I feel sick. I feel guilty. I feel disgusted. I feel horrified. I feel scared. I feel ashamed. But this isn’t about me. This is about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. This is about Lorne Ahrens and Michael Smith and Michael Krol and Patrick Zamarripa and Brent Thompson. This is about innocent lives being taken away due to underlying racial tensions.
Nobody thinks of themselves as racist. Nobody wants to be racist. I believe that, as humans, we naturally want to love one other. Why would God create us to hate one another? It simply wouldn’t make sense. No, racism is evil. It has been occurring at least since whites forced Africans into slavery, but probably much earlier than that. There have been moments in American history when it seemed as though racism was finally coming to an end (the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 or the Civil Rights Act of 1965), but it never truly did. Documents have been signed so that on paper, America does not seem to be a racist country. Yet racism still exists.
In today’s time, racism is a constant underlying thought. It’s not always evident through comments or physical harm to someone of another race (although instances where this occurs do sadly happen too often). We are afraid to confront our personal racism because we don’t want to be seen as racist. By keeping our struggles internal, we are only contributing to the problem. It is a destructive and endless cycle.
Racism lives within each one of us. It might just be a fleeting thought in the back of your mind, but it’s still there. Just because you don’t say it, doesn’t mean it’s not racist. These fleeting thoughts turn into more permanent thoughts. The more permanent thoughts can eventually lead to racist comments and actions. These racist comments and actions lead to tragedies like the Alton Sterling shooting or the Philando Castile shooting or the Dallas Police shooting.
Although racism is deeply rooted within each of our histories, we have the power to change it. We don’t need to simply live through racism, we need to fix it. We need to understand that we are all racist and then we need to decide that we want to change. We need to ask questions, reevaluate our lives, and determine a way in which we can personally help end racism. We need to see every race as equal.
We need to see every race as equal. Not be “colorblind” because each race carries with it distinct ethnicities and cultures. It would be an injustice to forget about these individual aspects that make us all unique. But we can still be different and equal. Because, in the end, we are all human and it is in our human nature to love one another.