Imagine the world we live in today and how little has changed in the last forty years despite a significant civil rights movement that strived to do so. In America, people of color are constantly bombarded with the message from all angles about how white people live, their ‘good’ neighborhoods, their television shows that are lily white despite being set in cities where people of color are in abundance (Friends, Seinfeld) which tells us in a not so subliminal way that we do not matter or are insignificant. So no matter what your black parents instill in their children, the outside world is a constant reminder of what the mainstream culture deems acceptable.
Race: The Construct that Keeps on Giving
White people, whether they are aware of it or not, do not bear the constant, everyday, social burden of that little big thing called R-A-C-E. Moving with ease through society, it is not an issue they think about – or even care to think about – because for many it is viewed as something that is not ‘their problem’, an erroneous assumption that is one of the primary reasons why America and the entire world continues to suffer. As long as white people continue to operate in this manner and ignore the contributions of people of color, this cycle of discontent will continue.
People of color (and that includes Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, etc) do not just have the right to speak up, but they should make it a duty in these current times to speak out against racism and dispel rumors at every turn. If the majority is uncomfortable, that speaks more to their own internalized fears and should have no bearing on how we stand up for our rights.
We will not be ignored. We will not be dismissed. We will be heard.
Believe in your sense of D-U-T-Y.