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Racism: “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
The system of racism begins with a race designating itself as superior to another. To carry out acts of racism, a race must have power and privilege. There has never been a time in American history when a race other than white has had power and privilege over another—especially in the case of African-Americans.
Now, I’m not saying that minorities cannot be prejudiced or exercise discriminatory behaviors because they definitely can and have done before. Bigotry: “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself,” can be practiced by any race. As a part of a community that has experienced epic amounts of bigotry and racism to this day, it is important that we, as African-Americans, direct all our anger and hurt at the establishment of racism and not the people.
People are not born with prejudice feelings or racism. Harmful and hateful ideologies such as, “All black people lie, steal, and kill,” are taught. I know it hurts when you see yet another act of police atrocity against someone who looks like you.
Emily Moore, a sophomore at GCHS, had this to say about the matter. “Why be racist when we can just love each other?”
I know how it feels to realize that our race makes up 38 percent of arrests for violent crimes, even though we are only 12 percent of the population.
I know how it feels to proclaim that “black lives matter” and have someone have the audacity to claim that “all lives matter,” as though I was implying they did not. I know it seems like we are at the bottom of the barrel, or that we are no more important than the gum on a shoe, but that is not the case.
We are important. There are those out there raised on racist ideologies and beliefs that will try to put us down and tell us that our issues and our voices are not important. But listen, my friend, those people are wrong.
We must remember when faced with adversity that institutional racism is very much alive, but that does not mean that it cannot be overcome. We must remind ourselves not to let hate ooze into our hearts and let it degenerate us. We must be strong, and we must love.
How would it look for us to take on the characteristics, the hate of our persecutors? Although we may not have the power or privilege to be racist, we do have the power to stand up for what is right.
Now it’s time for us to come together and get it together!