Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The devastation

I spent a good portion of today watching the news footage of the devastation in the Gulf area. With each passing minute I could feel my anxiety rising, though once again I'm not sure why. I don't know anyone in that area. Maybe it's just the horror of seeing people without the basic necessities...food/water, clothing and housing. The horror of noticing just how racially unbalanced our society is since most of the people hurt the worst by this disaster, the ones sitting on the highway or trapped in their homes with no where to go, are African-Americans.

I got into a heated discussion today with someone about the whole racial aspect. My opinion is that every law abiding citizen should be treated equally and have the same opportunities available to them, regardless of what color their skin is. The person I was talking with said that blacks keep themselves down by holding on to this idea of "black culture" which doesn't have ties to their African ancestry but is tied to slavery and continually playing the victim role. They said that while racism is still around, it's not as pervasive as it once was and that many blacks themselves help perpetuate it by refusing to be educated and therefore improving their social status.

The saying "don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes" came to mind while this idiot was talking. How does one educate themselves and improve their economic status when they're surrounded by poverty and usually the worst schools? How does one educate themselves when they have to focus most of their attention on being able to maintain the basic necessities that all humans need to survive?

It never ceases to amaze me just how ignorant some people are. How cozy they are in their own little protective worlds that they are completely blind to the real, struggling world happening around them. I think this person has convinced themselves that there is racial equality in the 21st century. But unless they have to live it, or choose to really see it, they are the ones perpetuating racism.

2 Comments:

Blogger mizeeyore said...

as an African-American female who you know by now is struggling with her own sanity, i give you major kudos for saying what you did.

i agree with you wholeheartedly that there is too much ignorance going on in the world today; even amongs my own people. there are a lot of us who still want to point the finger of blame on Caucasians when it's us who are our own worst enemies. some of us tend to put each other down because one of us takes the initiative to try and improve ourselves by getting education, a decent job (regardless if it's minimum wage) and choosing not to live in the 'hood. a lot of my people are like crabs in a barrel towards each other and that insanity has to stop. so ignorance comes in all colors...and the saddest thing is -- it's from my own people.

also, mental illness is another taboo subject amongs black folks...why we (black people) take it as a form of weakness is beyond my scope of comprehension, especially amongst women of color. we are always seen as the "strong black woman" and many of us suffer in silence for years from depression, bipolar, schizo-
phrenia and other illnesses because of the stereotype of the "strong black woman" and quiet as is kept, suicide is becoming more and more rampant in the African-American communities because of my people's unwillingness to seek help for fear of being labeled "crazy."

the madness has got to stop.

5:29 PM, September 01, 2005  
Blogger James said...

I could NOT agree with you more.

11:12 AM, September 02, 2005  

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