A recent video by AJ+ (the social video arm of Al Jazeera news) asks the question: Why are we still talking about racism? Simply, because it still exists. We’ve seen it in the increased police brutality against African-Americans, the burning down and shooting up of black churches across the country and the consistent generalizations of Black people in TV and film.
The AJ+ video features 11 people of African-American heritage each talking about their own experiences with racial discrimination, and it’s one of the most powerful examinations of racism and its effects we have ever seen.
The video starts with, “Say it: Black Lives Matter. It’s okay, we do matter; you don’t matter any less.” The general consensus among the video’s viewers is that there are other minorities, not just blacks, who experience racial discrimination. It’s true, but black Americans are almost eight times as likely as white ones to be homicide victims, which is one of the reasons we’re still talking about racism.
Furthermore, we’re still seeing misrepresentations and generalizations of Blacks in movies and TV. Not all African-Americans are “ghetto” like Bon Qui Qui from MadTV. Even the family in the sitcom Black-ish inadvertently perpetuates this negative stereotype by saying that their family is “barely black” because they don’t live up to the “ghetto” stereotype; they choose to ski or identify as Republican. How tiresome that media reduces Black identity to how much we earn and how we talk.
After the church shooting in Charleston that killed nine African-Americans this last June, we learned that the shooter Dylan Roof had pictures of himself with the confederate flag and a history of racism. Since then, we’ve started having debates and discussions as to why the Confederate flag evokes feelings of racism. Racist structures and thinking surround everyone in America, no matter their skin color. Until that changes, we’ll still need to talk about racism.
(featured image via AJ+)
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