Thursday, June 11, 2015

What happened in this generation that caused the battle between race to reemerge so aggressively?

Contributor article by Jessica Kelly

It’s all over the news. Black. White. Wrong. Right.

Cops are accused of targeting the young black generation. Marches, riots, vandalism, hatred.

What has happened?

The Civil Rights movement put race issues on the right track, and the racial gap seemed to begin to close in this country. But it appears that over the last several years, more and more hatred and race conflict is building between black and white America. Instead of moving forward, we’re taking leaps back.

This is not what we knew just 20 years ago, was it?

What happened in this generation that caused this battle between race to reemerge so aggressively?

In review of my childhood and formative years, I started looking in to television, its role in my development and in relationships with people in general, and people of a different race than my own.
The TV was rarely on in my home, but I have fond memories, even of specific episodes, of each of the following shows:

A Different World, Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Martin, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, The Cosby Show, In Living Color, Different Strokes, Moesha, Sister Sister, The Wayans Bros, Keenan & Kel, That’s So Raven, My Wife and Kids, All That, The Sinbad Show.

What do each of these have in common? An almost all-black cast.

My sister had a Webster doll that she loved as her own baby. Everyone I know knew and loved the Carlton dance. “What you talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?” was a common household phrase.

These shows were formative parts of my, my friends and family’s childhood years. Our white childhood years. These shows did not thrive on race. In fact, aside from a few episodes, I don’t recall any really ever pointing out black versus white. I watched Full House exactly the same as I watched The Cosby Show. The Tanners and the Huxtables were just families – not a white family and a black family.

These shows just showed people. Really funny people.

We didn’t see it as a black or white thing. The cast was not a “black” cast. It was just a cast. Of people.

When did this race issue resurface so violently, rearing its head in vicious screams? When did we forget that we like each other? What has caused this racial revolution?

In the back of my mind I fear that when we elected a president largely on base of his color, we were forcing the issue of destroying race barriers, and instead we resurrected them. When we perpetually referred to him as the “black” candidate, and as the “black” president, we destroyed the very thing that Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed about – judgment on content of character rather than color of skin. We never referred to President Clinton as the 42nd white president, or George Washington as the first white president.

Times have changed, but I fear that as we increasingly strive to be progressive, we are falling back into the pit of race segregation.

Can’t we just go back to liking each other? Won’t the media stop forcing racism on us all and report events without using the words “black” or “white”? I understand the outrage in some recent situations.

But can we really say that we want a society without racism, when every article lately says “white” or “black” as the sole description of a person?

Meanwhile, white cop Kerrie Oroszo was killed by a black gang member, Marcus Wheeler, and the report only called her by her name. I did not read one report that said that she was not black, and that her killer was. Not one.  They reported the murder only. As they should.  

A 25 year-old cop, Brian Moore, was killed by a man on the street, Demetrius Wheeler, but there was not a report of a white cop killed by a black man, only a cop killed.

Most recently, a video out of McKinney, Texas showed an out-of-control policeman throw a teenage girl to the ground. He should be let go for his inability to react responsibly in the heated situation. But I do not believe this was a black or white issue, as the media cried. When I was a teen and a party was busted (an illegal party, where things were getting out of control, as the one in McKinney), we all ran, and the cops didn’t stop to check our color. They tackled. They tackled and threw to the ground.

It is time we stop blaming police, and start holding the criminals accountable, regardless of age, regardless of race, and time to stop crying “racism” every time there is an altercation (especially if it is only white on black crimes where it is reported as such).

The media is out for blood. It wants a racial revolution because revolt brings news and news brings money.

Yes, we as people - cops or civilians, must not use bias. We must not overreact. We must use sound judgment, and be punished for our crimes.

But we also must realize that not every crime is race based. Sometimes, good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good, and, most importantly, sometimes bad things happen to people who are doing bad things.

The media describes events and people by their color, while saying stop judging by color, and no one seems to remember that there was a time between the Civil Rights Movement and today that we really did seem to get along.

It is long past time to stop the racial insanity, and to return to that time when the racial divide was so subtle it was invisible to young eyes, to a time when we all loved the Cosby Show and a race was just something that you ran.

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