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Racism Today in the United States

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Essay title: Racism Today in the United States

Racism Today in the United States

After living in a place like Bend Oregon for 18 years I haven’t ever noticed a difference between blacks and whites. Bend has been said to be “one of the whitest places to live”, yet I never viewed a city by its race. Being racist to me meant that it was the whites who had a problem with the blacks and whites didn’t want anything to do with blacks. I hadn’t actually seen racism in action from anyone here. Now, after watching the film Crash and reading the essays “Blinded by the White: Crime, Race and Denial at Columbine High” written by Tim Wise and “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” written by McIntosh, my understanding of race, diversity, and communications have changed.

Racism, which seems to be something people learn from what they see or what they were raised around, may not be as noticeable in Bend but its still everywhere. It’s something that once it’s learned it’s hard to move on from. Racism is carried from one person to another. The harshness of it doesn’t matter; it’s a big role in this thing called life. Racism hasn’t just been stereotyped as not liking someone because of their skin color, but also because of what they could possibly be capable of and that they are truly bad people. For years I viewed racism as being about skin color and only that. When in fact its about whites having to be in control of what they see as “their” country and “their” culture.

In my view, I see everyone as being different and as their own person it doesn’t matter what their skin color is. The way someone acts is just who they are, their skin color has nothing to do with that, but their culture does. African American culture is a lot different then our culture. The way people were raised and the way they went about their lifestyles makes them completely different from us. The way I was raised makes me notice how they are different, but it doesn’t make me dislike them in any way.

After racism has been going on for all these years and decades the result troubles everyone. Whenever I travel out of town I am exposed to many people of African American decent and I feel like if they see me just glance at them they will think I am racist. One little look and people will assume your racist. If you’re white and you have never been exposed to racist acts in reality, your reaction to people of another decent is that you don’t know how to act. Movies and books today never show the true colors of racism. Things like movies and books confuse people’s perceptions on what is going on with racism in this country and even this world.

After viewing the film Crash a lot of perceptions about racism in the world started going through my mind. I began to start looking around me for similar events, expecting to see all the same things from the movie. Then I realized not all the things that happened in the movie happen around me, especially because of where I am living. Bend has very few people of African American decent and you rarely ever see racist acts happening.

“Fact, if anybody should be scared, it's us: the only two black faces surrounded by a sea of over-caffeinated white people, patrolled by the trigger-happy LAPD. So, why aren't we scared?” (Crash) When you think about racism the whole concept seems backwards. Usually the people who are hated are the ones who should be scared, not the people who hate. In the movie it leads you to believe that racist acts are everywhere and in plain sight when, in reality, they aren’t. The film did point out that someone who is racist has no problem showing others that they are. When someone believes in something as powerful and hurtful as racism they don’t care what others think. The movie shed a lot of light on something that seems to be an on going issue.

The essay, “Blinded by the White: Crime, Race and Denial at Columbine High”, made me think that a lot of what people think about racism is far from the truth. It made it seem that if those kids were born with a different skin color they would have been caught. “[I]f these kids had been black they would have been followed around then hardware store for so long that they would never have been able to buy any pipes, let alone the other ingredients needed for the kind of explosives Klebold and Harris concocted” (Wise 112). It’s almost as if racism is becoming a huge excuse for problems that are happening in this world. “Racism is the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others” (Dictionary). I never viewed racism as blaming things on skin color but that’s what it is. Racism is based on a skin color and culture, not on school

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