While most of the world has been led to believe that slavery was abolished in America roughly 155 years ago, systematic racism was woven into the infrastructure of this country since its conception. Many of us take our every day freedoms for granted, and we never reflect back on how the realities of our ancestors differed significantly from ours today. Imagine having a child with your husband or wife, and the child being sold to another slave owner as soon as they are old enough to work the fields. Today, our children are ripped away from us by the penal system, the streets, prostitution, and drugs. All of these elements posed in our society to trap our black children and to deter them from living productive, successful, abundant lives.
Have you ever been more than qualified for a promotion at your job, and a white person received the position over you even if they were not as qualified as you? Have you ever been at a place of business waiting to be helped, and someone of a different racial background or wealth status was given assistance before you, even though you were there first? Have you ever tried to purchase a home in an affluent community, and despite you having all of the proper credentials, you still feel like you are being deterred from buying a home in that community?
Have you ever sought out to enroll your child in a better school district so that your child could have access to better educational opportunities, but you were penalized or denied for trying to do so? Or how about going into a department store to make a purchase, and the store clerk makes you feel as though you don’t belong there, or just assumes that you do not have enough money to purchase items, or even assumes that you may shoplift? These are all common day examples of systematic racism being exemplified in our society.
Systematic racism is structured to allow for whites to excel and surpass all others of different racial backgrounds, so that they become the superior race in society. Whites do not experience barriers or obstacles of any kind if they want to buy a home, get a bank loan, get into a great school, get a great position with benefits and exceptional pay. But if you are black especially, everything is harder for you to achieve. Even applying for government assistance is set up to be more difficult for the African American community.
Let’s face it; the white population of this country has had a head start on becoming established in every area of life, stemming from founding this country on the Constitution which is the Holy Grail of making systematic racism legal, just as slavery was once legal. All of the rights, liberties, and freedoms that the Constitution boast about more so applies to whites, and not the descendants of the millions of Africans that were enslaved on this land and built this country to what it is today, nor the immigrants who pour in from the four corners of the earth seeking a better life for their families, who also contributes to this country tremendously, only to be brutalized and persecuted in a country that promises an American dream of equality and freedom.
While so many organized groups fight and protest against racial inequality and police brutality today, their efforts are still overshadowed by the elusive laws in place that still uphold and execute racist beliefs and acts. It will take many more decades of human evolution and healing within the human population to eradicate systematic racism indefinitely.
All creeds of people must choose to live in unison and harmony alongside one another for there to be real change in our world. We need to reimagine and redesign our world to accommodate everyone, not just the rich, or whites. But most of all, white people need to make atonement for their sins against humanity, and begin to make amends by accepting responsibility for their terrorism against humanity, and ultimately restore the balance of equality for all people.
Written by: Shayna Harris 2021