Racism: Will We Ever Get Over It?
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Will we ever get over it? I guess you are wondering what I am talking about. As an African American woman, I am talking about getting over racial issues. Race is always a sensitive topic, but we must discuss it every once in a while. It is 2015, and we still have hate crimes. Do you ever wonder how the rest of the world looks at us, "The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?"
Do you ever think that that the rest of the world laughs at us when they see instances of incongruence with our own values? There have been times in which the U.S. was so extreme, I considered being an expat. However, I think that racism is more prevalent in the backward, non-progressive regions of the United States. Although I won't tell you specifically where I live, unfortunately, I live in one of those backward, non-progressive parts of the United States. I know I should talk about personal growth, how to deal with certain issues, such a low self-esteem, depression and anxiety as I have in the past on this site, but at this point, I think that I have written enough of those articles, and it's just time to take a break and talk about real issues.
Why do we still have racial problems? Many social scientists will give you various answers, but I honestly think that minorities have not gotten over slavery and civil rights. Furthermore, there is a lot of deep rooted hate for other ethnics groups because of unfortunate circumstances. Regardless of what you think is the reason is, we still have a problem with race in America, and that's a fairly clear reality. This is not an article that analyzes the reasons why racial issues exist or about listing the top reasons why racial exist in America. The purpose of this article is to identify ways for minorities work through their racial issues, and when someone exhibits unpolitical correct behavior.
Suprising Problems with Racism
1. Minorities can be racist too. OK - Don’t get angry too quickly. Like other African Americans, I use to think that African Americans can’t be racist. Yes, we can. We just think that we aren’t racist. If you are a minority, have you ever said the all white people are evil, and that white people and black people can’t use the same comb? My grandmother use to say that. I have also heard some people say that they tolerate white people. We have even called white people derogatory names. You might say that it is not racist because of the obviously disproportionate amount of power that caucasian Americans hold in the U.S., but it is. As I stated earlier, we don’t see it as “racist”, but it is.
2. You have to be careful of what you say around us. Some people are very timid about what they can say and do around other people from different ethnicities. I have experienced that when working with a huge variety of people, and I have learned to laugh at the situation. I didn’t laugh at the situation to hide my real feelings - I actually thought it was funny. You can’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder. If you always walk around with a chip on your shoulder, you’re only hindering your own personal growth and development. You can’t blame every negative experience because the “man” is trying to hold you down. Your actions may be the reason the reason you got into a negative situation in the first place. Some people just don’t know that their responses to certain topics are not politically correct, but you need to find the inner strength to forgive others for their prejudice - Drop the victim identity, and live a heroic life.
The first step you need to consider before responding to a politically incorrect statement is if the person really believes what he or she said. If the person made the statement not knowing the meaning behind their words, this an opportunity to educate the person with compassion. Educating a person who is culturally impaired can help the person be more comfortable around you and other African Americans, so dig deep, and find the strength to help others through their challenges.
3. Don’t be labeled as the “angry” Black woman or Black man. This the worst thing that can happen to you. Sometimes you have to take things with a grain of salt and smile when you want to cry, and the best way to handle some people who may appear “culturally disabled” is to be the bigger person. I know it’s easier said than done, but you have to try.
People watch everything that you do and listen to everything you say, so if people perceive you as difficult or not open toward other people from different ethnic backgrounds, you will be labeled the “angry black person”. It is the same as being labeled a racist. Think about it. Do you really want that reputation? You have be able get along with everyone regardless of their ethnicity, but always remember that you don’t have “blend in” or compromise your identity be a part of society.
- Heather Browning, MBA, BA