Click open any social media platform today, and you will see a plethora of opinions on today's racially charged environment. Some claim it is systemic and has just been well hidden until our current leadership allowed it to be "okay". Others claim that it is just a construct of the so-called "liberal media", and is being manufactured to create a reason to riot, pillage and destroy.
Black Lives Matter is being vilified as a reverse form of the KKK, or as people who just want to cause trouble. Sadly, the same so-called Christians who sang, " Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight" are in the mainstream pumping propaganda claiming that racism just doesn't exist and that BLM is a hate group, funded by George Soros who has attained almost mythical evil powers. If you check Snopes, you will find that George Soros did NOT claim to plan to bring down America by funding black hate groups (https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/george-soros-bring-down-us/). He didn't pay March for your Lives protesters $300 to march in 2018, and Adam Schiff's sister is NOT married to George Soro's son. These are conspiracy theories, most likely of Russian origin, designed to divide us by creating a modern day "boogeyman". The end result of these far fetched claims is to create the appearance that racism is just being manufactured, for the left wing boogeyman to use as a tool. The "real" boogeyman is far more insidious.
This denial of racism, in my opinion, is yet another manifestation of racism itself. If those who have white privilege can shove it under the covers and pretend it doesn't exist, then they can relax in their comfy chairs for another year, or two or three, and not feel the discomfort that comes from embracing and doing something about injustice. Those who do want to divide us (united we stand, divided we fall), are laughing at how easily we are taking the bait.
I am fortunate enough to work for a very enlightened corporation; VMWare. Our CEO has expressed his feelings over the injustice that was made public by not only George Floyd's death, but over the 21st century lynchings that should not be happening in modern society. We take classes on Inclusion and Diversity, and many of us discover in these classes that we have internal bias that we were not even conscious of having before doing the necessary introspection. Just like the dust we find after cleaning, upon a closer look or the mistakes we find upon proofreading a document. We can only eliminate what we acknowledge is there.
I grew up in an environment where I was not allowed to play with black children, and my parents stopped going to a church because the pastor believed that if I attended church with black children, I could possibly grow up and marry a black man. To them at that time (they have since mellowed with age), that would have been a fate worse than death. Many of us who grew up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s had the same background. My children have called me out for making statements that upon reflection, I was ashamed of saying. I didn't believe them in my heart, they were taught to me from the time I could speak.
On the other side, many blacks, asians, hispanics and jews had the opposite experience. They grew up in a society where they were told by their parents to keep a low profile, to stay safe, don't rock the boat. They grew up with a hidden message that they were somehow inferior, and that if they called attention to themselves, they would surely suffer as a result.
Yes, racism is systemic in our culture. Now that we have an openly white racist president, those who are not ashamed of their racist beliefs are emboldened and are acting out their anger aggressively. Hence the deaths of innocent joggers, minor criminals, and EMTs sleeping in their beds at night.
The FBI has found that even though our racist president claims that "Antifa" is causing most of the looting and destruction, most arrests made have been of white supremicists like the "Boogaloo Boys" and the "Proud Boys". The publicly stated goal of many of these Nazi groups is the creation of a fully white America by civil war. Is it not possible that they are exploiting this scenario to reach their coveted dreams?
Antifa stands for Anti - Facism and is a term coined during the second world war. Hitler and Mussolini were facists. Why is it wrong to be antifacist? No organized Antifa group exists. And white supremicists were found on Twitter to be posing as Antifa, to create a backlash and divert attention from the real criminals and outlaws. Very fine people according to our president (small letter intentionally used).
My cat Bandit is blissfully unaware that he is of mixed color. He is proud of looking like an Oreo cookie and only fights with other cats over choice morsels of food. We all need to recognize that racism is NOT manufactured, but IS being exploited by foreign actors who want to divide and conquer. Russian troll factories are working overtime to stoke the fires of racial tensions before our 2020 elections. Let's help our brothers of color, come together and fight injustice, and stop letting the foreign actors leverage our division and inherent bias. Be like Bandit the cat!