Racism has been around forever, it seems. It is an issue in the halls of Congress. People always say they are not racist, but racism does not go away. Why does racism continue when so many people profess equal rights for all?
Colin Kaepernick tried to draw public attention to the problems almost four years ago when he knelt during the National Anthem at a professional soccer game in which he was a star player. Then other players joined him. Rather than focus on the purpose of kneeling, he was severely criticized for being against the flag of the United States of America and against the military. That was not the case.
He has stated in interviews that he was using his position to raise awareness about the inequality in this country and the brutality that the police often exhibited against black men. He realized he had a platform where others didn’t, so he tried to use it to raise awareness. He didn’t do it himself, but he was trying to make a better world for others. Instead, he was accused of being anti-American and anti-military. He subsequently lost his career over it and was apparently a black ball in the NFL.
Growing up as a part-black person with a white biological mother and a black father and being adopted by a white family, his experiences were not quite the same as those of many black people who grew up in various parts of the United States. Even those who have become wealthy and successful still feel that they must warn their black children of the problems they might face if they ever face the police. Racism was not dead and could be used against them without cause or with little cause. He was doing what he did for others who could use a voice and a platform.
Black professional athletes are the bread and butter of professional sports leagues. With over 70% of black players on most teams, professional sports would suffer without them. They are extremely important to franchises and team owners. However, neither they nor their concerns about racism have been addressed. Even when the NFL finally came out with an initial statement that it supported Black Lives Matter, Colin Kaepernick was not mentioned.
Perhaps if the NFL, NBA, MLB and others had listened four years ago, all the confusion and chaos of George Floyd’s murder might not have happened. In fact, perhaps that premature death would not have occurred if those issues of police brutality against black men had been rectified back then.
African Americans are not the only ones who have suffered from racism. Asian Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and many others have suffered as well. Japanese Americans faced extreme racial hatred during World War II when 120,000 innocent people were forcibly removed from their homes on the West Coast and imprisoned in American concentration camps. It was a mass incarceration through racial profiling that was the result of racism and hatred.
However, it is unlikely that any other ethnic group suffered from the racism that some black people routinely face simply because of the color of their skin. There may be people guilty of some crime who are harassed by the police, but there are too many innocent and unarmed black people, particularly men, who face hardship and persecution simply because of their appearance.
Although most police officers are probably caring and compassionate people, it is hard work and there is still too much racism among law enforcement and the general public. It will not go away until there is more care, love, understanding and acceptance in the world. Hate fuels racism and it is still a big problem.
Hopefully, the peaceful protests after George Floyd’s untimely death will result in significant changes in America. It will take many people to change their mind and attitude. It is gratifying to see so many white people and others joining with the black community in the concerns that have been raised so many times in the past.
Racism has no place in society and must be eradicated. It is time for people to do their part, give back if possible and make this a better world for all people.