In the U.S., we’ve come a long way from where we were with regards to racial inequality. Across the country, diversity is spreading, acceptance is increasing, and support for minorities is growing.
Awareness and education on racism is becoming a focal point for this country because, as you can see online, on any media outlet, and on any news channel, racism still very much exists.
I, myself, am still faced with racism and prejudice on a daily basis — and in a city as diverse as New York City for that matter.
However, even though there are increasing efforts towards racial equality in America, we still have a very, very long way to go.
I am in no way at all, a pessimistic person. In fact, most people would say I’m overly optimistic and a little too enthusiastic at times.
But, one topic that I still get a little upset over, a tad bit pessimistic about (or realistic, rather) is how much progress will come in this lifetime to the point where I feel 100% comfortable in my own skin — or skin color to be exact.
The thing is, even if we do get to a point where racism is long gone, I’m still not sure if I’ll ever be okay with being a minority.
You see, I’m a Christian (please hold the immediate judgement) and one of the things that I try to do my best to uphold is practicing forgiveness.
I used to hold grudges, had a few chips on my shoulders, and held onto things that happened in the past — Now, not so much.
But, if there is still one chip that is left on my shoulder, it’s the issue of race. And, it is only because I still experience the weight of being treated differently just for being a minority.
And to be frank, I truly do want to have faith that we will get to a point where people no longer treat others differently based on their race, but it’s hard to believe that when non-minorities just don’t understand the root of the problem.
To be specific, one of the companies that I used to work for actually held one of the diversity training seminars, as mentioned in the article.
Unfortunately, and to my disappointment, despite how simply it was broken down, I could tell that not everyone truly got it. It didn’t resonate the way that I wish it would.
If we, as individuals, can’t get to a point where we ourselves fully understand the weight of our unconscious bias, then, we as a society— more so, as a nation — will not be able to overcome the issues on race.
And I will never get that comfort of not worrying about stepping into a pre-dominantly white bar and being stared down the entire time.
Unfortunately, you can’t force someone to understand something that they are just unwilling to understand. These conversations are always difficult to bring up and not everyone wants to talk about such heavy topics on a regular basis.
Even personally, I find it hard to interject and bring up this topic with my own white friends, let alone co-workers or strangers.
And so, the cycle continues…
Now, I’m not calling out anyone specific when I say this, but we need to be more conscious about the way we think, the things we say, and the actions we take when it comes to the topic of race.
It’s not that people are “more sensitive” or lack a sense of humor, as some may put it. It’s just that people are finally standing up against the things that actually are offensive to people.
If we are more mindful about this, then maybe we will get to that place where we all treat each other fairly. But, until that happens, it will be a long time until we see that drastic change on the issue of race.