Nobody is Racist
Welcome to “Post-Racial America” (and ya’ll thought February was wild).
There was a time in The United States when a Black man’s life was considered less than that of a white man. A time when a Black man could be humiliated and disrespected by whomever, whenever. A time when Black men could be slaughtered like lower-case animals with no repercussions for those responsible. Some of us have been under the impression that that time has passed. Unfortunately it has not, and America continues to exhibit signs of social illness. We’ve tried many remedies, but it seems as if this racism virus continues to develop a resistance.
But somehow, everyone thinks they aren’t racist. America is clearly in denial.
Back in 1954, The United States Supreme Court declared that separate public schools for Black and white students was unconstitutional. This decision stated that, “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Now, in 2012, it is apparent that desegregation was not the sole solution to the inequality problem. Marilyn Bart, an English teacher at George C. Marshall High School in Fairfax Virginia, allegedly asked a Black student to read “blacker” in class. The 9th grader, Jordan Shumate, was reading Langston Hughes’ “Ballad of the Landlord”, and Ms. Bart reportedly said,
“Blacker, Jordan — c’mon, blacker. I thought you were Black.”
When Shumate righteously refused to shuck and jive, Ms.Bart demonstrated what she wanted by reportedly reading the poem as if she were a Jim Crow era southern Black maid. Eye-witness accounts support Shumate’s claims. The teacher also allegedly tried to start a conversation about racial discrimination by showing a slide show of common stereotypes to the class. She brought up a picture of some grape soda and asked Shumate to explain it.
Somehow, Ms.Bart is under the impression that telling a Black kid to read “blacker” isn’t racist. That is either a mark of incredible ignorance, or sadistic and malicious intent. This woman has been a teacher for more than 20 years and she doesn’t know that English class isn’t a new-wave diversity workshop. Just let Black kids learn without stressing them out with sprinkles of racial tension in inappropriate places. Back in January, third grade students at Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Norcross, Georgia were given word problems in their math class like, “If Frederick Douglass got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week?”. This week, third grade students at James A. Jackson Elementary School in Clayton County, Georgia received this word problem in their math class:
“A plantation owner had 100 slaves. If three-fifths of them are counted for representation, how many slaves will be counted?”
They call it “cross-curricular activity”. Which means that you arbitrarily insert slave references into problems on worksheets. Most of us just call it “racist”.
Black boys are fighting uphill in our education system as it is. Give them a break.
Who am I kidding, the president can’t even get a break from racial attacks (be strong Black youth). If you’ve ever played a game of spades, especially with passionate Black people, you know the word reneg can be quite offensive.
But when it’s spelled like this:
It goes to a whole notha level.
Several versions of this bumper sticker have been popping up for sale recently. The most recent seller, Paula Smith, of Stickatude.com, stated that the N-word simply refers to a, “low down, lazy, sorry, low down person,” and doesn’t refer to Black people. She clearly admits that the bumper sticker is a play on the word nigger, and in the same breath says that it’s not racist. Post-racial America is bold as shit. White people are starting to use “It’s not racist!” in the same way people use “no homo”.
Apparently the actions behind the Trayvon Martin tragedy aren’t not racist either. George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old, self-appointment captain of the neighborhood watch, chased Martin down the street–while on the phone with police–before shooting him in the chest. Audio recordings from the call highlight something Zimmerman said under his breath right before chasing the teenager who was suspiciously walking with snacks. Many believe that Zimmerman said, “fucking coons” right before he began his unnecessary pursuit. I’m no audio expert, but I listened to the clip, and I heard “coons”. Some have suggested that he actually said “punks”. Similar to how Rick Santorum said he didn’t want to help “blah” people, not Black people, by giving them “other people’s money”.
Many news outlets have recently commented on statements made by Zimmerman’s father that suggest that George couldn’t be racist, because he’s actually Latino. A Latino with a German last name. That’s why we have a “White, Non-Hispanic” racial category on the Census, so white people with distant Hispanic lineage could still be classified as white (my theory at least). The recent attempt to classify Zimmerman as Latino was obviously intended to negate arguments for a federal hate crime case. But Zimmerman’s race is irrelevant. People of all races are aware of Black male stereotypes, and people of many races believe those stereotypes. Zimmerman thought Trayvon looked so suspicious, that this grown ass man chased the teenager down the street for walking with snacks. Black men continue to be victims of excessive violence by those who claim to be trying to keep the peace. Oscar Grant was shot while unarmed and handcuffed in 2009 and the officer is currently serving less than a year in jail. Unfortunately, cases like these continue to pop up in this post-racial society. If Trayvon were white, or if Trayvon were a girl, George Zimmerman would’ve been in jail before his gun finished smoking. Instead, the Black community continues to receive excuses as to why discriminatory and harmful behavior is not racist. The Constitution no longer considers us three-fifths of a person (we’re actually FiveFifths), but our current governing text lacks praxis with respect to racial equality. Racist behavior must be identified and punished accordingly. U.S. citizens, of any race, cannot sit idly by while a single group’s value and livelihood is disregarded and threatened. These injustices are not Black problems, they’re American problems, and should be addressed as such. Hopefully, if we bring enough national attention to dangerous and discriminatory behavior, Post-Racial America can stop embarrassing itself and recognize the deplorable consequences of making excuses for racism.