The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday concerns freedom from racism. The United States is more divided racially now than it was eight years ago because Barack Obama and his administration fanned the flames of racism whenever they had a chance to do so. Although white people have been the racists for many years, most white folks today are trying to stamp out racism. In fact, more racism is shown publicly by people of color now than by white people. Racism by any race is not acceptable and should be eliminated as quickly as possible.
I do a lot of reading and sometimes see the term “white privilege.” I had no idea what it meant until recently, and I am astonished at what I am reading. I learned that white privilege is a term that describes treatment given to whites that is withheld from people of color under the same circumstances – social, political, or economic circumstances. That description would not have meant anything to me if I had not seen a video about it.
I watched a short video that apparently is an advertisement for a film titled “Cracking the Codes.” I do not know what is in the movie because I have not watched it, but I did not like what I learned from the video. The video consisted of a nice-looking, educated black woman telling her experience of going to the grocery store with her sister-in-law and their children. The sister-in-law is half-white/half-black, but she looks white and has blue eyes. They selected their groceries and got to the check out. The clerk was very friendly with the white-looking sister-in-law who wrote a check to pay for her groceries with no problem. The clerk was not friendly with the black woman who wrote a check, had to show two kinds of identification, and watch while the clerk checked her “bad check” book. The black woman was hesitant to say anything because she did not want to come across as “an angry black woman.” The sister-in-law eventually saw what was happening and asked the clerk what she was doing. The clerk said that she was following the rules, but the sister-in-law reminded her that she did not do that with her check. Two elderly white women were in line behind the black woman and backed up the sister-in-law. The manager noticed the problem and came over to check on it. The clerk was called on her racism.
The half-white/half-black sister-in-law who looks white had no problem going through the checkout line, but the black woman who did the same thing had several problems. Why? I read numerous comments on the video with lots of people saying they had experienced the same type of treatment but in different circumstances. Why? Racism happens because people do not notice it happening or do not call out the racists.
Why do people treat people differently based on the color of their skin? Do they not realize that we are all brothers and sisters? Racism is racism no matter the color of the skin, and it is wrong. No one has the right to show disrespect or hate to anyone simply because of the color of their skin.
I often think of a personal experience I had many years ago. I was in a store with one or more of my children and was standing in a checkout line behind a black woman. My little girl who was about four or five years old noticed the woman’s black skin. She was very concerned and wanted to know what happened to the woman to make her skin black. I first apologized to the woman, and then I explained to my daughter that there was nothing wrong with her. I told her that the woman was just like us but had a different color of skin. My daughter accepted my explanation and had no further problems with it. In fact, she had several friends who were black. Another has a best friend who is black and who has been in our home numerous times. In fact, I have family members who are half-black.
I agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who had a dream that people would one day judge each other on character rather than the color of skin. I wish that more people would follow Dr. King’s dream. I know that our Heavenly Father would be pleased if we treated each other with respect and as sisters and brothers rather than enemies.