I feel that I must respond to the recent news. I am utterly disheartened by the failure of the respective grand juries to indict either the officer who shot Michael Brown or the one who strangled Eric Garner. And, although I am hardly surprised, I am still appalled by the atrocities perpetrated by the CIA against so-called “terrorists.” It is all sickening. Much has already been said about these and other injustices. However, I am saddened that I have heard no one in my acquaintance even mention any of this unless I bring it up first. Is everyone oblivious? Too caught up in the holiday frenzy? Afraid? I just don’t know. But when I allow myself to think how I would feel if it was my child that was being tortured by our government (whether it is by cops or military), it makes me ill. And every one of those individuals is someone’s child.
A white man I know who lives in El Paso, who speaks Spanish fluently and strives to treat everyone equally, nevertheless understands that it is just about impossible not to be racist if one is white in America. If you are white and want to understand “white privilege” better, this video is well worth the time: Understanding White Privilege
An excellent book, which won the Pulitzer Prize, is Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. It explains in brutal detail what happened to African-Americans after the Civil War. If you think “yeah yeah there has been racism, but why haven’t more blacks pulled themselves up by their bootstraps?” this will answer that question (and many more). If you don’t have time to read the book, than perhaps you can take the time to watch the documentary based upon it: Slavery By Another Name documentary