We’re all a part of this process
by Donald K. Sanders
Current events seem to draw different responses from different racial groups. Some responses are understandably angry and nearing the point where they will turn to violence, while others seem unresponsive and indifferent. It seems odd to me that, depending upon the event, one group’s response can be so different from another’s when the event so obviously affects both groups equally and in the same way. This is what I’m having a little trouble with.
Take for instance the killing of Trayvon Martin at the hands of night watchman George Zimmerman or the Marissa Alexander case, both of Florida. What a clusterfuck these two cases are. It is apparent to me that much of white America would like these matters to just go away. They don’t seem to care about how they go away, they just want them to go away. They don’t care.
Our citizens of color see things in a whole different light. They are understandably angry and many are on the verge of open revolt. In their eyes, they have never had justice or equality. For them, nothing has changed in the last 200 years. For them, they are still segregated and subject to discrimination and racism from white America and indeed the government. Should you feel this is not the case, then take a drive through Richmond and see how it compares with Concord or Walnut Creek.
African Americans males are incarcerated at more than six times the rate of white males and Hispanic males more than double the rate. One of every eight black males in the age group 25-29 is incarcerated on any given day. More than one in three young black men without a high school diploma are in prison.
It angers me simply to have to say these words: “More black men without a high school diploma are incarcerated than employed.” We all know it’s more difficult to secure a job once a person has spent time in jail or prison. Incarceration limits the options of the already less fortunate. In fact, black men earn 44 percent less after they’ve been incarcerated — four percent less than the average for all races/ethnicities.
Many will argue that there have been many, many advances in the racial disparities area in this nation. This may be true. but again I say take a drive in Richmond and compare the schools there with the schools in Walnut Creek and Concord. Do you think that what you find there is what Melba P. Beals waded through an army of angry white southerners for? Do you think this is what equal education is?
An even larger question is — do you feel this has no affect on you? The fact of the matter is that the United States houses over one quarter of the world’s incarcerated. There are more prisoners within the borders of the United States than in the top 32 European countries combined. One in every 28 children in the US has an incarcerated parent.
Everyone seems to be in their own little world, working on their own little problems. LGBT Americans feel they are denied their civil rights. There are women’s rights groups, religious groups, human rights groups, technology and liberty groups, and national security groups calling for election reforms and transparent government. Everybody wants something and they all want it now.
In the process, the Earth’s population is depleting our planet’s natural resources at a rate faster than what is needed for those resources to be replenished. The planet has lost 30 percent of its resources over the past 40 years. Our economy is failing and Americans blame the government. Sixty-five percent of all Americans see the government as the greatest threat to their liberty.
Much of America thinks they can save money on the cost of insurance if they simply drive away from the accident. They wonder who is the bigger fool — the person that knows everything or the person that argues with him. They think that people who talk shit to you usually talk shit about you. They think that animal crackers are bullshit because the elephant tastes just like the giraffe.
Americans waste their energy on a myriad of problems and in doing so they have lost sight of the big picture. Yes, people want change and they want justice and equality for our African American friends but no one wants to do the footwork to get it all together. They don’t want to get involved. No one wants to think about these things and what it will take to solve our problems.
Well, I have news for you. You are involved, you will have to do the footwork, and you will have to think about it.
A quote from A. Einstein will sum it all up for us: “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”