Tag Archives: Racism
Happy New Year! I started my new year with a bang. I posted a question on social media and little did I know it was going to spark such contraversy.
One thing I’ve learned through the years is to keep an open mind. If not, you will always be stuck in your own way of thinking and never know the truth.
Lately, there has been so much controversy and it’s been spilling into everything and causing division. It certainly wasn’t my intention to cause more. I was only asking a question and unfortunately, it spiraled into something else.
Which provoked me to write this:
It seems we all have different life experiences and truths. White people have their truths based on their own life experiences. But so do Blacks and Latinos. I am white, but by the grace of God, I am able to go outside of it and listen to others who do not share in my experiences. I allow myself to learn and hear other people’s points of view and experiences. I am not rigid, nor do not walk around thinking or acting like I know it all either. Because I do not. I have not walked a mile in another person’s shoes to know what life is like for them. We must try to keep an open mind in life.
People seem to translate everything into an “us versus them” mentality. But this shouldn’t be, because it’s a much broader and deeper issue than that.
We are all going to have different views and opinions. Some will be based on life experiences, and others on education. But either way, it will be different. Which is why we must free our minds and allow ourselves to step out of our comfort zones and understand other people’s reality.
For instance, a white person’s experience in life is going to be way different than Black’s or Latinos. White people tend to mention Blacks and Latinos use the “race card” too much. But I beg to differ. As they truly live a different experience than white people. White people don’t know anything about this because they have never experienced it for themselves.
The reason why I know about it, is because I am fortunate to have many Black and Latino friends. I’ll even take it a step further, I married into a Black and Latino family. So I’m privy to a lot of things that ordinary white people are not aware of.
I try my best to communicate, impart and share information to educate and open the minds up of those who refuse to see beyond the scope of their own understanding or experience.
No, I do no subscribe to the fact that all cops are bad. However, I’m also not walking around believing that they are all good either. The fact of the matter is, there are a multitude of corrupt cops. Some people have a hard time believing this and get defensive. But if they would only stop and do some research, they will see this truth for themselves.
The fact is we live in a fallen world. Human beings are susceptible to various temptations. There are no perfect people walking around who are exempt from committing crimes or acts of corruption. The Bible says, we have a sin nature and it’s very easy to fall prey to things. Which is why I’m a big advocate for not judging people.
My hope is that we can respectfully agree to disagree, and try to keep an open mind in life. My life is not going to be like someone else’s life or vice versa.
For instance, people love to judge drug dealers, making them all out to be the scum of the earth and the cause of why society is the way it is. Again, if they do their research, they will understand that our government is involved in allowing drugs into this country. Drug dealers are not putting a gun to anyone’s head to purchase or consume it. So, to put the entire responsibility on drug dealers is wrong.
Again, I beseech you to keep an open mind. Don’t believe the media or everything you read. Do your research and find out the truth for yourself. Yes, the truth may disappoint you, but wouldn’t you rather know the truth, than believe a lie?
Please don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone to understand another person’s truth, experience and reality.
Are you willing to keep an open mind, step outside of yourself and not subscribe to the herd mentality?
I was born in the late 1960’s to European parents. My parents were pureblooded Spaniards, but for all intents and purposes, acted “white”.
I don’t recall when it was exactly that I was made to feel different, but what I do remember were these comments:
“You must be from another planet.”
“Why do you always have to play with the black kids?
“Don’t you have any friends who are white?”
The crap hit the fan as a teenager, when I decided to date the brown and black boys against my parents will. My parents happen to be like many who grew up in an era of racial ignorance. They were a product of their environment. All I knew was that I didn’t think like they did nor did I want to.
One childhood memory stands out the most. I had a best friend. She was like a sister to me. Forty something years later, we are still friends. I remember hanging out in her house a lot. Her parents loved and embraced me like if I was their own.
Yet, my parents would not permit my friend to enter our house. My girlfriend eventually figured out why and I remembered feeling embarrassed and ashamed. I wanted to bury myself in a hole somewhere. It was the worst feeling in the world and I never forgot it.
I vowed to never have my kids feel this way. My home is open to any race, religion and creed. I am not raising them to be racists or discriminatory toward anyone.
Gratefully, when friends or family come to visit, they feel comfortable, as it should be.
I am not a racist. I love and embrace the African American community. Truthfully, the African American community has always treated me better that my own demographic.
I would love to live in a world where no racism, discrimination, ignorance or injustice existed. Unfortunately, that doesn’t to seem to be happening.
I can’t change people. The only thing I can do, as a white person, is bring awareness and not go along with the status quo, but challenge it.
With the recent current events, I’ve been inclined to speak up in favor of the black community. I am finding that many people want to shut me up. But I will never be silent when it comes to injustice.
Maybe I couldn’t do anything as a child to defend my best friend, but I can now as an adult. I will always speak up and stand up for what’s right. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, feels or says.
Do you go against the grain of what was expected of you regardless of what your family or friends think?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a thing about injustice. Especially racial injustice.
I am against racism, prejudice, inequality and injustice that black and hispanics are faced with everyday.
White people turn away and pretend it doesn’t exist, but it does. You would think in 2014 we would be past all this. But unfortunately, racial injustice is alive and well.
I haven’t been blogging as I’ve been busy and advocating for a black man who was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit. He’s sentenced for life without parole and is in SHU (Special Housing Unit, which is just a fancy word for solitary confinement).
This man is one of many who are kept in a 9 by 12 cell, (which is a little larger than your average bathroom or elevator), for 22 hours a day. He is allowed two hours of recreation daily, which he takes advantage of, rain or shine.
It pains me to know he and many others are innocent and paying for crimes they didn’t commit.
Our politicians, judges, district attorney’s, and law enforcement are all in it together to continue incarcerating the poor, blacks and hispanics. So long as they get their promotions and money. Everything is motivated by ambition and greed.
There are many in prison right now who should have been released a long time ago, but because they are trapped in a backwards and draconian system called Rockefeller drug laws, they remain incarcerated.
The average statistics show the racial disparity that exists in prisons across America. They seem to find any excuse to put a black or latino man behind bars.
Inmates across America are treated like animals, instead of human beings. Our flawed justice system is more focussed on penalization, than rehabilitation. And people wonder why the rate of recidivism is so high. There is nothing in place to help rehabilitate those who are incarcerated or programs offered when they are released.
How are things suppose to improve if there is nothing implemented for change to take place? They think they can turn a blind eye at the problem that exists. They continue the vicious cycle of putting someone’s father, son, uncle, brother, and pregnant mother behind bars. They have deluded themselves into thinking things will improve on their own accord.
The system is set up for failure.
Our society has forgotten those in prison. The mentality is “lock them up and throw away the key”. Not only by society, but by family and friends too.
How can friends and family disassociate themselves from their loved ones and act as if they don’t exist or died? Those in prison are stripped of everything, and are no longer considered human.
What happened to redemption and second chances?
Can you imagine those sitting on death row right now waiting for their execution or serving life sentences who are innocent? Imagine these same people not having the financial means to afford proper legal representation to help prove their innocence? Even when they reach out to The Innocence Project, they get no response and are ignored. What hope do they have of ever getting help?
Furthermore, how many innocent people were executed or rotting in prison?
It’s a sad situation and those who are black or hispanic are victims in this flawed and corrupt system. They are subjected to penalization and are at the mercy of “whatever”, if they don’t have the money to hire a good lawyer to help them.
I can tell you from personal experience that it’s impossible to get a lawyer willing to help. They will not get involved unless they are paid a lot of money. There is no such thing as pro bono anymore.
So, what chance do they have in a system designed to keep them there? Once they exhaust all their funds, they are stuck and unable to get out of the vicious cycle.
I agree with Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
Something needs to be done to set change in motion. Those who are innocent, need access to proper legal representation, even if they don’t have the money. There needs to be more help for organizations such as The Innocence Project. There are solutions, but our government and politicians are not interested, they are only fixated on their own interests, instead of advocating for change.
How do you think we can mobilize change for those stuck in our broken justice and prison system? How can those in prison get the help they need? Please share your comments below.
A few weeks ago, I read this letter by Ray Jasper who was executed last Wednesday night in Texas.
Ray Jasper was 18 years old when he murdered David Alejandro.
At the age of 33, David Alejandro was a lead singer of a Christian band besides running his own recording studio. Before Ray Jasper, an aspiring rapper, killed him.
Jasper had previous sessions in Alejandro’s recording studio prior to the attack. He devised a plan with two others to steal Alejandro’s studio equipment.
I’m not sure what possessed Jasper to make a tragic mistake in taking the life of someone he considered one of the nicest people he ever met.
But what I do know is that his final letter evidenced a changed man prior to his execution last Wednesday night.
Two wrongs don’t make a right, which is why I consider the death penalty unethical. I know there are Christians who don’t agree with me.
They quote bible verses in the Old Testament as their justification and reason for why they believe capital punishment is allowed by God. However, when I look at the New Testament, the new covenant, Jesus didn’t go around killing anyone.
Saul (before his name was changed to Paul) persecuted and killed Christians. If Jesus was in favor of the death penalty, he would have killed Paul on the road to Damascus. Yet, Jesus didn’t kill him, He showed him mercy, grace, love and forgiveness.
There are thirty-two states in the USA supporting the death penalty. Meanwhile, there are many on death row (or serving life sentences in solitary confinement) who are innocent.
Currently, there is a series on CNN called Death Row Stories, which is revealing a few of the many cases of those who were on death row and are now exonerated.
I’ll tell you this, I wouldn’t want to be those who are killing people by lethal injection, and have innocent blood on my hands the day I see Jesus.
In my humble opinion, the prison system is modern day slavery and the death penalty is a modern day genocide, where whites still lynch blacks by lethal injection.
Yes, I’m white and writing this. I refuse to pretend or turn a blind eye on the reality of racism in this country.
Jesus isn’t a racist, so therefore, neither am I.
As Christians, I believe we shouldn’t be in agreement or in favor of the death penalty. My heart grieves for all those who are innocent and sitting on death row or serving life sentences in solitary confinement.
Christians need to take a stand for change and be a voice for the voiceless. The death penalty is antiquated, inhumane, unethical, barbaric, and needs to be abolished.
Human beings do not have a right to dictate who lives and who dies; only God reserves that right.
What are some of the ways which we can advocate to abolish the death penalty?
It all began while at this billboard.
Of the HBO award-winning series called “Boardwalk Empire”.
What struck me was the photo of these gangsters. I’ve always been fascinated with the Italian mob.
While observing the billboard, there was a tall, well-dressed African American man to my left.
He says, “Those were the original gangsters and now there’s the Crips and Bloods.”
I say, gang violence makes me sad and mention how a friend in Chicago witnesses the youth dying from gang violence every day.
“That’s because my people don’t know who they are.”
I stop (big mistake), turn around and asked him what he meant by that.
He tells me his people, the American blacks (not the African Americans) and Latinos, are the real Jews and not Jewish people.
Somehow I made the second mistake by mentioning that my husband is half black.
There’s no half black! He’s either black or he isn’t. Is his father white or black?
I tell him, black.
He’s black then. Period. End of story.
I proceed to bury myself even further by asking him a question.
I asked him what his thoughts were on inter racial marriage.
He responds, there is no hope for me. But there is hope for my husband if he repents by divorcing me.
Is this guy for real?
He says, I’m white and there is no hope for rednecks. White people are from the lineage of Esau. All white people are of the devil.
At this point, my head is spinning.
He continues with his rant about New York City being like ancient Egypt. The buildings like Rome. And all white people will become slaves or destroyed by fire.
He criticizes black women passing by, saying they dress like whores, and they learned it from white women.
He then spots a group of Jehovah Witnesses’ and shouts for them to come over.
They see me, I’m sure with a forlorn expression and asked if I was ok.
I told them that according to him, I have no hope of salvation because I’m white and if my husband, who is black, doesn’t divorce me, he and my children will be destroyed for eternity.
He quickly bends down, unzips his black duffel bag and takes out his marked-up Apocrypha and King James Bible.
The four Jehovah Witnesses’ were black, so he was on a mission to open their eyes to his truth.
But what I was able to see in their exchange was that he was getting bible verses wrong.
I didn’t have a bible with me (I know, shame on me), but when the Jehovah Witnesses showed up, they were going through their bibles as he was quoting scripture and calling him out on his mistakes.
They all were smart, kind, educated and respectful.
I’ve always been impressed with the Jehovah Witnesses’.
I don’t concur with their theology, but I do respect their dedication.
I personally know of a few and their work ethic is impeccable. They are more dedicated than most evangelicals I know, myself included. They put us to shame actually.
I digress, what an experience.
I actually felt bad for the guy. I mentioned to him that most of my friends are black, so he called me a nigger lover.
At that point, I realized there was no reasoning with him. He was completely convinced white people are the enemy and can’t be trusted.
I walked away feeling helpless and sad. What a disappointing experience.
Have you ever encountered something like this?