have it both ways. This divisiveness, quite simply, cannot continue. We're all God's children. As the old Sunday School song goes, "Red, brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world." God cares not for the color of your skin, and neither should we.

We are Americans. Period.