Racism is something that affects everyone in the world. It is a terrific problem that must be remedied. Before it hurts YOU...
I grew up in Oklahoma, U.S.A., with access to private schools, never had anyone told me that my friends were trash or dirty because their skin was darker than mine... until I went to college.
During the course of my freshman year in Norman Oklahoma, I made several Afro-American friends who had come from Tulsa, Oklahoma to study at U of 0. I heard unbelievable tales of cross burnings, beatings, shootings; a Nazi skinhead had shot one of my friends in the head. He once let me touch the lump in his skull where the bullet was embedded. I was shocked and had a strong desire to investigate racism up close.
I didn't realize how deeply involved I was until I attended a live Ramone's show on campus. I went with the SHARPS, and expected to have a fun night. I walked in to the venue with my SHARP friends; we were immediately confronted by a large group of Nazi skins (the ones causing all the trouble in Tulsa). My friends told me to stay close. I scoffed at them. Little did I know the guilt by association that occurred when I entered with the SHARPS (several of whom had become well-known to the C.H. Skins).
I was having a great time dancing, and then I got hit. The guy was a huge C.H. Skin, an extreme troublemaker. He was wearing several spiked rings. He just swung out of the pit, hit me as hard as he could and disappeared into the pit again.
I fell to the floor, dizzy and disoriented. I was pulled to safety lay a girl that I never had an opportunity to thank. I spent the rest of the night standing by the huge security guard at the door. When I got home I took off my white t-shirt to find it soaked with blood from the cuts his rings made in my scalp.
Then I passed out in front of my confused roommate.
I didn't report the incident to the police or visit a doctor. My parents had no idea of my involvement with the SHARPS and would have hauled me straight to the psycho ward had they known. A couple of days later one of my friends told me that I was featured on a Nazi skin's hit list. That was the end of Oklahoma for me. I had to leave, so I moved to San Diego and swore I would never get involved with any of this again.
Controversial historian Professor Niall Ferguson argues that in the last century there were not in fact two World Wars and a Cold War, but a single Hundred Years’ War. It was not nationalism that powered the conflicts of the century, but empires. It was not ideologies of class or the advent of socialism driving the century, but race. Ultimately, ethnic conflict underpinned 20th-century violence. The documentary series shows just how lethal racism in action can be... well worth watching!
My oath lasted about two months, and then I became involved with an anti-racism group here in San Diego. I exclude the name of this group because I left it, disillusioned about the depth of their concern about racism. Since moving here I've received a couple of letters from one of my old SHARP friends. He said he had to sleep with a shotgun under his bed, that his family was considering moving out of fear for their lives. They had a cross burnt in their yard, bricks and burning objects thrown through their windows, and a great number of threats directed at his family. I don't know if he is dead or alive. Why all the hate?
No matter how blue-eyed and blond you are, you are still a mixture of many races. No one living in America today is 100% white. What exactly is white? English, Irish, Scandinavian? I have blonde hair and blue eyes, but my mother is Mexican and Choctaw Indian. I am very proud of my heritage from both sides of my family and, at times, have found great comfort in the Choctaw religion and ways.
I take racist remarks personally, though most people are unable to tell about my background because of my appearance. I am quite sure that if any white supremacist took a hard look at his or her background, they would find impurities in their family tree. Everyone on Earth is an individual in his or her own right. Don't closet people because of their skin color. Get to know each new acquaintance before stereotyping him or her.
HOW to change the situation? I have found that the best way is to begin with education and learning, beginning with our generation and those our generation (20 to 40 years old) will be in powerful positions in years to come. We will be shaping legislature and politics for the generations to come. We can educate our age group and plant the seed for a more logical, kinder world. The power to change things begins when we get together and do something. It's a peaceful revolution. Revolt via education and coherent thought.
One last note: I was talking to a friend of mine about this subject. He mentioned the forces behind racism. Most of what the media filters down to you are icons of racism, the skinheads (warriors of the Nazi movement), but the real warriors are some of the most powerful people in the US; Politicians, police officers, and the politically active upper segments of the population.People in social management positions (sheep herders) make the most powerful racists of all. Nazi skins are up to no good, whether they act of their own free will, or they merely as pawns for the chess players. Machiavelli said 500 years ago - divide and rule. Racism is such a simple way to pit frustrated masses against each other & blinded by race-hate they can't see the root of their angst (poverty, strife, corruption or fear thereof).
Photo by Jeffree Benet