Things got really sad in the United States recently. I hope something good will come out of it, though. The change has to happen because it just can’t stay like it is anymore.
There is one thing I truly don’t understand – why now, in the XXI century, in 2016, we have to even have this discussion? Why aren’t some things are already obvious for everybody? Why do we have to explain that “black live matter”? Why is the color of your skin even relevant?
There’s tragedy after a tragedy recently. Within one week, cops shot two innocent Afro-Americans in two different cities, and as a revenge, a guy shot 5 police officers in Dallas. Since the social media are an everyday tool used by everyone and everywhere to capture events live, the brutality was exposed in full. I must admit I couldn’t force myself to watch those horrific clips.
There’s a discussion going on in the US right now about racism and about what it is to be like to be a black person living here. Whoopi Goldberg recently said on The View that “if you don’t see that there’s a problem out there – you’re a problem”. The truth is that racism is still a big problem in the US. Having a black president didn’t change much in this regard. I recently wrote on Just Like NY that I moved to NYC to feel free. I guess not everyone can feel free in this city, even if they’re born in here. I’m an immigrant, but I have blond hair, blue eyes and – most importantly – I’m white, so “I will be fine”. My chances are still bigger than those of some Afro-Americans. I have to admit that I was shocked when my black friend, born and raised in Brooklyn, recently told me that it’s still difficult for him to grab a cab in Manhattan! And just a few months ago he was stopped and frisked by the police.
The problem is the stereotypical way of thinking that is still deeply rooted in Americans minds – “if there’s a problem, probably the black guy is guilty” or “if there is a black guy, there will be a problem”. If there are two guilty people – white and black – the chances that black one will be sentenced are definitely bigger. My other friend explained to me that system is broken and black people have been always seen as “a problem” and this hasn’t changed. I don’t know much about “the system” or American politics at large, but I see that something is not working and has to be fixed. We should start from ourselves by answering a simple question – aren’t we guilty of this thinking ourselves…?
The only thing I’m afraid of is that amidst the whole Pokemon Go craze, with election on the way and – most importantly – the constant distraction of social media, the discussion about racism will be swept deep under the carpet yet again.