I have been thinking about the recent videos I’ve watched about racism.
I have worked in black-owned companies and with people of differing ethnicities. I have had a chance to begin to understand what life must be like. When you are constantly being targeted by the police it is frustrating and would make anyone stressed and angry. When you are less likely to be called for a job, and then less likely to get a job than someone who is white. I have to be honest that when I have worked with black coworkers they were often far more capable than their white coworkers. I repeatedly learned many things from my black coworkers both personally and professionally.
My childhood was spent in an area where Mexicans were looked down on because they worked in the fields or had fewer opportunities than other people. I never understood that. My own adopted brother, I am adopted and not related said racist things to me growing up. He said that because he was taught that hate by our grandmother who was racist. To her, Mexicans were her competition for the low-skilled/low-pay jobs she had. She never had a good education, and wasn’t that smart. To her, racism made financial sense.
One of the things brought up in that video was the idea of guarding resources. That if someone got something that was undeserved, it wasn’t fair to other people. I am here to say that anyone who doesn’t have the basics of what they need should have it. Everyone deserves to have their needs met, and a society that doesn’t promote the well-being of everyone is on the way out. We saw this with the fall of Rome and other civilizations. Slaves rose up and among other reasons, society was destroyed when the rich got what they wanted.
Coming back to racism, it is clear that when income inequality happens we are all worse off. I believe in paying people restitution for slavery. I believe in a basic guaranteed income. There is no reason that anyone in society should be on the street, hungry, sick, or addicted when we have the resources but not the will to fix this issue.
The saddest thing I have seen is rich people worry about their wealth. Every day their consuming fear is that they could become poor and not enjoy the lifestyle they have. No regard for those who are poor, just that they don’t deserve that fate. When people fight against paying their fair share, it is clear that they value their comfort more than the well-being of society and their fellow man.
I don’t blame racism solely because of rich people, but they often are a big reason we have our current issues. I blame racism on individuals not challenging the system they have been taught. I challenged those racist statements that I heard because I knew that skin color had nothing to do with intelligence or character. We all have a responsibility to look and take ownership of our thoughts and feelings. To ask ourselves, why would a black man make us lock our doors in traffic? Why would a black candidate not “fit in the culture” as well as a white man? Why do we not give money to an equally qualified black loan request, compared to a white one? Each of us has the burden to treat others fairly in our life and when we do, we help society grow.
Racism is structural but it is also deeply personal.