Sunday, July 23, 2017

Race Relations

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Crazy OpEd
"Well, darn - I thought Ryan and Pete were my friends... :("

Editor of the University of Alabama’s campus paper Marissa Cornelius writes, “If you’re white, you’re probably racist,” in a recent op-ed.

“White people must examine their own racist attitudes. I don’t necessarily mean you say openly bigoted things or that you like spending your weekends defending Confederate monuments (though you might be that brand of racist, too),” Cornelius states. “I just mean that you probably have a lot of internalized racist beliefs that you most likely haven’t spent a lot of time unpacking.”

“You being racist might not be entirely your fault. We’re raised in a society that devalues people of color with pretty much every opportunity it gets. We’re raised in a country where black people could literally be owned as few as four or five generations ago, and where they were actively being denied the right to vote during many of our parents’ lifetimes,” she continues. “We’re exposed to media that has type-casted people of color into a very narrow range of characters and tropes.”

“The fact that, yes, you have racist beliefs and attitudes, and these might even sometimes be manifested into racist words or actions.”

Pointing towards Maher, she writes, “Like almost all of white America, wants to believe that he is post-racial. But by holding on to this belief, we engage in a dangerous sort of erasure of the racism that still plagues this country, extinguishing any chance we might have to address these issues and to attempt to fix them. When we pretend we are post-racial, we ensure that this will never be the case.”

“It’s time for us as white people to accept that racism is embedded in all of us. This isn’t to say that you should be any less embarrassed and ashamed of any of your racists words or actions, it is to say that you should stop reacting with so much disbelief, with so much ‘I don’t have a racist bone in my body!’ with so much ‘I would have voted for Obama for a third time if I could have!’ When all your energy is going into denying and defending, you will have none left to go into reflecting and revising.”

Although, Cornelius cites no evidence to back her claims, she is definitely able to provide us an insight on the very mixed thoughts in terms of racism that college students now are experiencing.

Cornelius, a white female even went on to say that Americans that are not white cannot be labelled as racist, “as racism requires power, which is held by and large by whites.”

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In what can only be described as a breath of fresh air in the debate over race relations in America today, Will Stack, a 22-year-old African-American man put together a 2-minute video to describe an encounter he just had with a white South Carolina police officer who pulled him over for a moving violation.

The video, which was posted to YouTube, went viral and not for the reasons you might expect.

In the video, Stack explains that he was pulled over for “improper use of the median.” Always polite, Stack said he handed over his license and registration to the officer. After a short time had passed, the officer returned and explained what Stack did wrong – that he drove over the median, which is reserved for emergency vehicles and must remain clear.

Then the officer returned Stack’s documents, gave him a warning and sent him on his way. Stack’s encounter with a police officer inspired him to share his experience. In the video, Stack says:

“People need to understand that not all officers are crooked…” “Not all officers are racist, bad people. And not all people who get shot or tased or arrested by officers are innocent victims.”

“Just because you’re black doesn’t mean you’re a victim, just because you’re white doesn’t mean you’re a racist, just because you’re a cop doesn’t mean you’re a bad person…”

“The world really needs to stop putting labels on people and things and see them as who they are – people doing jobs, doing things. Ignorance has no color. God doesn’t see color. Why should we?”

In an interview with “Fox and Friends” cohost Brian Kilmeade, Stack said:

“There’s no doubt that there are a lot of injustices going on in America. Everybody can agree with that…” “What I’m saying is: Not all people are bad. You’re not automatically a bad person because of the color of your skin or because of the profession that you do.”

Echoing Martin Luther King, Jr., Stack said all people should be judged by the content of their character and given a fair shot.

Stack did say that he has experienced racism multiple times but he said that he tries his best not to let his past experiences affect his future experiences with new people he may meet. It was a lesson he learned not only from his parents but also from his service in the military.

“When you’re in the military, you work with people of all different races, of all different backgrounds. None of that matters when you join, because our uniform is the same color. We all serve the same purpose and we’re all protecting the same freedom.”

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