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Posted under: Opinion

Reasoning With Racists Is Ridiculously Unreasonable

The attack on the Capitol proved a major point.

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I wrote an Instagram post about what happened at the Capitol and I think it bears repeating: We can not tolerate racist ideologies.


The Capitol Building Attacks

Too often — after incidents like the violent riot at the Capitol — the rhetoric is, "let's calm down and work together." I'm sorry, work together with who? Deranged individuals who put a noose up on Capitol steps? Crazy people wearing pro-concentration camp shirts? People literally rabid because others might actually have the same rights and privileges as them without going through added racial and gender-based hardships? Absolutely not.

The thing that is upsetting to me about such rhetoric is it often offers no real solutions and it allows this kind of thing to fester under the surface. "They were just blowing off steam." Things go back to "normal" and they bide their time.

Meanwhile, many are raising their children to carry on a legacy of hatred.

Enough.

We all know what would happen if those rioters were Black. While watching them break through the windows of the Capitol building, I felt it in my chest, and for the life of me couldn't understand how not one of them was afraid of return gunfire. As the boom, boom, boom of the door being bashed in on one video played, I braced myself for the clack, clack, clack of rapid gunshots from inside the building — even when it became apparent that no such thing would happen.

We all watched as they chased — chased — a police officer up the stairs of a government building, and not one of those rioters was shot or beaten within an inch of their lives. How many Black and brown people have died simply running away from officers, much less outright attacking them?


Real Change Once and for All

Just like most people, I am sick of it. I'm sick of pointing things out and watching as change happens slowly, if at all. So many others have spent their lives trying to change the system and are met repeatedly with the same speeches of "change takes time."

In 2021, no the hell it doesn't.

We watched and screamed as, in four years, Trump made several Supreme Court appointments that will have an impact on the country for years to come. We watched as state governments manipulated laws to oppress marginalized communities. And yet, we also watched and contributed to seeing Georgia — a state that's been a "red state" since red has been red — turn blue. So many campaigned, called and held the lines led by Stacey Abrams, LaTosha Brown and others. And they did it, comparatively, quick fast and in a hurry. That's not to say it didn't take years and work, but it didn't take generations either, obviously.

Part of what prompts this is reflecting over years of just how much history we weren’t taught in schools, seeing everything happening over these years and remembering things like the efforts of the Texas educational board to remove so much Black and brown history from the school books. And, too, seeing things on social media like a little girl initially being confused but elated to get a Black doll, then tossing it and crying when her parents laughed and indicated a Black doll was a bad thing.

I remember incidents such as being an older child in PA Sunday school and volunteering to help out with the little kids. How all of those white children were stunned at my being Black. One said something like, "Brown skin? Yuck. Skin's not brown, it's pink." If I remember correctly, the child was referring to crayon (took me a minute to remember — they were coloring), then seemed to realize what she said.

Another child, rushing to my defense, stated that he had seen brown skin before and that it was OK, people could be Brown. Mind you, our church at the time had very few Black people, and some of the youngest never interacted with members outside of Sunday school.

These are some of the things I think about as I watch movies like One Night in Miami, or see posts about the history of Native Americans and reflect on my outside of school reading and education, versus how much we aren't taught in schools. I mentioned the movie just before the riots on January 6 and spoke privately about how different people in the country might be if we didn't glaze over the histories of Black leaders and legends in schools — if we weren't taught inaccuracies like "the 'Indians' are extinct."


It Starts Early

What we saw in Georgia is possible on a grand scale, and it requires a multi-pronged approach. From every area of life — laws, politics and policies, education, entertainment. There is a reason why the educational systems and entertainment are often attacked first by oppressors. These are incredibly powerful tools for shaping minds and generations. For example, after Black Panther was released in China, I saw so many interviews of Chinese people saying their views on Black people had changed, because all they had previously been introduced to was Black people being poor and violent — or in some cases, they didn't know anything about Black people at all.

If we are going to see change quickly, there needs to be an immediate change in what is taught in schools, especially history. More information about Black and brown, and women, contributions to society need to be focused on at all levels — from elementary school on up. Racial and cultural classes, as well as religious and atheist tolerance, needs to be introduced early on. Classes on compassion, anti-bullying and conflict resolution should be taught as well. Many times, school is where people unlearn racism passed down in their families for generations.

Aside from the laws that are already being proposed — like reallocation of funds to place non-violent social services as solutions to non-emergency police calls — reformation of our educational systems also has to be a top priority. Now that the Democrats have control, there is absolutely no reason they can't push through compassionate policies in the same ways extreme Republicans pushed through their non-compassionate ones.

Enough with the kumbaya with racists. If people oppose not oppressing marginalized people, then there has to be a metaphorical boot on their necks. No more taking their feelings into consideration. No more listening to them or trying to convince them to change their minds, or waiting on their compliance to change policies. Just do it, already.

As shown on January 6, 2021, some people can't be reasoned with and don't have the capacity to do what is best for the nation, period. Everybody might have a right to an opinion, but that doesn't mean their opinions have to be taken into consideration when those opinions are detrimental to progress.

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