Monday, March 26, 2012

Racism: Alive and Well in America

by S. Paul Forrest

As the last show was unfortunately cancelled, we will be discussing this as one of the stories - 04-02-12 - Breaking Taboo - - 7:00 PM EST - Be sure to tune in.

Racism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”  Racism is not just a term though, it is an evil action of mind and body that both erodes and degrades our human race by poisoning it with beliefs of superiority when it is in and of itself, the very thing which makes us so inferior as a Nation.

This ugly word has become the singular issue surrounding the Trayvon Martin case in Florida this past month.  Racism is being tossed into the ring regarding a vigilante neighborhood watchman with a weapon who somehow became compelled to shoot to death a young black teenager walking home from the store because he fit the profile of other black man who “always get away”.  Those words sound perfectly normal from a racist but the fact remaining is how charges have not yet been filed because  somehow, proof does not exist showing it was in fact, a hate crime.

From black to white, the rhetoric surrounding the case has been rife with accusations and predeterminations of a police force which has in the past, covered up racial crimes and presently, is facing the onslaught of a Federal Investigation simply because it has received so much attention. The question we should be asking ourselves is; if the Reverand Al Sharpton hadn’t been alerted to this travesty of justice and had made such an issue of it, would we even be talking about it now?  After all, two weeks had passed before this even came up but meanwhile, a family had lost a loved one and business as usual continued in a small town choked with racial tension.

This single case is important to acknowledge but what about the hundreds or even thousands of other incidents of racial prejudice in America that happen everyday without recognition? We see these incidences in our education system, social system and justice system which more often than not, determines the fate of a young man or woman based on race and ultimately, fills an already overpopulated prison system with those who should not have been there to begin with or even the cemetaries littering the lanscape of our nation.  Where is the justice for the victims of these travesties?

Profiling is  sometimes necessary as a safeguard against harm in a growing society but when it leads to the death of a young man walking through his own neighborhood with a bag of skittles because he was a black man wearing a hoodie, we all must stop to consider the possibility that we have gone from a land of freedom and diversity where any may prosper to one of hatred where children becomes victims of zealots and a corrupt justice system mired with racial bias. Justice is served only when non-prejudice exists but in a land where a young man like Trayvon Martin can be gunned down for simply walking through a white neighborhood simply because he was black, it is the last thing that is being served.

Question: Given the rush to judgement in the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, are we who are emphatically claiming a case of racism really acting in a racist manner albeit reversed?  Afterall, innocent until proven guilty is still Justice's creedo so why are so many, as was the case of Casey Anthony, so quick to judge and condemn Zimmerman without substantial proof?  Is it because we do not want to be seen as racist or in anyway supporting it if it did in fact, exist? By collectively hating a "hater" have we have become the same kind of racist we so emphatically judge Zimmerman to be?


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