I am not coming to you as a black man angry at society for hundreds of years of racism or as an “All Lives Matter” guy who is trying to be politically correct.
I am instead coming to you as a person who is ready for the people of America to realize that we need to change.
The question I ask myself constantly is: Is the stigma of racism irreversible? The answer isn’t so black and white. The concept of racism has seemingly been ingrained into the very DNA of our country, but with time and effort, this can be reversed. So what can we do to create a more equal society?
First, we have to understand that this will take time, more time than anyone reading this will have in their life. We have to develop a “Next-Generation” mindset. To improve this country, we must plant and water the seeds of change in youth.
Kanye West has been flooding the news with his support of Donald Trump and his push to abolish the 13th Amendment.
It seems crazy that a man who once openly criticized George W. Bush for “not caring about black people,” is now supporting a president who has made questionable remarks about people of color.
But looking at it more critically, he is demonstrating that you don’t have to be pigeon-holed into certain norms because of your appearance.
In recent photos, he’s been pictured wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat with a Colin Kaepernick t-shirt. When asked about the motive for this fashion statement he said, “I’m trying to turn negative energy into positive energy and bring the people together.” West has since been shunned by the black community, being called “Cooney West” and a sellout for supporting the president.
Kaepernick has also been a polarizing figure in American society for the past couple of years. His act of kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality has stirred the nation.
What started as a silent protest against the injustices of the police force was successfully twisted by the media as a middle finger to the American flag. Kaepernick has since been ousted by the owners of the NFL and is now in the process of making a case against the NFL for collusion.
While you may not agree with the tactics that these particular men are using to get their points across, it is clear to me that they are both falling on the proverbial sword for the greater good of mankind.
Whether you like it or not, these men are trying to use their respective platforms to advocate for change.
Their actions will spark the minds of generations to come and inspire them to make America better. These men have the “Next-Generation” mindset, and we should adopt it as well.
For too long, the American people have had a deeply seeded hate for those that do not look like them. For too long, white people have been oblivious to the wrongdoings that are happening to people of color. Saying racism doesn’t exist and telling people of color to “just work harder” are not valid answers anymore.