I have written both music, and advice columns that covered a wide variety of topics, such as: relationships, communication, lifestyle, business, and life (coaching)
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Yes, racism does exist within the infrastructure and systems of the United States; the most consistently notable of which is the wealth gap between black and white America, and most recently apparent in the wake of the late 90’s, detailed housing bubble—wealth is accumulated by owning property, and for decade's, after the civil rights movements, it was nearly impossible for black families to buy homes in prominent neighborhoods; white Americans were afraid that the property values would decrease in their neighborhoods so real estate wasn't easily accessible for black families, and that snowballed. the result presented itself as urban decay, and a lack of work, drugs, crime, and a racial fear bias. An example of which is the Doll Test, although, personally, I don't think it's a good one, it's just one--I'll post a better one as a video, below--so, be prepared in advance this may not go the way you want, but when you sit white children down in front of two dolls one of which is black while the other is white and you ask, “Which one is bad?” 100% of the time they are going to choose the one that doesn’t look like them; most children, up to a certain age, are not developed enough to respond to a direct question like that with, “neither.”
A bilateral point that I’m making is that shameless racism is not as far-reaching as a large percentage of progressive America might have you believe; yes, flagrant racism does exist but it doesn’t always exist in situational semantics, “I don’t see color,” is an interesting example; obtrusive racists don’t have a problem being racist, they have no reason to hide behind, or to conceal their racism, especially in semantics. There are so many existing layers to race in America today, and like those Venn Diagrams floating around Social Media that are trying to map our place in shingle racism it’s not always so simple or obvious as a lot of people are trying to suggest. The point being, most people who say “I don’t see color,” don’t understand the underlying notion that “not seeing color,” might, to some, suggest a refusal to acknowledge a persons identity, there is an intellectual idea that we do need to recognize the 'color' of a person but to not be quote/unquote negatively affected by it, this is not something that a lot of people conceptually understand, and the time taken to effort in to remedy that understanding, especially in the contentious way that a lot of people do, is wasted, because these people are simply not racist, they just don't have the same prudent political advocacy that many of you might. The point that I hope I’m making is to be discerning with our understanding, our tolerance, and our time.
I don’t think that I’ll be able to address and respond to all of the ideals and memes and belief systems regarding the recent responses to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and as a result I’m sure that there will be a lot of frustration and, quite possibly surprise towards this column but I mean, I don’t know, our country has become so politically divided everything that happens from mass/school shooting to racial bias to police overreach to any number of prejudicial injustices there’s going to be backlash, even within party lines and, honestly, it’s enough to feel both outrage and, simultaneously, numb to it and considering it's amazing too me how similar people are behaving regardless their end of the spectrum, and in particular to the response.
George Floyd’s murder regardless of black vs. blue or BLM was abhorrent, and Chauvin should be charged with 2nd degree murder, regardless of the circumstances that may, or may not have lead to Floyd’s death because at the time George Floyd was laying on the ground, in police custody, with a knee pressed firmly into his neck; those circumstances are indisputable.
The varied responses to it, however, are absolutely questionable; if the thought is outrageous to you, or if you disagree that’s absolutely your right but, history—the same history that many of you are citing to support the degree of your response is against you. MLK, in his speech citing "...rioting as the language of the unheard," didn’t participate in any rioting himself, and instead made the protest for Civil Rights his life mission, and he succeeded in many, many ways. He wasn’t protesting situationally; Martin Luther King, Jr. was protesting and marching and delivering his message to politicians as well as to the people every single day, and not only when there were specific acts of racial injustice, that’s an incredibly important point to consider; there were people out there making it their life mission and supporting the same cause, every single day. Leaderless movements do not have nor do they gain traction, people need to organize, and to outline, and to involve.
There’s a meme going around with pictures of silent, peaceful protests with the message that people still did not listen, so rioting became the only option, peaceful protests have inspired and influenced greater change than rioting ever has all over the world, for centuries but it takes time, it has always taken time. MLK and other revered men gave it their due diligence, they didn’t give up periodically, let their anger build, and then demand justice situationally the next time there was racial bias or blatant racism.
You say people are not listening well, Minneapolis had the platform to really insight possible change, for leaders of a movement to step up and to address and to Speak out for that injustice, they had Everyone’s ear, and then they rioted, and then the rest of the country rioted. And then much of the white anti-racist supporters to show a misguided sense of solidarity supported, and engaged in the riots, instead of acknowledging the lessons of history, and many of them hid behind the guise of race to justify violent behavior, and frankly yes, I find that disgusting (Saying that, and still supporting the active cause that BLM could represent are not mutually exclusive ideas). These are not the actions and the behaviors of a movement, and it is not racist to disavow turbulent behavior that’s being justified to support a movement that in, and of itself inherently opposes violence.
I know a lot of people will vehemently disagree, but time and time again the world has protested that peace begets peace, and violence begets violence.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed for his protest and for his message, but do you honestly think that if he knew that was going to happen he would have lived his life any differently? The BLM movement needs a movement, which requires a real, unified, definable message, and a means to deliver that message in a way that people will hear, and it’s going to take time, and in the end, unfortunately, there will be racist people, you cannot force or demand racism out of someone; yes, it’s distasteful and repugnant behavior, but you can’t just protest and riot because your angry and your exhausted because ignorant people exist. There has to be an outlined message, define what you want to accomplish, and in a way that is admissible and definable, and then share it.
(ie. what if, instead of demanding accountability, after the fact people unified to demand that law enforcement go through similar training [programs as the military; our military conducts themselves, usually, with a greater sense of composure and awareness than law enforcement...)