This is the kind of thing that pisses me off. Its the same narrative that my Grandparents(with KKK ties) and parents tried to shove down my throat at a young age. And even then I knew it to be wrong. There is a valid point in your argument and that is inner city kids feel that the system is working against them. But wrong because this wasn’t something our parents preached to us. This was because our parents in general were not home working long hours to try and support us and still have to rely on assistance to get by. This was the system that had me working full time and school by 16 and by 18 I had to work so many hours just to keep my apartment college became an afterthought. Now I have a nice job but it was as much circumstance and luck as it was hard much and dedication on my end. And so many of my friends who stayed out of gangs and trouble just trying to get by don’t share in my good luck. Still at the age of 40 they are working cashier jobs because thats what they were at 17 or 18, to help support themselves and now 20 years later they just don’t see an opportunity to ever get out of that situation, with kids and all the other responsibilities. So in general its not our parents telling us we cant achieve these things, its more or less inferred from our lives struggling to support ourselves from a young age. And with all of that I still don’t face as many challenges as an African American, not even close.
See I work out of the city in the country, around people with a small town philosophy. Most of these people don’t know I grew up in the inner city. I hear what conservatives say about black people and its horrible. Seething with hate, same as my parents and grandparents. And if you think these people who have been raised on hate for generations are going to treat a black person equally then its because you are obviously over-privilegded to the point where you can not even entertain the idea. And these people are employers, teachers, politicians, and police officers. And to hear people say racism isn’t an issue anymore literally makes me sick. Its such bullshit. As a white person I can tell you that white people are nearly as hate filled as they have always been. They just try to hide it a little more. Not all of us. Myself I have people in my family who are black. Some of my best friends are black. I have nieces and nephews that are black or mixed. I have drawn a line personally and ended relationships in my family and professionally with racists. The only way I know how to fight this is to tell my mom “Sorry I love you but you can’t be in my life talking this way”. She can’t be fixed. Nothing I could say would change her opinion. Most of what she sees and knows of black people is what she is taught on Fox News.
This post has turned into an autobiography but I have one more thing to share about your “perceptions” of injustice. I have only been arrested once. As a teen me and three of my friends used to shoplift. We had rode around all night shoplifting from stores and had a trunk full of stolen goods. Later we picked up my friend Steve. Steve was one of the nicest kids you could know. Steve happened to be black. Me and Steve both listened to rap so I we thought he would like to ride around with us and listen to all the tapes we had just stolen. We get pulled over. The cops figure out the car is full of stolen stuff. We are told to line up on the side of the cop car. Steve is standing to me with his hands on the car just like me and a young cop runs up and slams him against the car and drives his knee to the middle of his back on the ground. The other cops draw their guns and scream at him to quit resisting, but he never did, at most he tried to re-position himself when he got slammed to the ground. Steve got cuffed. The rest of us didn’t. Later at the station the cops “knew” Steve stole all the stuff and tried to force us into getting to admit that he did it. Threatening us with prison time and everything else trying to get us to admit he did it. The older cop even became enraged and started throwing chairs and flipped the table when I wouldn’t fold. Even after refusing to implicate him the cops still tried to say on the police report that he admitted to doing it. Luckily for all of us they messed everything in the case up so bad we never got any charges. Of all the things stolen that night on the official police report maybe 25 percent of it was there. Im assuming they pocketed the rest. But since then I have a certain rage towards this topic. I think of Steve with his bloodied face and crying because he thought he was going to die that night. And then I think of some old white person on the internet smugly saying this kind of thing happens rarely or not at all. My one encounter with the police and they were racists. No way thats a coincidence. Its not just about being shot. Its about being treated differently. Go watch videos of white kids resisting arrest or arguing with the police and see how many of them get slammed to the ground. Yeah you will find a few, but you will find a lot more of the officer trying to find a nonviolent solution or talk it out. Won’t find nearly as many if you are looking at African Americans doing the same. Think of the 14 year old girl in Texas being slammed to the ground while all the black kids are in handcuffs on the curb while the white kids walk around and film the whole thing. And its all a “perception”. But this is now why I fight. I don’t try and champion the cause but people now know not to say racist things around me. Because I fight, with words or with fists at times as well. For my nieces and nephews that I pray don’t run into the wrong cop at the wrong time. And I fight against people who never walked a day in the shoes of people who struggle with this on a daily basis and want to say its all a perception. I fight, and I wont stop.