What White People Don’t Get

This week I listened to a Politically Re-Active podcast entitled: Shaun King on Controversy, Color, and Kaepernick. Shaun King is a civil rights activist who mainly uses social media to discuss race relations. During the podcast, the hosts of the podcasts ask King about whether he thinks there is hope for improvement regarding police brutality in America. King tells them he is hopeful, but unfortunately racism in America is getting worse. King states how during President Obama’s term, hate groups around the country increased significantly. He also explained how drastically the numbers of police related deaths and incarcerations have gone up. When I heard that, I had to pause the podcast. I’ve always been under the impression that racism is an immense problem today, but that during the civil rights movement and slavery, it was worse. I think this is a common trend with white people. We aren’t acknowledging the severity of what’s going on.

We grow up reading textbooks focused around slavery and the civil rights movement, but we aren’t actually comprehending that the instances of racism we see today, are just as bad as they were. Children in elementary school learn about Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King, but they don’t learn about police brutality and mass incarceration that’s occurring every single day. The lack of knowledge and ignorant thinking that racism today “isn’t as bad as it used to be” is a major problem. There won’t be any change if we aren’t acknowledging the fact that racism today is just as bad as it was during slavery and the civil rights movement. Is there a way to change this way of ignorant thinking so that white people can finally understand just how much racial injustice is occurring every single day?

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