In the history of the United States of America, we know that racism has/does exist. From our first step into this new country, whites had blacks as slaves. Worse than that, some whites viewed blacks as even less than their live stock. It was a dark and both ethically and morally corrupt time in our history. Luckily there were those whites that saw blacks for what they really were.....human beings. They saw that if not under mans law then under God's law, the only difference between white and black was the color of their skin. The Civil War was fought over slavery and whites (as well as blacks) were fighting for the freedom of all men regardless of skin color. Sadly this time in history still stings for many and the memory refuses to be forgotten or forgiven. Even after the war, it still took Americans a while to get it right and there were more domestic battles fought especially within southern states over a black persons right to equality under the Constitution.
In the 1960's when I was young, segregation was still part of our world. Blacks went to black schools in black neighborhoods and whites went to white schools in white neighborhoods. Many on both sides accepted this, but at the time.....black education was not as good as a white education. Black students who were smart and driven were often not challenged or even noticed amongst their teachers or peers. Soon they wanted the same education and the same advantages that white kids were getting in white schools. How would this be possible though when blacks were refused to be seated in white restaurants, they still rode the back of the bus, drank out of "special" water fountains and were only seen at all black clinics? These issues had nothing to do with finances because there were a great many blacks that were doing well for themselves. No....it was a matter of skin color. While blacks were no longer looked on as less than cattle, they were still viewed as somehow being inferior to whites.
In the mid 1960's the world began to change and voices like Martin Luther King Jr started being heard, recognized and respected. He spoke of blurring the lines of black and white and treating all men as equals. He wanted separation of race to be a part of the history of America and integration of races to be our future. Blacks and whites both not only listened, but actually heard what King and others like him were saying. Suddenly there were sit-ins and protests on both sides. The blacks were fighting for their rights as human beings and many whites were fighting right along with them. However, there were those whites still fighting against something that scared them to their core....sharing a restaurant, a bus or a school with blacks. It set the stage for many fights being fought in neighborhoods, in schools and in the political arena.
Eventually Kings dream started to become a reality, but not before he died fighting for it. The days of all black or all white schools became a thing of the past and America became a land where both races began co-existing in relative harmony. There were still battles to come and baby steps were taken but slowly our country began evolving to a place of equality. In fact contrary to my upbringing, in my children's lives they all went to school with both blacks and whites. Miraculously by the time Z started to school, he never saw kids as a color. I learned this one day when he was trying to describe one of his "new" friends in school who happened to be black. He described his personality, his favorite shirt and how good he was at tether ball but never once did he mention that his friend was black. It was then and there that I realized that this new generation was no longer seeing color. Was racism dead? Maybe not totally but it was definitely comatose and on its way out.
Now though in the new millennium, racism seems to have reared its ugly head again but in a very different way. Some of our most influential black people who have "made" it in this world, some worth literally billions are back on the racism schtick. Oprah Winfrey, Louis Farakan and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are spending a lot of time and effort trying to resurrect the true feeling of racism in this country and it appears that it all surrounds our current president.....Barack Obama.
Since 2008 race has become the focal point of many conversations. An example of resurrected racism came not too long ago when Oprah Winfrey claims she was targeted in Switzerland by a white sales clerk who viewed her as unable to pay for an expensive handbag and refused to allow her to look at it. The sales clerk disputes Winfrey's claim and although only the ones present that day know the real truth, Winfrey's claims of racist behavior got the sales girl in hot water. At any rate....Winfrey successfully helped to keep racism on the lips of Americans....even if the incident didn't happen here and of course let us not forget that the headline making incident also helped give free publicity for her movie The Butler which was about to come out. I have to say I am no longer much of a fan.
As for Jackson, Farakan and the like, I have always seen them racists in their own right with an agenda that did not involve equality or even help for the black people of our country. On the contrary I see them as greedy and superior in their own minds. They don't want equality amongst all Americans. Instead they are doing their level best to keep their own race down and angry. What better way to incite race wars in this country? For years they have had ties to The Black Panthers who make no bones about hating whites and wishing them all dead. No....I don't see their end game as equality, but more as superiority so that blacks reign superior and whites no longer exist.
Now Farakan is at it again wanting blacks to go back to segregation. He wants to see all black schools once again. King must be rolling in his grave right now. Apparently Farakan is not alone in his segregating and in a way isolating blacks from whites. Recent headlines reported that a black neighborhood in Portland, OR spoke out against having a Trader Joes built in their community. They feared it would bring in too many white people. Racist? Well if the shoe was on the other foot and this had happened, I guarantee you that Jackson and Farakan would be yelling racists from the highest roof tops.
Of late, some of the greatest cries of racism come from Obama supporters when someone (especially whites) disagree or go against the president. It has become an either "you are for the president or you are racist" chant. This scares many people as they don't want to be viewed as racist. In fact, many re-elected Obama for a second term, not because they thought he was an amazing president his first term, but because they didn't want to be viewed as racist and both the media and celebrities alike perpetuated this myth. I just can't help but shake my head at the absurdity of it all. Whites that do not agree with Obama are racist, so what are blacks that don't agree with him....and their numbers are growing? Are they racist or simply self-hating blacks? Did anyone ever stop and think that if this country were as racist as the race baiters are trying to make us out to be.....then Obama would never have gotten elected in the first place? He didn't become president on black votes alone you know. Many voted for him because he was black and they felt that this country was ready for a black president. However, what a lot of people learned having our first black president is that it is not the color of your skin but your qualifications and love of country as well as respect for the Constitution that make you a good president. When it appeared that Obama was falling short in these areas, blacks and whites both began speaking out that perhaps he was not what this country needs in the form of a leader. As history has shown though, he was not the first president to ever fall short and be called out for his short comings. That being said....he is the first one to ever be black and use the race card when people were not happy with the job he did. I am sure both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush would loved to have been able to have had any card to play when the American people became disenchanted with their presidencies.
To me, your race is not nearly as important as your character, your goals, your dreams and your heart. Regardless of what race you are talking about, there will always be those who are truly good and those who are truly bad, those who work hard and those who refuse to work at all, and those bound for greatness and those bound for prison. No race is all good and none is all bad. We are merely all human, formed from the same God and given life to exist in the world the best way we know how. So am I racist? If it means do I judge someone on the basis of their skin color and have preconceived notions about another human being because they are black, brown, yellow or purple and not white....then no I am not racist. Skin color would be the last thing I judge another person on. However....if the new definition of racism is disagreeing with the president, then I guess....racist I am!