San Antonio, TX.
Racism today comes in many forms. In America, racism is xenophobic, and can come from any race. Racism is interpersonal, and anyone can pass their hate or disdain for another race onto anyone. Racism is internalized, subconscious: that white is normal, and white people are individuals, while everyone else is abnormal, and not granted individuality. It only takes a simple search of ‘beautiful women’ to see that white is considered the standard, and everyone else needs to specify their race. Anyone can internalize white supremacy and pro-white racism, without intent of malice or racism; people can even be internally racist to their own race, without even realizing their harmful schema. Racism is institutional, and geared towards white Americans: cops are more likely to shoot unarmed black citizens (16% of white police homicides are unarmed, compared to 32% of black police homicides). 2015 was the first year since 1994 that a show with a predominately Asian cast (Fresh off the Boat) has been televised. In 2003, 11 US soldiers were convicted (though most unpunished) for torturing and murdering Iraqi POWs by sexual, physical, and mental abuse involving covering people with human excreta, forcing them to masturbate, and hanging them nude upside down for hours.
America’s racism comes in many forms, covert and untelevised, to loud and outright. It’s ugly, and when it rears it’s head, people do not want to pay it mind, because it only reminds us that 50 years was not long enough for racism in all it’s ugly forms will go away.
Slavery ended in the 1860s. Segregation ended in the 1960s. Will racism end in the 2060s?
Will our descendants look back on us and our ways and think what we think about our ancestors? We think of how horrible slavery and the lynching era was to black Americans, and the working railroad conditions of Chinese Americans, and the internment of Japanese Americans, and the redlining of Jewish and Irish Americans, and how segregation was unfair to all Americans…
Our goal is for future generations to look back and think how we do: “How could they live that way? With the injustices surrounding all of them?” And feel grateful and proud that we, as Americans, regardless of our race, worked together to create a country where race is not something shameful, or to be terrified of, or to change your livelihood, or to pretend the existence does not exist, but something celebrated and seen and appreciated.
While there are many types of racism, it only takes one type of person to fight every type. One with empathy for other humans, with understanding and knowledge, and the willingness to grow, and one with ultimate patience.
Racism is our generation’s struggle *now.*