Week 4 Reflection

I just had a very interesting experience with another passenger on my flight home. I had been working on this reflection post when he brought up race in conversation. He began with what seemed to be a calm and understanding tone, but the chat quickly escalated as he went on to tell me that the Black Lives Matter movement was a bunch of “bull shit” and that race wouldn’t be an issue if we didn’t have a black president. True: race has become a much more prevalent issue as President Obama has continued his presidency, however I was infuriated by this man’s willingness to disregard race as an important and relevant topic. With strong ties to this course, this certainly made an impact to me.

For this man, and many others, race doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on them on a daily basis and thus it seems to be irrelevant, however the racial tensions within our country are impossible to ignore. This idea of a post-racial era doesn’t seem to be very accurate, as race is a topic of conversation every single day. People often refer to slavery when comparing race now and then, but I feel it’s safe to say that race is just as much of an issue now as it was back then. In my opinion, it has become a focus of our culture today because we preach so much of equality and freedom in America, then discriminate both whites and people of color. It really isn’t a matter of whiteness, but something much more than that, as people of all races INCLUDING whites are being targeted as both victims and enablers of racism.

 

**Please note: I am traveling and without consistent access to wifi. Please forgive my tardiness.

5 thoughts on “Week 4 Reflection

  1. It is a common and ignorant idea that since slavery and segregation have been abolished that all people are now being magically treated as equals by all parties, regardless of race. This is certainly not the case, but because America no longer has concrete examples of de jure racism it is easy for people to hide behind that guise. Race and racism are still strongly prevalent within today’s society. I think many people hide behind these false notions because it makes them feel more comfortable both with themselves and with the world. However, if people would simply acknowledge the problems that exist rather than ignore them or blame them on people like Obama, then maybe progress could be made towards fixing many of the inequalities that still exist. I completely agree that the way America preaches about equality and freedom and then is one of the biggest perpetrators of systematic racism is an issue and a roadblock to progress. It is important that people wake up and see the world for what it is.

  2. Thanks, this is interesting to me as a town I lived in next to Boston for 8 years recently had a protest against its city hall hanging a “black lives matter’ banner over its door, even made some news outlets:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/29/us/police-protest-black-lives-matter-banner-hanging-on-a-massachusetts-city-hall.html?_r=0

    I am fascinated how American society struggles with nuanced arguments and the ability to see things beyond (pun intended) black and white. The city of Somerville has both a banner supporting the Baton Rouge and Dallas police men who were recently murdered AND a ‘black lives matter” banner. For some reason, we can not both support responsible policing AND police man who were killed in the line of duty by crazy people with guns. The mayor had a very nice Facebook post in response to all the hullabaloo.
    https://www.facebook.com/jcurtatone

    there is still very much a segement of the population that believes you have to be for or against a ‘race’ of people.

  3. I found your story about traveling and talking to the man very interesting. I feel like a lot of individuals in our country feel the same way. It’s sad to see individuals making a connection between things that aren’t related at all. It’s also hard to see that individuals don’t think that we have a problem with how we are treating others in this country right now. Something clearly needs to change and we need to start respecting the other individuals that live in this country. We would see much less violence. I think that the black lives matter movement is a great thing. However, I think that all lives matter. It’s not about segregating one group. This is about showing respect to every ethnicity, race, and religion in our country. Every life should matter. Everyone experiences discrimination in one way or another. We need to start being aware of this and treating individuals equally.

  4. I found this conversation you had with this to man on your flight to be very interesting. I also think that many individuals in America feel the same way, that race has become more of an issue since Obama has been our president. Not saying that it is bad having a black president, because I am all for Obama and all that he does and believe in. It’s disappointing to see individuals, as the man on the flight, ignoring race like it isn’t a problem in our country, when it is one of the biggest issues this country is facing. I don’t see how people like him can just ignore these particular issues when it affects lives. As a country, we all need to come together to resolve problems and issues so conversations like this doesn’t come up. We need to respect and treat each other equally despite race, ethnicity, beliefs, etc.

  5. First I would like to say that I found your blog post very interesting from many different angles and found some of your ideas challenge the way I view this topic. The race is a deeply rooted issue that is constantly being generalized and being “swapped under the rug” per say. Race makes people feel under comfortable because (for this specific topic) it is sometimes hard to fathom the idea that slavery was active over 100 hundred years ago or that segregation is still present today. (Cleveland, Mississippi, school district is still segregated as of today). I applaud you for asking the question with such a response because people would have never quoted one set gentleman, but that shows ignorance is bliss. All lives do matter, but there is proven evidence, statically, that black Americans deal with certain aspects of life harder than their white counterparts. When people say, “black lives matter” it is not that we are excluding our white counterparts or our LBGT community we focus on the problem on hand that, it racially divides communities in our society, and the black community is more likely to be-little. For our society to grow and preach equality our actions public and private actions will have to do the talking. I truly enjoyed the piece and did not want to seem as though I was bias I just looked for an equal share from all sides.

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