During her 226 years, America has done a wonderful job of oppressing, enslaving and even annihilating groups of people.
This country has a knack for clouding our judgment, making it seem like it was in the country’s best interest, or that nothing ever happened. One of the great present-day hoaxes is that Americans are all equal.
This myth of racial equality has been perpetuated through minority and white communities alike.
Maybe we, as black Americans, are fooled because our struggle is not obvious. In fact, most of us go through the day without experiencing overt racism.
The “colored only” signs are down. We can go to school with white students, and oh, we have Black Entertainment Television. All of these things are supposed to signify progress.
However, one doesn’t have to look far to see that inequities not only exist, but are commonplace. There is a disproportionately high percentage of blacks in the criminal justice system.
According to Africana.com, African-Americans make up 50 percent of the prison population.
W.E.B DuBois said the primary issue of the 20th century was race. Now we see the problem of class quickly taking its place. Let’s not assume, however, that classism has progressed without racism.
Prescribing to the belief that wealth makes one immune to racism is fatally ignorant.
I hate to quote Trick Daddy’s only socially-conscious lyrics but, “Got a promotion and a fat a– raise / You a nigga / No matter how much yo a– gets paid/ You still a nigga.”
So what’s the solution? Well surely we can’t afford any more Afro-totin’ dashiki-clad fruitarian blaming “the man” for social oppression and injustice. Nor can we claim that our “Rainbow Coalition” suburb is an archetype for mainstream America.
We need to recognize that institutionalized racism seals the bricks of our country’s edifices of justice. Blacks need to find a median, an active nucleus that addresses our problems and works toward viable solutions to improve our condition.
First of all, being informed as well as holding our leaders accountable can start the process.
If you don’t like what you have read, write about it. If you see room for improvement, intervene.
Black people have emitted enough hot air to send a balloon clear across the Atlantic Ocean! Ignoring or smothering our problems will lead to further victimization, as well as the mis-education of yet another generation, and that is something we cannot afford.
Kristin McDonald, 20, is a junior newspaper journalism student from Columbia, Md.