The Ongoing Struggle for African American Racial Equality
Racial equality has been an aspiration we have and are fighting for, and throughout the years, progress has been made through the sheer fact that we are not giving up, therefore, with perseverance the ache of inequality will dematerialize into a former adversary. Racism dates back to the 19th century, African Americans were bought, sold, and labeled as slaves. Without any rights, African Americans were shunned, beaten, and lynched for disagreeing with their owner, expressing their ideas, and sometimes just for entertainment. Scaling up in the timeline to the 60’s, slavery was less of a problem, but equal rights were nonexistent. The only jobs that paid mediocrely for black folk was hard labor. This went on until Martin Luther King Jr. kindled the fire that is our rebellion. Today, racial inequality is still present but not as blatant as it once was. Step by step, our voices will be acknowledged.
The definition of ignorant is lacking knowledge or awareness in general. This word can be used to describe many, many things today. The many police officers that have taken the life of many without hesitation. The judges that have condemned the innocent and disregarded the guilty. The word is very versatile in our society today. Sometimes, ignorance is unintentional. Bullying is a major problem, not just with race. People might not lynch anymore, but they still supply the rope. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” To contradict ignorance, we need to raise awareness. We have a label. Criminals, rapists, thieves, murderers. This label has stuck with us for many years. To get rid of it, we need to succeed. We need to go to school. We need to help our society. We need to invent. Sadly, this will be much harder because of our skin colour, but who doesn’t like a challenge.
If a black male with a hoodie on and his hands in his pockets walked up to you, what would you think. If a white male with a hoodie on and his hands in his pockets walked up to you, what would you think. The difference between those two figures is just skin colour, but people’s perception of the two are vastly different from each other. People might not think this is being racist but it very much is. One of my friends, who is black, was walking behind a mother and her son, both white. The mother saw that he was behind her, and jaywalked to the other side of the road with her son. The mother is raising her son to the idea that black people are “Criminals” My friend told me “Part of me wants to just get used to it, but another part wants to not be portrayed that way. It’s very conflicting.” The fact that most people are accepting this is not okay. Though not blatant racist, this label is unacceptable. To remove it, we must not fight, because this will cause many more mothers to tell their sons that black people are “Bad”
Being white doesn’t limit you from punishment, but it sure does help. The take the horrendous stanford rape case for example. Brock Turner, a stanford student, sexually assaulted an unconscious female at a party. He was caught and brought to trial, were he was sentenced six months in prison by Judge Aaron Persky. The regular sentence for rape is 14 years, but Persky says that They were both intoxicated, and prison can have a severe impact on his life. The victim, Emily Doe, even read an emotional statement that described the horrendous incident, and her trauma afterwords. She says “I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it,” This is an example of ignorance. The judge gave the rapist a lenient sentence, not because he was white, but because he wasn’t black. Either that or the Judge is just very dense.
Equality is an idea that we have never experienced. Many of our friends, family, ancestors have experienced quite the opposite. Pain and suffering, all in the p of a century. But if you look back then, you can see the progress we have made. Now we can look ahead to the progress we can make.