Modern Day Racism

September 7, 2016

In east Chicago, Indiana neighborhoods have been evacuated because they found lead levels of dirt to be 10x above what is acceptable. Investigations date back to the 70s and only now, are they tearing down apartment complexes. 

Many say we no longer have racial issues in this country… maybe because people aren’t being lynched, or maybe because there aren’t obvious “blacks here,” or “whites only” signs showcased in various places through towns. However, there are many examples of contaminated towns and water systems whose occupants are predominantly those of color. There’s redlining, barely funded schools, exaggerated suspensions and juvenile imprisonment, and an unfair justice system that (if you look at the numbers and ratios) are skewed against those of color. 

These are all systemic examples of how racism is still an issue in this country and there’s many more. These kinds of racial manifestations fester in subtle ways that many are more comfortable ignoring, but then they want to talk about Chicago’s gun problem and black crime. 

There’s a source of where it all stems from, can we deal with that? 


Please Speak Up

July 11, 2016

The sad truth is when organizations like the KKK continues to stand in this country, racism has room to fester. When Dylan Roof shot and killed 9 inside the historic church in Charleston (simply because they were black), he lived to face his day in court. It also wasn’t deemed “domestic terrorism.” But here we are today, back at it again. It’s the same story, different scenario, and we only have the removal of some confederate flags to show for it. Not an acknowledgment that yes, it was a hate filled, atrocious, and racist crime. So when some want to say, ‘it’s not a color thing, a black and white thing, or racist thing,’ it most definitely is. 

Yesterday I had a brief conversation with a friend and there was a moment of laughter, soon followed by a moment of sadness. I likened having the need for whites to speak up, to parenting. There are things my husband and I can press on our boys and they remain unfazed, but then, if their uncle says it, they’re completely on board. Sadly, it’s the same for some woman in the board room (I’ve heard plenty of personal accounts from women’s summits). A women shares an idea and the group is unfazed, but a man takes said idea and shares it again and suddenly, it’s a great idea. Sadly, that is why we all need whites who are against racism to speak up. With all the history and the anger over what has happened lately, many have deemed blacks’ fear and Black Lives Matter as not credible.

Is injustice, unfairness and racism not real? No; it’s just not real enough to all. Please speak up against racism. 

If we all stopped to think about ways or times cutting corners came back to bite us in the behind, I bet we’d have countless stories. More recently, we’ve had Flint, Michigan as a prime, national example.

The Governor made a decision to utilize a questionable water supply, and now after almost two years, the ramifications are out in the open. Only, his constituents suffer and he, I bet doesn’t even live there!

We only need to look at the industries we work in, or simple, daily observations will provide ample examples. For instance, fast food. When you’re in a bind or a time crunch, fast food provides a quick fix, but the ill effects of consuming too much fast food is a big price to pay.  

In the past I’ve had friends and acquaintances ask if I cook everyday with a surprised tone. While I don’t make 3 meals a day, 7 times a week, my family believes in leftovers. More often than not, we eat home cooked meals. Is it easy? Heck no… it’s time consuming, but for our health, it’s time well spent. 

We can look at other areas too. I’m an artist, and I support the graphic design field; everyone wants custom pieces, the best branding and exceptional websites with cool features… Oh, and most of your time and attention too, but rarely is the expense or monetary value fully acknowledged. 

Having a budget is fine, but having an accurate expectation for that budget, is best for everyone. 

I bet we can continue with the examples (I’ve heard and experienced tons more), but the take away: when we cut corners, we’re wasting time and funds. Yes, funds! More often than not, it costs you more to fix what should have been done right the first time. 

Back to Flint. Young children, and those with existing health risks suffer most. Parents and homeowners with water bills, have payed for a water supply they can’t use, and not only is that state now under strain, the nation has had to step in as well. 

Hopefully we as individuals, and as a nation can learn from this. Cutting corners is ineffective in every way… No one wins!

P.S. This blog in no way reflects it, but there are also racial and economic dynamics at play… another conversation for another day.