Taqwaa Saleem continues
her editorial series entitled
Black in America. Saleem
is currently a grad student
at Georgia Southern
A friend of mine raised the question in his blog about where racism and the African American community stands in America today.
Racism, I feel, will only vanish when there is never even the slightest consideration of race as we move throughout each day.
When we move about as humans without ethnic adjectives or descriptions, racism will be abolished.
The arrest of Dr. Henry Louis Gates and CNN’s “Black in America 2” presentation stirs the pot for us to have another conversation about race.
Regarding Dr. Gates, I asked the same question as many about whether two people could be neighbors and one mistake the other for a burglar. I don’t know each of my neighbors personally but I am familiar with most faces. Although I can see how Dr. Gates’ neighbor might not have seen his face clearly while he tried to enter his home, I cannot help but think that neighbor was increasingly inclined to call the police because Dr. Gates was a Black man.
He appeared suspicious to the neighbor because his complexion increased his criminal likelihood. I may be incorrect but history supports my theory.
Being Black in America means understanding that racism is not an issue that merely exists for one type of Black person (upper, middle, lower class) but for any person of color at any given moment.
Our reality is that any experience could be one where circumstances of race surface. We are also racist against ourselves at times.
When I’m riding down the street minding my business and get pulled over for no apparent reason by a Black officer working on an all White force because he has a quota to meet, that’s when I’m most hurt.
His concern is not protecting me but protecting himself and his position in what he accepts as a White world.
Being Black in Americans embracing the notion that although parts of the world may see Blackness as an obstacle, we must see our Blackness as natural and empowering.
Taqwaa Falaq Saleem