Start your week on the right foot with these informative topics regarding world issues and relevant topics
by Asma Gaba
Racism is so much more than using derogatory slurs against another. It's so much more than carrying hatred towards another race. Although these are examples of outright and blunt racism, we often forget the root of the problem: the sociological and systematic racism that’s all too present in the United States.
Recently, Michelle Obama gave a speech at the DNC that's been called inarguably her best. In it, she tells the audience that the White House was built by slaves. Shockingly, many people became angry, calling Michelle Obama out on being disrespectful. See, there are people who are so uncomfortable by the idea that our country was founded on genocide and racism, that any mention of it will justify an uncalled for remark from them. It's a fact- the White House, the symbol of the United States of America, was indeed built by slaves. The fact that there are white Americans that deny the way our country was founded is, quite frankly, a privileged mindset. Because once one believes that the way our country was founded is unimportant, it paves the way for racism in one's mind.
Often brought up in debates concerning racism is the Confederate Flag. The flag was used in the Southern states when they decided that they would much rather secede from the United States rather than give up slavery. During the Civil War, the Confederate Flag stood for treason in the eyes of the Union, for slavery, and racism. And the fact that this flag that stands for nothing but racism and hatred is still allowed to fly in this country baffles me. Yes, it's a part of history- a nasty part of history that we should learn from and hope that we never repeat again. Why would anyone be proud of such a symbol? And yes, freedom of speech is a right to all. But similar to the KKK, freedom of speech should not be used for hate and inciting messages. If one truly believes that waving the Confederate Flag is unproblematic and that black people should “get over it”- that's racism, whether one understands it or not.
Lastly, and most relevant to today, Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter. It's no secret that as the years have gone by, racism and police violence towards African Americans have increased. So much that the Black Lives Matter movement arose. African Americans in the United States joined BLM as a way to protest and bring awareness to the murders of innocent black people that seemed to be repeatedly occurring by the hands of police officers. But it didn't take long for people to try take away the legitimacy of the movement, for “All Lives Matter”- a ridiculous and rude parody of BLM- surfaced. All Lives Matter doesn’t have any credibility; the only thing they seek to accomplish is to take away the voice of millions of black people who finally found the courage and platform to speak and defend themselves. It's absurd and wildly childish. If one actually believes that Black Lives Matter is a divisive hate group and responds with All Lives Matter- they don't have the right information. And if they do have the right information, and continue to preach All Lives Matter- then that is racism, whether you believe it or not.
Prejudice, racism, and discrimination all have the chance to diminish with every new generation. But so far, with every generation, we've failed. Racism, on a bigger scale, is a problem that's ingrained into our society and our country, and we can only hope that as the years go by, we’ll find a way to eliminate it once and for all.