If We’re Not Part of the Solution, We’re Part of the Problem
I have lived long enough on this planet to know how ignorant one can look and/or sound when they stereotype another group of people because of perceived differences.
Throughout my years, I have met many White and Hispanic people along with other races that have had my back through thick and thin.
My friendships with people of all hues are proof that all people of other races do not hate Black people.
However, not being a racist is not good enough anymore. If people of all races do not speak out against the racist rhetoric and actions that they witness from people of their own ethnic group, then they are a part of the problem and should not receive kudos for not being racist.
The recent viral video from the pool party in McKinney, Texas crystallizes the fact that Black people are not the only people who play the so-called race card.
Officer Eric Casebolt singling out the Black partygoers and his physical apprehension of a Black teenage girl in a bathing suit, and the fact that he seemingly bypassed the White partygoers to confront their Black counterparts, seems to highlight that he may have brought his preconceived prejudices and biases to work that day.
Eric Casebolt has since resigned from the McKinney, Texas police department, apologized for his actions and has been criticized verbally by colleagues.
I believe Eric Casebolt should have been fired immediately for making a volatile situation worse with his actions. But these apparent racist actions cannot be the first time he exhibited such prejudice or spoke in racist terms.
Often, when someone has racist views they usually express them in comfortable surroundings.
If they feel like they are around like-minded individuals, they let their guard down a little and show who they really are behind the façade.
Many times people, Black and White, ignore or laugh at their racist or prejudiced comments, but many probably never challenge them or correct their ignorance.
We usually just ignore it as if words mean very little when it comes to racism.
Many non-Blacks say the N-word if they are comfortable around someone, even if that person is Black and sometimes we, as Black people, do not correct them.
We as Black people often say things that are just as racist as our White counterparts might say. But we feel we are justified in our racism because we are OK when the double standard benefits us.
However, racist thoughts, feelings and attitudes seldom just stay verbal.
Usually, our thoughts and beliefs manifest themselves outwardly and we do not even know we are behaving in a racist or prejudicial way.
For that fact, people who do not correct racists when they are around them are no better than the racist even if they do not share the same racist sentiments.
A person’s prejudice can sometimes lead to dangerous situations like the incident at the McKinney, Texas pool party.
A person’s prejudice can make one think that a normal teenage party is out of control simply because the partygoers are Black.
A person’s prejudice can make grown women fight little teenage girls and then blame the girls for the incident.
A person’s prejudice can lead an officer like Eric Casebolt to attack a situation like he was breaking up an ISIS terrorist plot when he was actually just responding to a teenage party.
And a person’s prejudice can lead to senseless killings, just ask the families of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others.
In hindsight, maybe some of those lives could have been spared if we had spoken out against racism when we had the opportunity to.