Sunday, December 7, 2014


The year 2014 is reaching its bittersweet end - I add "sweet" to the "bitter" simply due to the fact that it is almost over.  Is it really over, though?  We all know that Michael Brown and Eric Garner were murdered this year; however, they are unfortunately not the only unarmed black men who have had their lives taken away by police officers.  There was Sean Bell in 2006, Aaron Campbell in 2005, Victor Steen in 2009, and Steven Eugene Washington in 2010.  There are more on the list, which anyone can Google and hopefully use common sense to recognize that there is, indeed, a pattern. None of this is a "fluke" and the fact that racism is still rampant in the United States is something everyone must understand in order for 2015 to be any different from years prior.

Race is a topic in America that continues to be TABOO.  This is incredibly problematic in that pretending something does not exist is not the solution to achieving acceptance or tolerance of that something.  In this case, I am talking about race.

Humans have different skin colors.  We look different, and there are categories under which we fall. Like it or not, those categories have been asserted by society; one of our many labels as humans is what we are racially.

I've been thinking about Ferguson and the reactions we have all seen on our social media platforms that have perhaps caused us to evaluate friendships.  I clicked the "unfriend" button for a couple of people - it was a knee jerk reaction.  Now I am actually pretty disappointed in myself for helping to perpetuate the divide that there is between "us" and "them" (meaning, in this context, people who are outraged by the fact that Michael Brown was killed, and people who think the police officer had no choice but to shoot.)  Putting a wedge between people with opposing views has never turned out well. And the power of social media is underestimated.  Even without a "like" or a comment on something that one posts, we can never know who will be impacted in some way by information or a viewpoint that we put out there for people to mull over.

The topic of race seems to make people angry or it makes people shut down completely and decide not to acknowledge that there are different races in the world.  We all need to listen to each other and learn about what it is like to be black, white, Asian, Hispanic (ok, I am fine tuning things now down to ethnicity, not race)... we should be asking each other how it feels - what society can do to improve its treatment of people of different races.  The solution is not to pretend that we don't all have different experiences in life that are because of what ethnicity/race we are.

Anyway... just some thoughts right now.  Yeah.  Basically I'm just annoyed at myself for initially being a part of the problem.  I should at least stay connected to people on Facebook and see what is behind their viewpoint, and allow them to talk to me so that I can talk to them too.