First, I have to say thank you to Carla @ The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise for bringing this video to my attention. Follow her blog if you don’t already because if you’re not following her, then you are truly missing out.
Now of course, most people will see that a black man is saying that America is not racist and will think one of two things. The first is that, something isn’t quite right and that maybe he is misguided or very privileged. Others will think, “Well, if a black man says that racism doesn’t exist, then I can believe it.”
Well, I am here to tell you that racism, unfortunately, is still alive and well. Having a black president does not prove that America isn’t racist. In fact, it does just the opposite. It’s not to be looked at as, “If a black man can run the country then racism must have ended.” What you should be thinking is, “Damn, it took 44 presidencies and two hundred and nineteen years for a minority to have a real shot at winning a presidential election.” Another blatant embodiment of racism in America is the fact that Donald Trump is running for president on a platform that says that all Muslims (a religious affiliation that has been racialized) should wear armbands and that anyone who is Hispanic or Latinx should be deported. Racist? I think so.
Now on to interracial marriage. Although it is no longer illegal, that does not stop interracial couples from being harassed or given dirty looks when they walk through public places with their spouses and their children. Just a few weeks ago Old Navy released an ad that had an interracial couple on it (white man, black woman, little boy with tan skin). The result was people threatening to boycott Old Navy. One person even said that the ad was, “Absolutely disgusting.” Is that not what racism looks like?
So then he starts talking about racial profiling and somehow links that to traffic violations… This is clearly some sort of joke. First of all, he uses Ferguson, Missouri as an example which is where Michael Brown (unarmed) was shot 6 times by a white police officer. Brown’s death had nothing to do with a traffic violation, so where is the correlation between the two? Even if most people pulled over for traffic violations are black, that does not excuse police brutality. Tamir Rice was a 12 year old child, shot by a police officer less that one second after they pulled up next to him in a playground. If you watch the video it honestly doesn’t even look like the car was stopped at all. A 12 year old being murdered by the police has absolutely nothing to do with traffic stops and is a clear example of police brutality.
He does do a good job of pointing that the majority of black homicides are committed by black people, just as the majority of white homicides are committed by white people. The problem is, the media never talks about white on white crime. That side of the story is the one that never gets heard. Back to the traffic stop thing. Sure, there are facts that show that there are higher violations among the black community. However, that does not mean that racial profiling does not exist. In fact, the Baltimore Police Department admitted to it. This also doesn’t mean that black police officers don’t kill white citizens. It happens, but that doesn’t make it right.
None of this to say that there hasn’t been progress. It’s clear that there has been. However, America is still not an inclusive country. Being a minority in this country is not always easy. Another problem with this video is that you can’t accurately have a conversation about race that is only black and white, because it still excludes so many people.
At the end of the day, yes racism does still exist. I know this for a fact because someone that I was really close to in high school told me that they could never date me (an African American woman) because his father would disown him. As a Resident Assistant with my Residence Life polo and university name tag on, when I walk up to a white family’s car to give them their parking pass, the first thing that they do is lock their doors. As a minority at a PWI (Predominantly White Institution) some of my white professors didn’t even bother to learn my name, and constantly confused me with other black women in the room.
Choose to believe that racism doesn’t exist if you want to, but turning a blind eye to something doesn’t stop it from being there.