Racism doesn’t exist anymore. This is the 21st century. As a people and a species, we’ve come too far to be closed-minded fools who make biased judgements based on such characteristics as race, religion, politics and sexuality.
At least that’s what I thought. Looks like I was wrong. Very wrong.
I thought the election of an African American to the highest political office in the land would be a break through for racism. Instead, it was the wind that stoked an ember of stupidity, still alive and festering after centuries of what I thought was progress.
I thought the black community’s criticism and hatred of police was a response to deliberate actions on the part of some members that put them in the crosshairs of justice. Turns out, they were in the crosshairs. Shooting a man 16 times in self defense? Sixteen times? Close your eyes for a minute and imagine 16 bullets entering your body. At what point are you no longer a threat to another person as those bullets rip apart your bones and organs? …nine, ten, eleven, twelve...
I thought that an armed group siezing a government facility would surely result in a swift, para-militaristic response. Until you consider the perpetrators are white farmers, not young Arab Americans.
I thought that the repeated mass killing of innocent Americans at the hands of radical gunmen would spark a passionate response to protect against such acts from happening again. Until you realize that the percentage of sick, disaffected people who choose to shoot up innocent Americans right here in our own country are white males.
And I was always blown away at Hitler’s deranged ability to manipulate the emotions and actions of so many, to the extent that his xenophobic followers – under the guise of passionate nationalism – could turn on people because of their race, religion and sexuality. Ridiculous lemmings from a long-ago time, I thought. Until Donald Trump entered into the political arena.
We have work to do, folks. So on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2016, instead of celebrating the fact that you won’t have a junk-mail delivery today and that your garbage pickup is pushed back a day this week, feed your mind so you can understand the impact that ignorance is having on a country we assume to be among the most advanced in our world.
You can scoff or you can accept this challenge. What makes you feel better?
The King Center
Martin Luther King, Jr. Online
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Movement – JFK Library
Unrest – The Atlantic photos
© 2016 Timothy J Condron