What is keeping racism alive?

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Racism, my friends, is dying. With each day, societies (especially those in Western civilisations) become more accepting and tolerant to people of other races and nationalities. Now don’t get me wrong, racism is still a very real thing, but if we compare societies from now to those of the 1950’s and 60’s (let alone those of 18th and 19th centuries) and you’ll see exactly how far we have come. The fact that we as human beings have gotten past such horrific mindsets to be encouraged and empowered to treat everyone equally is something that I take great pride in.

But with that being said, what is truly keeping racism alive? Why hasn’t it been abolished entirely? Now I’m not advocating the removal of the freedom of speech or thought here, because that would be catastrophic. People need to realise (for themselves) exactly how dangerous racism to the progress of humankind and the damage it can do in terms of fragmenting and segregating society. People like Dr Martin Luther King were instrumental in creating this dialogue of progression.

Dr Martin Luther King paved the way for progress.

Dr Martin Luther King paved the way for progress.

But would he be proud today? Maybe. And that is disappointing. It’s disappointing that 46 years after his assassination that we have somewhat stagnated. It’s disappointing that despite an overwhelming acceptance that we are equal, that racism is still such an underlying theme in today’s culture.

So what is causing it? What is fuelling this and is allowing it to continue? Look, there is no easy way to sugar coat this, so I’ll just say it. But before I do, please note that I am not saying it to generate controversy for attention. I’m saying it because it’s from the heart.

I believe that “leaders” of minorities continue to fuel racism in attempt to remain relevant, and mainstream media will continue to empower them because it adds to their agenda of dividing society and making their services more required (have a nice little listen to Michael Wilbon’s racist rant on PTI, where he defends the use of the N-word amongst blacks but vilifies anyone that is white being offended by it). There is something still very wrong with society when a man such as Kobe Bryant gets vilified for standing up and saying he wants to see a colour-blind society, and a smear campaign develops ranging from people questioning his authority on the subject because he spent part of his childhood in Europe to his motives being questioned because he “wants to stay relevant” when he is injured.

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with people? Have you ever heard such ignorance in your entire life, that someone is instantly disqualified from having a dream of pure equality (where race is no issue) because he is injured, or because he spend a large portion of his pre-teen years in Europe?

kobesteveblakeThe reality is, Kobe Bryant is a threat. Not a threat to the progression of society, no-no, but a threat to those that it actually benefits for racism to continue. I mentioned this earlier, but “leaders” (and they are leaders by name only, not actions) of minorities love the concept of modern day racism. It allows them to hide behind it whenever they see fit. Check out the backlash tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki, received when she imitated Serena Williams at a charity event in 2012. Wozniacki is white, and Williams is black. Had it been Williams imitating Wozniacki, would that have been considered racist? Or if they were both of the same colour, would it have been considered racist?

Of course not.

And this is exactly what Kobe was getting at. We shouldn’t care about colour anymore. It should always be about character and actions. Does anyone else find it a tad hypercritical and contradictory that (certain) black people (including some in the media) will openly call each other the N-word, but if a white person uses it, they are condemned for the rest of their careers? It has reached the point that white people are more offended by that term than blacks (unless it’s a white person that is using it, then it’s the worst thing that has ever happened).

Now I’m not condoning the use of the N-word. If I was, I wouldn’t be calling it the N-word. I hate the term, and the history associated with it disgusts me. But I think some maturity needs to applied, along with some responsibility here. Some people don’t want that. They want the same rights (which they are absolutely entitled to) but not the same expectations and accountability.

As a society, we can’t have it both ways. Equality has to be a constant, and we can’t pick and choose our spots of when we can use it based on when it is convenient to us. If we do that, equality loses all its legitimacy.

If minorities expect and demand white people in Western civilisations to be tolerant and understanding to people of other cultures, then they too have to be tolerant and understanding of others as well. Martin Luther King was right, and so is Kobe. We (well, most of us) have a dream of equality. If you don’t, regardless of your skin colour, then you are nothing more than an ignorant fool that wants to continue living in a society of hate and inequality.

And hiding behind the term racism can’t protect you from that truth.