Before answering the question titled for this blog post, I would first like to define some key terms and answer some questions for you:
According to the biology online dictionary:
“Humans are the hominins capable of creating and using complex tools, solving problems by sense and reasoning, using symbols and language, and creating complex social structures. Over time, humans have demonstrated behavioral modernity and advancement.”
2. African American
According to collins dictionary,
“African-Americans are black people living in the United States who are descended from families that originally came from Africa.”
I defined the word human first because I would like to make a point in saying that all humans are equally capable of applying themselves to complete any task given on Earth. All humans are intelligent beings and can achieve any goal that they want with the use of communication, experience, memory and their physical abilities. Notice that the definition does not say anything about race, ethnicity or having different abilities, body types, muscles, or blood. It simply states what all human beings are capable of.
People of color are constantly mistreated, disenfranchised, and are underprivileged because of a research study that Johann Freidrich Blumenbach did on the measurements of craniums which led him to dividing human beings in to five different categories. The categories are “Caucasian, Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian, and American.” Once there was a separation of race between human beings because of their distinct appearances over time people took advantage of their own characteristics, power, and potential to seek other resources from other locations and from other human beings that were of a different race. Caucasian individuals from different countries across Europe took advantage of other racially categorized groups in different times and ways. Dating back to when Johann Friedrich Blumenbach formed this idea, it followed through with the slave trade organization that commenced in about 1650.
The slave trade organization was a controlling, manipulative and violent historical event that was used for financial growth, greed and gain in power from the Americas and Africa. Thousands of African human beings were captured and sold to other “masters” or other European “business men” who wanted more territory, power and access to resources from South and North America. Through the process of the slave trade organization many people lost their lives or were brutally mistreated. African and Indigenous women were raped in the Americas and in Africa and this led to the population of mixed people that exist today. Since the mid-1600s, up until 1865 when slavery was abolished, the majority of Caucasian individuals from Europe who settled in to the United States of America treated individuals of African descent whether it was half, a quarter or fully black like they were wild animals. After slavery was abolished the 13th Amendment claimed that it was illegal to own a slave but segregation still existed, racism still existed and if you were African American you would constantly struggle financially and socially. One wrong move and you would get arrested and treated like a slave again. Up until the 1960s when Jim Crow laws were abolished but, again, African American people and other people of color were still mistreated in terms of getting a job, financially, they were underprivileged all because of their complexion. It wasn’t until the late 1990s to early 2000s that employment discrimination laws were passed, that African American high school children were graduating on time or were graduating at all, that people of color were progressing economically, and were able to succeed in the U.S.
This leads me to explaining my second key term, “African American”. All human beings experience different things in their lives. We are all very distinct not because of out complexion, or our appearance. We are all distinct because of our experiences and the cultures that influence us. Humans are born in different locations and assimilate to different cultures over time and learn to adopt to different styles of life. People of color are black, indigenous, latino, or of other mixed ethnic groups. When living in America and being a person of color or specifically African American you have your own experience. Racism still exists and according to NBC News, the article, “Poll: 64 percent of Americans say racism remains a major problem” by Andrew Arenge, Stephanie Perry and Dartunorro Clark, “64 percent said racism remains a major problem in our society. Thirty percent agreed that racism exists today, but it isn’t a major problem.”
More than 50% of Americans acknowledge that there is a racial discrimination issue in their country. Given that the majority of people of color in America experience discrimination it seems like the issues isn’t complexion the the way in which people of color carry their skin. Every person has been influenced by culture but many people who happen to be Caucasian feel like because it isn’t like their own that they should discriminate, be racist against or mistreat others. Although not all white individuals are actively racists or follow white supremacists groups, actions speak louder than words and the statistics above prove that. If racism still exists, all Americans need to work on being culturally educated and learn to respect one another’s as they teach in Kindergarten. Americans need to show that they acknowledge each others experiences rather than focus on their own.
So to answer the question properly I would say that people of color should not hold grudges against people who have not prepared to actively not follow the kind of system that we live under. All humans are influenced by others and they experience complete different events and have different perspectives. People of color forgive those who are ignorant and just don’t know how to respect their culture but their is an expectation of learning from a mistake that was made. At the end of the day, this all shouldn’t be about color it is now about how people should learn to understand their similarities and differences between one another and where boundaries may lay between those two categories.
Racism exists and the cure isn’t to temporarily try to understand someone else’s pain or culture, it is to truly care about people around you day by day.