Sometimes today can feel like the 60s. Many images splattered before me: black churches being shot and burned down by domestic terrorists; brown-skinned boys slain in the streets by those who were meant to defend and protect them, brown-skinned children harassed and incriminated in front of their homes; brown-skinned women mysteriously murdered in police custody, and no one knows how.
It feels like the 60s, but when I turn on my smartphone, all of its lights and apps declare that it is the 21st century. It is the age of progression, equality, technological advances and a time when a man of color has been voted in as president of the United States of America. But true justice for all is still an elusive concept.
Instead of justice, the African-American community is told that our men are criminals and incite fear into law enforcement. Black women are told they are too bold and outspoken, and their children are unruly. Yet in Charleston, S.C. at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a room full of black men, women and children were slaughtered in their own sanctuary. None of them were hostile; they loved and welcomed the terrorist when he walked in. The terrorist said he was not killing them because of any characteristics but because of the hue of their skin.
The incident is reminiscent of the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. where four small black girls were killed.
It seems that America is progressing at the same rate as she is regressing because of the failure to address her illness. There is chaos when America does not find a cure but simply bandages symptoms with shallow policies. All of America suffers, not just one group of people.
We all suffer because our fellow citizens are being robbed of rights and privileges that are guaranteed to some but not others; we all suffer because our fellow Christians are dying for showing the love of God; we all suffer because a dream, a business, an activist, a CEO, a doctor, a lawyer, a preacher, a librarian and a brilliant mind died along with that body. We all suffer because we are all part of the human race, and when one hurts, shouldn’t we all hurt?
The issue of racism in this country is often ignored until a tragedy happens, like Eric Gardner or the Charleston shooting. That’s a problem. Racism happens continuously whether we recognize it or not, so it is counterproductive to only speak of it when people are murdered. By then it’s too late. Racism is a tough and difficult subject to discuss but it must be discussed on a regular basis, so when citizens see racism, they recognize it and fight against it with all of their being.