OpEd on Racism

OpEd on Racism


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OpEd on Racism

Racism tops the list when it comes to the problems experienced in American society today. Racism has existed for decades now since the days of American civilization and civil wars. We can say that the burden of racism has decreased over the years but the truth is that the war against this vice is far from over. American racism is very much alive and more so today, there is heightened attention to the matter particularly in the wake of movements such as Black Lives Matter among other movements that continue to advance the equality agenda not only in the United States but in many places around the world. There have been plenty of discussions regarding the contributing factors to racism, police brutality, and unequal treatment of people of color in the U.S today and this piece provides my thoughts on the same.

I once knew of a lady who used to work for us as a house manager. She was a kind and sweet soul; the kind that every child would want to be their nanny. She took great care of me and the family loved him. My mother got so accustomed to her that she now considered her as part of the family. The nanny had a son who used to work as a gardener for a prominent white family in one of those elitist neighborhoods. The nanny and her son were both of African-American descent. The two did not have much in life, they were not very fortunate to get an education. The lady’s son had dropped out of college a while back due to lack of financial muscle to put him through the entire college education and all they did now was work to afford a decent living and a meal at the end of the day. It happened that the son run into trouble with his employers. One day, the eldest daughter of the white family where he worked as a gardener accused him of rape. Being, in a position of power and with many resources at their disposal, the family did not hesitate to have the gardener arrested. When our nanny received the news, she was at our place. She was confused by the whole fiasco. She knew for a fact that her son was incapable of doing such a thing. She did not know what to do and at this point, my mother offered to help her and made arrangements to have our family lawyer take up the matter. It was discovered that the daughter had made up the story because the gardener had refused her sexual advances. She was accusing him falsely as payback to him. The family never bothered to investigate the matter and they believed their daughter and they pulled strings to have the gardener arrested and prosecuted. They knew there was little he could as he did have money to hire a good lawyer.

Racial injustice against people of color is a serious issue that needs to be addressed at its root if we are to win against this war. It is clear that the gardener’s race placed him at a disadvantage to the extent that he did not stand a chance to even defend himself. In American society, there is negative stereotyping which affects people’s perceptions of people of color. People of color are viewed as poor and violent beings and they are seen as deserving of unequal treatment. For such a long time, in the history of the U.S. black people did not have rights including voting rights. There was the social separation of people based on color and this notion does not seem to have changed much. White supremacy position white people as dominants which warrant unequal treatment of black people in society. It is for this reason that the gardener found himself as a victim of racial injustice. Law enforcement will be quick to make an arrest when the person presumed to be the perpetrator is a black person. Additionally, it is important to note that white people comprise the majority of the American population. Hence, it goes without saying that majority of the police workforce is white people. As such, this brings prejudice when it comes to enforcing the law. It is assumed that people tend to behave and act positively when they are dealing with a person they consider to be from their group. This means that white police will are lenient when dealing with white law offenders than when dealing with black offenders. The battle against racism is far from over. As a society, we must come together and collaborate if we want to see change realized.