The People vs. “Race”

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

The following submission is in response to the following article: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/i-cant-breathe-until-everyone-can-breathe and writing prompt: Like Gerald Mitchell, dig deep to identify and explain how you personally can treat people more justly. Describe what treating people fairly and humanely looks like to you. How might your actions make a difference where you live (school and community)? In greater society?

Every day in my life, I will meet a human who is not like me. We may be exactly alike, we may be different, we may be of the same ethnic background, and we may not. Yet, as I look into these people’s eyes, I see myself, and everyone I’ve ever met. We may be different on the outside, but we will always be the same on the inside. Nothing I will ever do will give me the right to hate them.

Gerald Mitchell, near the end of his article, makes the comment that America is in the exploitation business, and business is booming. He is correct in that statement. Every day we see people exploited, and we all incorporate an innocent bystander emotion for those moments. White people will not speak up because it does not affect us. And minorities are unable to stand up because every move they make is countered by white people. Think of it as a game of chess. When your opponent sees your move first, they can easily counter it.

There is a constant struggle for equality among minorities. They majority constantly shuts down the people’s voice. What happens when we silence all voices? Do we accept the portrait of life we have painted? Or do we sell it to the highest bidder and try again?

2015 has been regarded as the year for everyone to get offended. We can see racism at every turn of social media, as well as in the news and films. Blackface, whiteface, this face, new face. We place social controversy around every event that a group does not like. Society is supposed to be a reflection of human ideals, and all I see is war. War. What is war? We usually think of it on a larger scale, focusing on nations warring, not people. But just take a second and look at our own society. There is a war going on, but it’s not against cops, African Americans, whites, Hispanics, or humans in general. We are locked in a war with society.

I have seen many a things in my 19 year life span. Yet one thing always confused me, especially in regards to culture and equality. Americans have a strange culture. We base our lives around money, convenience, and skill. We segregate ourselves into communities, and seem to become stuck there. The rich keep their distance, while the poor move closer together. It’s a vicious cycle, and doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. With more ways to get what you want, ignorance can spread.

Even with the amount of ignorance, you cannot deny that we are all human. We all share the same organs, and can even give our organs to others, under certain conditions. We share the same reactions, with slight variations in different areas. And when society develops, so does racism. In some communities, everyone lives in harmony. In others, people die daily. With the stubbornness we show, destroying racism will prove difficult, but is manageable. With specialized programs, starting as early as Kindergarten, we can teach children that we are all the same, and encourage equality. It will take many generations, but if we implement it nationwide, we can effectively halt the growing amounts of racism and ignorance.

The next step is encouraging equality in neighborhoods, with programs involving all races working together to achieve a goal. By forcing communities to cooperate on a task, we may kindle a relationship between everyone. It’s going to be a difficult road, but with hard work society can change. 

To bring it all into perspective, racism is a collective social issue, as is equality. To love our fellow human, we must look past the color of skin, or the backgrounds we share. We must embrace the fact that we are all human, and all share the same world, no matter where we come from.

“Judge me not by the color of my skin, but by the content of my character.” – Dr. Martin Luther King