“What racism? People aren’t racist anymore. That ended years ago. Get over it.” Until a couple of weeks ago, that was my thinking. Having lived the majority of my life in a very diversified city, racism is a foreign concept to me.
We have people from all over the world here, and from many different walks of life. It’s practically unheard of to walk into a business and only be greeted by people of one race. In fact, it’s so uncommon that it would probably raise a red flag.
Even with all of my travels around the United States, I’ve never sensed racism or noticed a lack of certain ethnic groups in any particular town or region. Because of that, I felt that if racism did still exist, it must be very rare.
That is, until I had a conversation with my sister who lives in the southern region of the country. She is not racist, but evidently a good portion of the local residents are. The drastic contrast between where she and I live is quite unsettling.
In the small town in which she resides, 96% of the residents are white. Sometimes people of the same race do flock together, so being that it is a small town, that number wouldn’t normally be a reason for concern. Various ethnic groups do this all over the United States.
But what is concerning, is the fact that the mere 0.3% of black residents are often fought against and urged to move elsewhere. In a region scattered with racism and home to an established KKK group, these brave residents stand up against the hate by refusing to leave.
Sadly, racism in that region is a normal part of life. Many of the children who grow up there are not exposed to anything different. From birth, they are surrounded by racial slurs and hate speech from their family members, peers, through billboards, radio programs, and newspapers.
Because of this, racism often passes down to them, to their children, and beyond. It’s a cycle that’s been going on for hundreds of years and has yet to be broken.
Racism does exist.
After that conversation with my sister, I began researching. What I learned is that racism is very much alive all over the United States, and it’s not just limited to white vs black or black vs white. No race is exempt. Just because we may not see racism where we live, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
My perspective has greatly changed and my eyes have been opened, and quite frankly I’m disappointed. We live in a country that’s been named, “the greatest country in the world”, and “the land of the free,” so why then are we still stuck in the 1800s?
Daily Post prompt: Flip Flop – Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?