It’s a thing.
Until this year, I thought it was mostly the hidden things that people in the comfort of middle class america didn’t really perceive. But that changed this year. It’s out on the lawn of the White House now.
But anyway – let’s look at the ways that it lives and makes black lives matter less. The following is from Pew Research:
- Education: 36% of whites have a college degree, 23% of blacks, 15% of hispanics.
- Median Household Income: $77K white; $44K blacks & hispanics
- Black People and Hispanics are 2X as likely to be poor as white people.
The thing is the gap is growing not shrinking. It’s representative of a systemic problem – racism.
You want to blame it on black people, don’t you? That was your go to thought.
- they don’t value education
- they don’t use money wisely
- they get pregnant as teenagers
- they use drugs more often.
- they are lazy and don’t work.
That’s what you were thinking but don’t say out loud. Do you know why that idea came to your mind?
Because that’s what our culture teaches us about black people. It’s not true, but that what we culturally get told by TV shows and Movies and Talking Heads on TV and MEMEs and the list goes on. We don’t see information that doesn’t fit what we already know, because it takes effort and being uncomfortable to process that. So we just ignore it. We accept the barrage of information that provides us with unconscious affirmation of our unconsidered beliefs.
It’s worse than that even. It is an idea that gets perpetuated by algorithms in our criminal justice system, in the education system, in the credit systems, in the very studies that look at these things. Because once the perception exists, it’s just gets built into the models and all assumptions feed off it.
This is racism. It’s real. It’s living inside of you and me and every system we navigate in our lives. And it’s sucking the marrow out of nearly a third of our population.
This is why we have to say BLACK LIVES MATTER. Because the entire system is designed to make their lives not matter, all while we are not saying the N word, so we think we aren’t racist.
The N word isn’t the thing that’s killing our country. It’s an ugly word with a despicable but absolutely clear set of meanings. But we have coded it with the entirety of racism instead of it being just one symptom.
Racism is hidden in the decay of assumptions that are feeding police violence, poverty and cultural norms. That’s what is rotting the foundations of our country. The system is rigged against a third of the country. That is what is killing the country.