Intelligent Observation and Conversation About Race in America

You pretty much have to have been living on the space station or in some other Universe not to have been inundated with news about the tragedy surrounding Trayvon Martin. I personally have been deeply affected by this case and mystified as to the handling, or should I say mishandling of the case from the beginning. However, this blog is not about the facts of the case that have been given to the grand jury and other law enforcement officials to figure out and I pray that justice, whatever that may be, is served.
Not to lessen the seriousness and severity of the tragedy, I believe there is just as big an issue in how race and racism is being perceived and portrayed in America that quite frankly, is embarrassing. On one hand there are organizations within our society that are blatant about how they feel about other races and are not afraid to express themselves. Some of these organizations have been around since reconstruction and are perpetually teaching and preaching hate.

On the other hand there are those who believe racism no longer exists and that it ended with the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Surprisingly, to further bolster how far America has come and justify the end of racism, there are those who say what I think is the most ignorant and asinine statement one could say; “We just elected a Black President therefore there is no more racism”. REEAAllllyy! That explains why the KKK has filed for dissolution of all its chapters and the Skinheads and Arian Nation have all decided there’s no more need to spread hate so now they can go back to being productive citizens of society. Let’s also not forget about the Black Panther Party who supposedly just put out a bounty on George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. Yeah, that’s right, I mentioned the Black Panthers as well because we need to realize that racism is racism no matter who it is. There is no such thing as “reverse racism”. That’s like saying a women is “reverse pregnant” once she has a baby or someone has “reverse cancer” after the cancer is in remission. Racism is racism period, and the common denominator is ignorance. We must not be afraid to talk about it if we want to come out of the darkness.

But don’t get it twisted. Racist views are not just held by high profile entities like the ones I mentioned above. No, No, No! There are everyday good and decent people who hold these views and ideals and many tend to express their thoughts in the form of blogs and in discussion boards thanks to the internet(s), ala George Bush. After reading through several discussion posts on various widely accepted blog and discussion sites I came across many posts that were indicative of the racial climate throughout the country. Though I ran across much worse than what you’re about to read, I’ve chosen to post one poster’s comment and my response to that comment in this blog in hopes that it may spark more intelligent conversation and dispel some of the attitudes people have about people who do not look like them. In no way shape or form am I suggesting that the author of this post is racist. I’m only pointing out what I see as an attitude of racial bias based on an encounter with a small group of a particular race.  Please feel free to comment after reading the following post.


Having been attacked by 6 black teenagers while trying to deliver medicine to a nursing home, I know I’m afraid of them. I was 55 at the time and fortunately made it to my car while they kicked my car and yelled racist epithets. Delivery companies refuse to deliver to certain parts of town after hours or, like me, require a police escort for emergency deliveries. It’s not only a sad indictment of a cultural society, it’s an outrage that people seem to want to cover their eyes and ignore. Obama has made it worse. The day after Obama’s election, a fight broke out at a local school because one black kid was going around saying, “You white people are my slaves now.”

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My response:

So Golfer, I can’t help but ask; are you saying that you are afraid of ALL Black teenagers because of the 6 that attacked you? If so, then using that logic, would you not also be afraid of All White teenagers had the perpetrators been White? I’m just curious. Is there any bias here (rhetorical question)? If so, may I ask the source of your bias? My sister was assaulted by 2 white men some years ago, (yes, she and I are Black) however, neither she nor I hold any fear of White men or White people in general for that matter because of it. You stated that “I know I’m afraid of them” (Black teenagers). When we as citizens start to generalize entire groups of people for the actions of a few members of that group, it only feeds into the racial stereotyping that has, and still is plaguing and dividing our nation. It all starts with people and their mindsets. For the life of me, I do not and cannot understand how a person, who knows ABSOLUTELY nothing about me, can make a judgment about my character solely, solely based upon the color of my skin. That is beyond reason and I think that I’ll go to my grave not understanding that phenomenon.

Your statements clearly establish your societal and political position in that you believe President Obama has made an already volatile situation worse. When you speak of “covering their eyes and ignoring an outrage” which you describe as a sad indictment, what exactly are you saying society is ignoring? You stated that you were 55 at the time of the incident, which means you were around during the times of segregation and the civil rights movement. I say that to say this; is it possible, just possible that many American’s feel that racism no longer exists and is a thing of the past? Consider this; I think any reasonable person who lived during the civil rights movement would now agree, especially in retrospect that Black Americans were not treated equally and considered less than human. Knowing what we know now, do you realize that in 1963, 41% of Whites said Blacks had as good a chance as Whites in their community to get any kind of job for which they were qualified (USA Today, 2011)? Remember, this was at the height of the civil rights area and almost half of Whites felt that Black people had an equal chance and the same opportunities as Whites did. How wrong were they? Was it just a matter of ignoring the plight of Black America? Or quite possibly, did White people just believe that? God only knows.

In conclusion, using the words of a child to somehow justify your cause is somewhat incredulous. Children are children and they all say stupid things. That’s why children can’t drive, drink, or do other adult things because they do not possess the cognitive ability as well as the experience to make reasonable decisions in which they can be held accountable. Therefore a child saying “You white people are my slaves now” is just that, one kid saying probably the stupidest thing a kid could say considering the historic election of our first Black President.

It is my prayer that we as Americans can come to the table TOGETHER and have a real, objective and adult conversation about race as we will continue to be a divided nation until that happens. God Bless you and anyone who reads this post.

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