You May Not Know You’re Racist
July 30, 2020
The burden, the hurt, the anger of an oppressed person is not anything a human being would want to inflict on anyone else. If you think of the greatest pain you’ve experienced in your own life would you wish it on someone else? In other words, would you wish that pain on someone else for a superficial reason like their name or hair color? The answer most likely is no. Typically people want to do right upon others because for most, suffering (typically) is not something that is enjoyable to observe.
Though many people have good intentions, their actions, thoughts, and behaviors are manipulated by unseen forces. Persuasive rhetoric comes in many shapes and forms. Have you ever watched an advertisement and then went on to buy the product or service? Moreover, when you made that said purchase have you ever been disappointed with whatever you bought at the time or later? Unfortunately, the world bought into racism. However when we did buy into it, we were most likely coerced.
How was this possible? The answer is simple: economics. Humans have always used economics to navigate their social welfare. We’ve built societies and created political systems revolving around economics. From capitalism to socialism, and fascism to communism, etc. All the systems have an economic component. In this era, capitalism reigns supreme.
Each system has its pros and cons, as the human condition is imperfect. We have managed to place a value on everything no matter how arbitrary the good or service might be and we go great lengths to justify valuation. The exact same shirt with a different tag could have different valuation. Though everything about the shirts are the same we change the value based on brand name.
We’re conditioned to be like this from a young age. We continue to have this mindset into adulthood though, it doesn’t come from a place of reason. In the television show “Roseanne,” there was a scene where the main character’s children were shocked to accidentally discover the name brand cereal they consumed was actually an off-brand placed in the same name brand for years. Though the kids couldn’t distinguish brands based on quality, they were still upset because they placed the name brand with a higher value and felt deceived.
Unfortunately, we apply the same concept to everything, not just our clothes and cereal. As a society we place different values on nationality, ethnicity, skin color and contribute to the value of that individual’s life. For the most part, it isn’t a conscious mindset. Negative and untrue rhetoric can easily pollute the mind clandestinely. All in all, you can practice racism unknowingly. Your subconscious mind may undervalue a black life because you were conditioned to do so.
Just because you maybe practicing racism unknowingly, doesn’t mean you are right to do so. Ignorance is bliss… and foolish. Luckily, technological advancements have made it easier or people to communicate and shine light on these issues. Though police brutality against black people isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s the videos of victims like George Floyd that are giving life to movements for equality.
Being accused of something so horrible like being racist, is hard to digest. Big displays of racism are wrong and subtle forms of racism are wrong. If you’re practicing racism, you may not realize you’re practicing racism at the moment. Naturally, you want to believe the best in yourself. No one likes to feel shame and guilt. These feelings are inevitable, but please recognize these movements are for awareness. The best way to fight oppression is through self awareness.
Major Keys to Understand the Movement:
- We all have racial bias just by participating in the global economy: Recognize that you are racist, and so is everyone around you. Like everything else, different people can practice racism differently and to different extremes. It may not be a conscious behavior, but it’s still problematic.
- Racism isn’t impossible to overcome: Understand that there are solutions and many come from within. Action no matter how small is improvement, but recognize there’s plenty of improvement that needs to be made.
- Don’t let baseless fear dictate your moral consciousness: Empathy, mutual understanding, and equality are the goals of these movements. People are often threatened because they think activists are seeking revenge. Justice is not revenge.
- Please remember humans are not perfect: We shouldn’t expect each other to be perfect, but we should always look for ways to improve. Life will be more fulfilling if you know you’re trying to make the world a better place. The pursuit of happiness is a collective effort. Our individual actions determine how strong we are together.
Opinion: Condoleezza Rice Should be Biden’s VP
July 8, 2020
Presidential hopeful, former Vice President Joe Biden caused quite a stir when he announced that his running mate will be a woman. Everyone should be on board with a democracy that truly represents America. Having a multi-gendered presidential ticket should be the norm given the population demographics of the United States. Given the more publicized racial tension in the past few months, eyes have been set on possible candidates of color such as Ambassador Susan Rice, Senator Kamala Harris of California, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, and even Stacey Abrams of Georgia. However, there’s one name that hasn’t been mentioned —former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice.
Naturally Condoleeza Rice wouldn’t be the first choice of the Biden team because she is republican. However, being a republican is the exact reason why Biden should consider her as his vice president. A divided America needs true bipartisan leadership. There is no doubt the United States is extremely divisive and whoever is president should make a conscience effort to reunite the country. Condoleeza Rice is a respected diplomat, republican, and academic. Her approval ratings as Secretary of State remained positive during her tenure.
“A divided America needs true bipartisan leadership…”
There’s no doubt, America is a hot mess right now. There’s a pandemic, civil unrest, international disputes, and an economic crisis. Politics are more polarized and America is suffering from an identity crisis. In the political world we often focus on the extremes, however the voter that needs some attention is the moderate voter. Moderate democrats exist and moderate republics exist. The Biden campaign needs to recognize that moderate republicans are his strongest bet to win swing states. A bipartisan ticket will let Americans know that you don’t have to have an “us vs. them” mentality. We are stronger united.
If the South Carolina primary taught any lessons to the candidates, they should know there’s no need to pander to the far left with the VP selection. The far left is already disenchanted with Biden. However, I’m not saying liberal America should be ignored. If Biden is serious about winning, he should choose a few left-wing agenda items and follow through with them in his presidency. For example, legalize weed. If you really want to get people going, make all prisons public. Those are small concessions for a modified moderate agenda and will motivate people to vote in Biden’s favor.
Democrats need to give up on the idea that Joe Biden will win because people are against Trump. That’s not how presidential elections work, people want to vote and support a specific candidate. People didn’t vote against McCain and Romney —they voted for Obama. Unfortunately for Joe Biden, his campaign is sleepy. This is similar to the situation that Hillary Clinton had back in 2016 —her campaign was boring and her team downplayed that she is strong female leader. So much rides on his veep, it could very well cost him the presidency. Condoleeza Rice will give his campaign the energy it needs to survive and win.
America needs unity. The only way to achieve unity is through true bipartisanship. It’s time to let go of bigoted ideologies tainting our political system. Racism and sexism should not be synonymous with any party and Secretary Rice’s existence helps destroy the negative narratives. Condoleeza Rice is a proven professional capable of becoming president if needed. She can, and will motivate voters who feel neglected by system. Secretary Rice has a deep understanding of navigating life in the United States through a variety of perspectives. As a true diplomat, she will build bridges across politics in America. If Joe Biden wants to be president, he needs Condoleeza Rice as his vice president.