When good men do nothing…

Courtney Elizabeth
Columbus, OH

I get really bothered when white people say “but I didn’t own slaves!” or “my ancestors weren’t here during America’s beginnings.” Be that as it may, I like to remind them that they were there during Jim Crow segregation, the violence that raged then, when Emmitt Till was murdered, when four black girls died because of a white stranger’s hate. Those are recent events. Within the past 50 or so years. What I’m saying is that allow though you might not have actively had a hand in these atrocities (and examples of domestic terrorism) you allowed it to happen by not saying something. By not shouting it down. By standing on the sidelines and shaking your head. Injustices happen to minorities, the poor and women disproportionately and it usually takes members of those groups to go about getting change and justice. I was taught to stand up and do what’s right. I was taught to not stand along and be a witness to someone’s suffering. I just feel like too many white people see all the wrong happening to non-whites committed by whites and they never say anything. They’re afraid to protest, to fight. I’m not saying all white people are fearful but many white people have been a witness to the horrors and injustices other white Americans have committed against African Americans, Asian Americans, Muslim Americans, Mexican Americans, poor Americans, homosexual Americans and female Americans. Your silence condones the violence. Your passivity is like oxygen for the hateful firestorm to grow and rise. If you really want to not feel guilty about being white, the next time you hear/see/ witness another white person, be it your own mother, mistreating someone of other another race TELL THEM TO STOP BECAUSE IT’S WRONG. It’s a simple as that. Knowing the difference between right and wrong. If we are all human then how can we stand along and watch other humans be hurt and suffer? How can we not feel the pain they feel? How can you not put yourselves in their shoes? How would like it people killed you just because they way you look? How would you like it if a bank denied you money that you desperately need to provide a home for your children just because you weren’t white? How would you teach your children to smile and be positive when they turn on the tv and only see negative portrayals of people that look like them? How would you like it you sent your child to a school where teachers denied them the same care and attention they gave to students that looked like them? Think about it and try to feel it. Racism happens because it is allowed, it is silently condoned by a majority that can help. You say you’re sick of hearing about race but you won’t make a stand against the people who make it an issue (i.e., politicians, policemen, teachers, hospitals, any major American institution) WHY ARE YOU SO SCARED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? WHY ARE YOU SO COWARDLY? HAVE A SPINE? BE BRAVE! I often think of non-white soldiers who fought in WWII & Vietnam and gay soldiers, all these people fight and DIE for a country who won’t even give them basic civil liberties. That’s true bravery, that’s true heroism. We should all strive to be like them. To believe in equality and the rights of ALL men that we are willing to die for them. I know I am. What’s you’re excuse? What are you waiting for. Racism can die tomorrow if you let the cowardice in your heart die too. And make no mistake when I say “you”, I mean white people. Everyday, ordinary white people, Starbucks and yoga white people, Jennifer Aniston white people, 3 kids and a dog white people. The white people that benefit the most from the oppression of minorities. You people let evil prevail.


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