November 29, 2010

Modern Day Racism--A Real Thing?

Kanye's line in the College Dropout says the following:
Racism still alive, they just be concealin' it
Imagine.  2010.  Racism still alive.  Huh.  Makes you wonder if that statement was said back in 2003 out of sheer ignorance or if there was actually some merit to what Ye spoke on that album. 
Racism is still alive all over the world.  How do I know?  Look around.  Watch the news.  Go to KMART and ask where the Obama Chia Pet is located.  Sadly we live in a world today that is just as racist and bigoted as it ever was in decades past. 
I hate it when someone who has no idea tells me that racism and the race card shouldn't be an issue in 2010.  Bullshit.  Racism is as alive as it's ever been.  Here's the problem, though, for people that contend it's over: they don't see that racism is actually a different game now.  Instead of the "white" and the "colored" segregation and slavery we have seen in years past, the current racist acts occur on a smaller scale but in a wider gamut of society. 
Sickening.  Britney Spears has one too but she isn't the President of the United States either..
J. Cole put it like this in his song "Problems:"
"Hey, Dear Mr. Policeman
Hey am I wrong, aint you suppose to keep the peace man?
I coulda swore I was driving pretty peaceful
So why the hell is you pullin over me fo’?
Is it this black Mercedes? (Oh now I get it, I get it, I get it)
Or cause I’m black? Hmmm, maybe
Hey, tell me why my hands start sweatin and I hold my breath everytime that you get behind me
I turn my music down, so you won’t hear a sound, man I’m nervous like I got a couple pounds on me
You pulled me over, you frown on meWith your flashlight, tell me what do you see
Thug niggas, drug dealers, its a trip, every nigga in this whip got a mothafuckin college degree"

Think about the power of those words?  We live in a different world yet the same situations are occurring on a daily basis.  Even people who don't consciously act racist can make race stand out as a subconscious factor in their actions.  It's amazing some of the words and the actions that so-called "Tea-Partyers" are letting the world into.  It's amazing that during an economic boom, ethnicity, diversity and inclusiveness efforts were at an all time high in the world's largest companies...now that times are more difficult, there are more and more "minorities" with college degrees (legit degrees) that can't get a job to save their life. 
Chris Rock put it best.  He said (about affirmative action in post-secondary education) that he didn't want anyone to do him a favor just because he is black.  He made it known that nobody should receive anything because of their race.  However, he said that in a neck-and-neck race to see who gets into college (meaning all things equal), that he should be chosen.  Why did he say that?  Because opportunities don't reach underprivileged folks every day.  In fact there are some serious drawbacks to being Latino, African-American, Native American or any other underprivileged group in society. 
Chris Rock: A Solid Affirmative Action Viewpoint (Even in 1994)
Is it racist if someone hires the white kid instead of the Latino?  No.  Is it racist when that same kid gets a faster, more expensive promotion than the Latino does even though they're at the same level of ability?  Yes. 
I bring this up because I was talking to a friend earlier who was in tears because he was up for promotion and didn't get it.  Stronger performance reviews, no administrative discipline and smile on his face all the time..and they gave the promotion to someone who is less educated, less informed, less "PC," and less liked.  The boss who chose the promoted employee has been known to make "Mexican" jokes and "Arab" jokes in front of employees who fit those ethinicities.  It sucks to hear this.  It sucks for him; however, not only for him but for our cultures and our hope in this crazy world.  I told him to be cool.  Don't quit.  Things will work themselves out.  Those weren't just words though.  I meant it.  Good people always prevail.  Even in the short run it might seem hopeless but the fact is goodness always prevails. 
The key to that prevalence is a good attitude.  Every day, no matter who it is, treat people with respect, with empathy and with love.  Regardless of race, religion, social and/or economic status...we all have to do our part to make this still biased world a better place.  Don't fool yourself.  Racism still alive. 
This is part one of my series on racism.  I hope you will come back and visit to read the next section of this post where I will focus on racism in schools. 

2 comments:

Nicholas said...

i agree with everything except "I told him to be cool. Don't quit. Things will work themselves out"...if you do not take a proactive stance against institutionalized racism then it will only continue..however i dont think blowing up and making a scene and getting yourself fired is the right way to go either, we as educated people of color must (but unfairly, as it is not our responsiblity to provide diversity training) take a stand and educate others about issues surrounding race and make it known that racism is still present in 2010

Catfish said...

Word. I agree there. My point was def to reinforce the fact that getting upset and making beligerant comments/statements would only set him back further. Great insight.