I can’t believe that we live in the year 2018 and racial discrimination is still a thing. I mean, after all those years that went by, I thought we have learned our lessons. I thought the people from the past who fought hard on this matter were able to change our perspective, principles, and beliefs in our lives. I thought they were able to influence and convinced us of what is right and wrong.
Where did the efforts and sacrifices of those people from the past in fighting for racial discrimination and equality go? After all these years, after what they have done, would their efforts in fighting for racial discrimination and equality would just turn into a waste?
Well, I just thought racism already died a long time ago. I just thought we live in a year where black and white Americans receive equal rights and equal treatment without any racial discrimination involved. Not until a recent incident that went trending online where black Americans were treated as criminals and were being racially discriminated. It is like a truth slap saying: “Hey, I know it is 2018 and with all the laws and bills passed, and with all the changes and acceptance, like the first black American being elected as president of the United States, and all that kind of stuff but yeah racial discrimination is still a thing. Welcome to the reality!”
Yes, this is the sad reality, and this really breaks my heart.
The Racial Hoaxes
A legal scholar named Katheryn Russel-Brown coined the term “racial hoaxes.” A racial hoax is where white people are accusing the black people on committing a crime to distract the attention of the police from their own criminal activity, or to “maintain control of white space”, or even to “retaliate against black people for violating unspoken racial codes” and guess what? These cases aren’t a surprise to the black Americans for these experiences are quite normal to them. In fact, 67 cases were documented by Russel-Brown just in the years between 1987 and 1996. The history is full of evidences of these racial hoaxes.
Just like the famous incident at Lake Merritt, in Oakland, California, on April 29. A video that went viral online on a white woman calling the police because a family of black Americans was having a barbecue in a part of local park area designated for barbecuing. The police came and asked the group of black Americans, but after an hour of questioning, the police did not do any further action.
Lolade Siyonbola, a black student from Yale University, switched off the light and took a nap in their dorm’s common room after writing a paper on May 8. A white student, Sarah Braasch, found Siyonbola taking a nap and called the police explaining that the common room was off-limits for sleeping, the same white student who called the police on Siyonbola’s black friend. She captured the incident using Facebook Live and more than 1 million people have watched it. A day after the incident, she posted a status on her Facebook saying “Grateful for all the love, kind words and prayers, your support has been overwhelming Black Yale community is beyond incredible and is taking good care of me. I know this incident is a drop in the bucket of trauma black folks have endured since Day 1 America.”
The incident happened in Rialto, California. After checking out of an Airbnb and taking out their luggage and putting it in the car, three black women filmmakers, one identified as the granddaughter of the late reggae singer Bob Marley named Donisha Prendergast, were stopped by the seven police cars because of a white neighborhood called to the police saying three black people were stealing stuff. The three planned to sue the police.
Two black men hadn’t ordered anything in the Philadelphia Starbucks because they were supposed to wait for their business associate, but one of the staff in the Starbucks called 911 because Starbucks does “not allow nonpaying people from the public to come in and use the restroom,” and the employees were also saying that the two black men were trespassing. They were asked to leave, but they refused to do so. They were arrested by at least six police officers in Philadelphia Starbucks by doing nothing.
Imagine how ridiculous these news sound. There’s still more of these similar incidences – commonly known as the “while black” incidences – and the list could go on and on:
- and so much more
The point here is, these people were arrested not because of these lame excuses but simply because they are black. Their blackness immediately made them a suspect – as if black people are an active threat, when in fact they were just living their lives.
Because what if the situation was changed? What if it was the black person who called the police because the white people were doing nothing, were sleeping in the common room, were taking their own luggage, were barbecuing, do you think the police would believe the person who called? Do you think they would respond? Do you think the police will question the identity of the person reported, much less arrest them?
Now you realize how ridiculous it sounds. You see, blackness itself is a crime. They may deny it or not, but these white people were like saying that these black people do not belong in this place and these do not only just go to the black Americans but all blacks from all countries in the world. What’s even worse and heartbreaking other than these racial hoaxes? Kids being racist. Sadly, kids, although not taught, are as vicious as adults when they racially discriminate other kids. They may not know what racism is, but they sure know how to do it.
This is sad but true. Even kids who only know a little of the world already racially discriminate black people. Just like what happened to the black mother with his son in Bilbao, Spain. The mother only wanted his kid to play in the park, but the white kids didn’t allow his son to play. The white kids were blocking the entrance of the slide. The kids didn’t want the black son in the park to the extent that they were already hitting him. They were calling the kid “monkey”, even saying “you’re not white”. The parents of those white kids didn’t do anything and simply allowed it to happen. This honestly made me sad.
To what extent do we people allow this racial discrimination to happen? We all deserve to be treated fairly. We all deserve to be treated equally. We all deserve to be loved and accepted. We should stop this now, because this will surely create division, and division is one of the reasons why nations fall.
God bless America.