Yes, Racism Still Exists

Yes, Racism Still Exists

Why people need to stop saying Racism does not exist in 21st century America.
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I am a legal studies major. I plan to be a lawyer in the future, and therefore i am a strong believer in justice, for everyone. With this in mind, I must address an issue that has enrages me to my core: the problem racism in the United States, today.

As a white person, it is obviously inappropriate for me to make any judgment as to whether racism is or is not prevalent in today’s society due to my lack of experience with it. I grew up in a predominately white community in New England, attended a predominately white high school, with predominately white friends. I am very aware that I do not know what it feels like to be racially discriminated against and probably never will. I don’t think any white person has or will ever feel or know what that experience is like. In simpler terms, any person who is not a minority has no place to say that racism is no longer an issue. Looking at the evidence of today’s society, the conversation of racism has strongly re-surfaced. However, has it ever really gone away?

The first lesson I can remember learning in school was the “golden rule” which said to treat people the way you want to be treated. By fifth grade, we were introduced to United States history and had a primitive understanding of what the United States Constitution was. In fact, the line: “All men are created equal” is a phrase I have been able to recite since about 10 years old. By middle school, we knew all about about the Civil War and how Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery. And most importantly, by high school, The Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr, and Jim Crow Laws were all familiar concepts. From kindergarten to high school, almost every monumental lesson taught relates back to one concept: how to treat people. Apparently the message did not resonate to everyone the way it did for me.

Racism today is not found in slavery. It is not found through segregated schools or bathrooms. Simply because there is racial equality on legal grounds does not mean the issue is gone. Today, racism is found in stereotypes, derogatory slang words that people forget are actually offensive, and especially in matters dealing with police brutality. Instances like Trayvon Martin or Eric Garner are a few of the most notorious cases of this. Other tactics like racial profiling, and stop and frisks are utilized way too prevalently causing major controversy in our country, as it should. I, personally, have never seen anything like that first-hand and simply because many people have not witnessed situations like these, does not mean that it doesn’t happen. On the other hand, just because some police officers practice racial discrimination does not mean that all of them do. Though the overwhelming fact remains that a lot of the police brutality cases do involve African American victims, it is worth mentioning that police officers are put in life-threatening circumstances every single day. Sometimes the situation is not actually fueled by racism. Being in the position of a police officer requires split-second decisions to be made. When the wrong decision is made, it may be due to lack of training rather than malicious motives. Overall, people must stop dismissing the existence of racial inequality as it is clearly still a thing for millions of people.

A big controversy in response to police brutality has been the Black Lives Matter movement. I entirely understand and support the message and goals of the organization, but I also see how that message can become misconstrued. A lot of people associate civil rights with black and white. A movement that focuses solely on one race, may suggest to so many other races, orientations, or religions, that they are inferior, even if that isn’t the intention. What about asian lives? Gay lives? Jewish lives? All Lives Matter. Everyone matters, everyone is important, and everyone has something to contribute to this life, and everyone deserves to have their message heard.

We are all made up, biologically, of the same parts. If any one person, group, race, or religion thinks for one second that they are superior to anyone else, let me be the first to tell you that you are so disgustingly wrong. This is not a one-sided discussion intended to degrade or elevate any one person or group. All we can ask from each other is to put yourself in other peoples shoes, see things from various perspectives, be impartial, be unbiased, be objective. Nobody knows what another person has gone through, as nobody knows what everyone has gone through. Make it a priority to stop making judgments based on emotion, race, religion, orientation, etc. It’s 2016 people, there is no room for ignorant people… Donald Trump this includes you.

Cover Image Credit: Susie 81 Speaks

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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