President Joe Biden acknowledges the existence of systemic racism and white supremacy in America and the negative impact both have had, and are having, on our country. United States Senators Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell state that systemic racism does not exist in America. United States Senator Tim Scott stated recently that America is not a racist country and Vice President Kamala Harris also indicated recently that America is not a racist country, although she also acknowledges that “we need to speak truth about the history of racism and the current existence of racism in this country.” Are you as confused as I am with these very political responses? Well, let me just put this issue to rest, America is a Racist Country and I have the receipts to prove it. Let me show you in 10 easy steps. There are more than 10 steps, but I will let you research the others on your own.
1. America is a stolen land. Before it became the United States of America, this land was discovered and occupied by Native Americans. The land was taken, no stolen, from Native Americans because of their race and they were murdered and imprisoned so that America could exist on what once was Native land. America was founded, no stolen, as as act of racism.
2. America is a land built by stolen people. In 1619, and by some accounts before 1619, slaves (human beings) were purchased and stolen from Africa then taken to America in slave ships. Many died during the savage Middle Passage, and those that didn’t were brutally enslaved, raped, murdered and treated worst than animals from 1619 – 1865. 1865 or Juneteenth, as we call it now, did not end the brutal treatment, it just changed the name. The foundation of America was built on racism.
3. America created and enforced slave codes, ignored the freedoms of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments for Black people, and lynched Black people regularly through celebrated lynchings at family picnics with kids and grandparents. America also created a policing system built by and for the Klu Klux Klan that enforced racist ideology. America showcased its racism for all of the world to see as it built a racist nation.
4. America created a military system that recruited and deployed soldiers based up their race. Black soldiers could not room with white soldiers; Black soldiers could not use the same restrooms as white soldiers; Black soldiers could not fight in the same battalions as white soldiers and when they returned home from war, Black soldiers could not get jobs, buy homes, eat at restaurants or attend schools because of their race. America has consistently withheld opportunities from Black Americans because of their race.
5. America has a rich history of racism. The 3/5 clause stated that Black people are not fully a person when all men were supposedly created equal. Many court cases have enforced raciam in this country as well. The cases have held: slaves are property that can be transported to free states and still not be free; free slaves have no rights to own property or to vote; private companies, that do not engage in interstate commerce, can freely discriminate against people based on race; Asian American citizens can be held in illegal war campus because of their race; housing deeds can restrict the transfer of property on the basis of race; housing loans can be restricted based upon race; and education can be offered in a discriminatory and racist manner as long as it is separate and supposedly equal. There are many more legal cases that reveal the legal foundation of racism that built America.
6. America has a whole history we call the civil rights movement that is the product of racism. Black people were beaten by police for peacefully walking across bridges in Alabama. Black people were attacked by dogs and tortured by water hoses because they wanted the right to vote. Black people were spat on and had hot coffee poured on them because they wanted to eat at the same counter as white people. Black People and others were assassinated because they fought for the civil rights of others. Racism in America necessitated an entire movement for civil rights.
7. Police have continued to kill unarmed Black people and the justice system has not consistently held officers accountable for these killings. Policing in America is impacted by systemic racism.
8. Asian American families cannot enjoy the freedoms of life in America without being violently abused and assaulted because of their race. Asian Americans (collectively) are also unjustly branded as the cause of a deadly virus because of their race.
9. Black, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans are not adequately represented in the C suites of American corporations. Systemic racism has caused this to occur.
10. Racism is a public health issue, yet healthcare disparities, economic disparities, education disparities, employment disparities, housing disparities, criminal justice system disparities and all other types of racial disparities exist because of racism. I guess racism is not really a public health issue we want to address.
My receipts add up. The history is undisputed. The record is clear. The impact of racism in America on Black, Latino, Asian and Native American communities is evident.
America is a racist country built on the foundations of colonialism, racism, genocide, lynchings, segregation, anti-immigration, white supremacy and systemic inequality. If we are to address the public health issue of racism and dismantle the systems that created and enable it, we must admit the obvious – We are racist country, but we don’t have to continue to be. We can change it. We must change it. We will change it.
The first step towards Truth and Reconciliation is…………