America at a Crossroads

            Two wrongs do not make a right.  For years, many African Americans and other minorities for that matter, have believed that they could not be racist because they had no power.  Whites could only be racist because they controlled the country in which we lived in.

            The death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 was a clear wake up call for all Americans.  The post-racial America vibe many were on got a quick reality check about the severity of racial profiling in this country and the seemingly careless disregard towards young Black male life.

            Modern White racism was exposed as it seemed that America was headed backwards in regards to race relations after so many years of progress.  However, Black racism that had been kept behind closed doors in homes and beauty and barbershops possibly bubbled up to the surface after the death of Australian college athlete Christopher Lane, 23, from East Central Oklahoma University in Ada, Okla.

            Whether one is Black or White, the senseless death of Lane has to hurt your heart, regardless if the killing was racially motivated or not.

            However, the killing which occurred because of boredom has opened up old racial wounds again because two of the alleged perpetrators were Black and the victim was White.  Investigators have combed the social media pages of the alleged perpetrators and discovered racially charged insults aimed at Whites, similar to racist MySpace posts that George Zimmerman wrote in years prior to the killing of Martin.

            Whether it is White racism or Black racism, Americans have to understand that we are all to blame for the racial divide in this country.  More importantly, people who criticized Black people for alleging racism in the killing of Martin have lost all credibility in this debate and cannot bring racism into the senseless killing of Lane.  You simply cannot have your cake and eat it too.

            This country has a long history of discriminating and oppressing African Americans and other minority groups, not White Americans.

            However, Black racism towards other ethnic groups is something that needs to be addressed because we cannot pretend that we are not just as bad as other groups when we know that is sometimes not the case. 

There are racists and sexists from all walks of life and until we can rid ourselves of racism we cannot expect others to do the same.

            Alleged killer James Edwards, Jr., 15, tweeted that “90% of White ppl are nasty. #HATETHEM.”

            Furthermore, according to the Associated Press, a Black Homeland Security employee, Ayo Kimathi, is being investigated for operating a “racist website” that predicts the “unavoidable, inevitable clash with the White race.”

            The AP stated, “Many of the postings on Kimathi’s site are inflammatory, but it was not clear whether they cross the legal threshold into unprotected hate speech, and the posts might not violate DHS policies if he does not curate the website at work or espouse the ideologies in the office.”

            Unfortunately, the racism that has existed for centuries has led to Black racism and hatred towards others but what does more hate in the world actually accomplish?

            We will simply have more senseless and avoidable killings because of our own (Black and White) ignorance. 

            More parents will have to bury their children.

            More promising lives will be wasted.

            And more tension will exist between us and our brothers and sisters of another race.

            No one can control what others think and believe, but we can control our own thoughts and actions.  We cannot end White racism, but we can end Black racism because we are in control of that.

            Next week we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.  We did not make those gains in civil rights with hate; we made it with love and forgiveness.  That same love and forgiveness is so desperately needed 50 years later.

            In the song “Just the Two of Us,” Will Smith rapped, “Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad.  Let God deal with the things they do cause hate in your heart will consume you too.”

            In the heartbreaking killing of Lane, possible Black racism did not solve or prove anything.  It possibly consumed the life of a 15-year-old Black boy, permanently, who could have grown up to make a significant impact on his community and his country.

            Even if Black racism is not the motive behind the killing, that anger and hatred possibly ended two young Black lives.  In essence, they did to themselves what White racism could not do.

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