Dear White People, Your Racial Bias Is Destroying America

Dear White People, Your Racial Bias Is Destroying America

Ignorance lies in the heart of small towns, cloaked in whiteness and family traditions.

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Here's the thing… I don't like change. No, scratch that.

Change is good. It's often profound and necessary, even if it's uncomfortable at times.

What I hate are transitions: the movements from one frame of mind or life to another.

Our country is in transition. Nothing has really changed, and I think that is the problem.

It is so easy to blame today's racism on the Trump administration, launching more hatred on top of what already exists. However, while he's most certainly not my favorite president, he didn't create what is here.

He revealed it.

He appealed to a side of people that was often kept behind closed doors, which eventually emboldened people.

I watched a documentary on Netflix called "White Right: Meeting the Enemy." I watched it in an attempt to understand the other side. Having grown up in an all-white town and fairly racist community, I wanted to learn what truly draws people into white supremacy and extremism.

The documentary follows Emmy Award-winning Filmmaker, Deeyah Khan, a Muslim woman who follows different extremist groups to try to find the humanity in them.

And I was amazed to find that while the people in the documentary had some pretty scary ideas, they were kind to Deeyah and even began to change some of their own views based on their interactions with her. Some of them even stated that they'd never really met a Muslim or interacted with one.

Others declared that they fell into extremism because they had rough childhoods. It provided a sense of belonging, and it gave them power and control.

The overall message I got was that conversations need to be had, especially in areas without any diversity at all.

I grew up in a small farm town with zero diversity. I went to an all-white school, attended an all-white church and had no interactions with anyone outside my race for most of my childhood. We had a few children come to school who were adopted and of different races, but it still didn't provide much cultural diversity.

The first experience I had with a person of color was in college. And it was different. All I knew of African Americans was what I had seen portrayed on TV.

My parents always taught me that all people are the same and have the same value, no matter what they look like. But having grown up in a place where everyone looked just like me, it was hard to really understand the value in those lessons.

Thankfully, I attended an extremely diverse college and was able to make friends with lots of people from different cultures and backgrounds. I learned so much about the world through those friendships.

The summer after college, I began dating a Muslim man from Dubai. Bandar was brilliant and kind, easily the sweetest guy I had ever been with up until that point. But everywhere we went, people would stare at us and whisper. People would get annoyed with his accent, and my own friends made cruel jokes about me being a sister wife.

All my life I knew that racism existed, but I never saw it and certainly never felt it.

It was a tough experience, one that my 22-year-old self-wasn't really prepared for. I still can't wrap my brain around people's responses to someone I held in such a high regard — and still do.

Cut to 2017. I received a wedding invitation from a friend back home. At the time, I did not have a boyfriend but had briefly started seeing someone local. When I thought I might take him to the wedding, I RSVP'd for the two of us and sent the invitation back. My friend later reached out to check and see if he was white or black – as it would dictate where we would be seated.

It occurred to me that bringing home a man of color might raise a few eyebrows to my small farm town, but I didn't think it would actually be bothersome on a level that would change an entire seating chart.

Due to his work schedule, he couldn't attend the wedding – which I think was probably for the better.

While at the reception, I found my assigned table and sat down. After a little while, a woman across from me asked me "what kind of black man" I was dating (having apparently been informed a black man would be in her presence). What "kind"? Another young lady interrupted and stated she was asking if he was a thug. Immediately, I was frustrated and wanted to get defensive.

The question was absolutely preposterous. Was I supposed to let her know that he was a college-educated state police officer with a house and a nice truck, or should I have told her he was a thug just to see her reaction? The fact that people feel bold enough to ask these questions amazes me.

The world is full of ignorance. That's what it comes down to.

Just like me, people grow up in all-white communities and live their lives full of assumptions, never having interactions with other cultures or races.

This is exactly how bias is created. The media dictates who they interview after big events, what makes the news and how that story is portrayed. And it's almost always negative to black culture.

Bias kills unarmed black men and women.

It's that gut-wrenching fear that all black people are armed and dangerous. It's the desire to second-guess every black person that walks near you. It's the urge to lock your car doors when a black man walks by. It's what emboldens people to call the police on people of color for things like standing in a coffee shop.

Bias tells you that black people are dangerous.

What is even scarier about bias is that it is often implicit. It is so deeply ingrained that people often don't even know that they have it.

It comes out with even simple things, like showing surprise when you see a well-educated person of color – as if they can't achieve something like an education.

The only way to combat these underlying prejudices is to start talking.

Ignorance lies in the heart of small towns, cloaked in whiteness and family traditions.

Racial jokes become the thing you pass down to your grandchildren, as you're out on the tractor together.

People can only fear what they do not know.

In this day and age, staying quiet only makes things worse. Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. It teaches people that you think it's OK.

But let me say it for you: It's NOT OK.

None of this is OK.

We cannot live like this. I do not want more children to grow up this way.

If anything is going to change, it's going to have to start with YOU.

At some point, we have to stop arguing over All Lives Matter and understand that if that were really true, we'd all be working to make things right in this country. All of us.

Cover Image Credit:

Wikimedia Commons

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As A Female Christian Millennial, I Fully Support Alabama's Abortion Ban Because I Know God Would, Too

A life always has worth, no matter the circumstances.

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Alabama's state legislature passed a bill on May 14, 2019 that makes it illegal for abortions to be performed past six weeks of pregnancy. Doctors who are caught violating the law could be sentenced up to 99 years in prison. The bill is the strictest anti-abortion bill to date this year as states try to pass laws to challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

While the law does allow an exception to women whose lives are at risks, it does not allow for abortions in the event of rape or incest. I support Alabama's new law, and I applaud them for their efforts to protect the rights of unborn children.

As a Christian, I believe that life is a precious gift from God and should be treated with care.

The sixth commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill," and Jesus said the second greatest rule was to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39-40). I believe this applies to every person born and unborn. But, even from a secular perspective, there are reasons that support an unborn child's right to life. Let's break down two of the most important components of the bill: abortion itself and the case of rape and incest.

A big argument in the debate is whether a baby is alive before it is born or only after it is born.

I believe can be explained and answered with simple medical science. In the medical profession, a person is pronounced dead when there is no more activity in the brain, known as brain-dead.

At that point, they consider there to be no more life in the body.

The opposite of death is life, so if you have electrical signals still coursing through your brain, then you are alive. A fetus begins to have electrical activity in its brain at six weeks. Most women do not find out they are pregnant until around that time, so by the time they decide to have an abortion, the baby, by all medical accounts, is alive.

Another indicator of whether a person is dead or dying is their pulse.

The pulse is how many times a person's heart beats per minute. If a person does not have a pulse, they will more than likely die if their heart cannot be resuscitated because no oxygen is getting to their brain.

Medical personnel does everything they can to start a person's heart back because they know that the heart is key to life.

A baby's heart begins to beat at five weeks old, again before the mother knows she is pregnant and can choose to have an abortion. Since the United States' justice system upholds that killing a person is wrong, then shouldn't killing a baby, who is alive, be wrong too? I think this is plenty of proof that aborting a baby is killing a living person and is therefore wrong.

Rape and incest are two horrible acts that should be punished. It is never the victim's or conceived a child's fault in the situation.

Given the reasons above for why abortion is wrong, I also believe, while both crimes are horrendous, that abortion is still not the answer to this problem. I do understand, however, that women, because of the traumatic experience or other reasons, may not be able to care for the child.

As such, I am an advocate for adoption.

There are many couples out there who cannot have children on their own who would love to adopt. In order, for this to be a viable option, though, Congress needs to make amendments to adoption laws.

Adoption is outrageously expensive, much more costly than an abortion, and is a long and tedious process.

Though the laws are in place so that not just anybody can adopt a child, the government still could stand to relax laws a little. Another option could be to offer aid to those who wish to adopt specifically to cover adoption expenses or to only those who meet certain requirements. If we want to protect unborn children, we must give women and families more viable options.

I know that my views are not popular, but God did not call us to be popular, He called us to be His disciples.

I will not compromise my convictions because I am in the minority. I support the women who have to face this dilemma, and I pray that they and our government officials make the right decisions and aid these women and families in need of help.

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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