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Sorry Cam Newton, Racism Hasn’t Disappeared

For the past couple years, the black community has been trying to come to grips with the constant black deaths happening almost daily at the hands of law enforcement. These deaths have become the trending topics on social media and even on TV. It’s not hard to miss. Recently in an interview with GQ, Panthers football player Cam Netwon said, “I don’t want this to be about race, because it’s not. It’s not. Like, we’re beyond that. As a nation” when asked about the scrutiny he faced during the last football season. This is an obvious lie, Cam Newton was faced with so many racial slurs online from white football fans.  I thought Cam was different, he was apologetically black on the field as he dabbed on all the haters. Those same haters who called him names like N***er and Thug. Now, you’re acting like race is something of the past. If you don’t believe the criticism you faced wasn’t due to racism then I have a lake house to sell you in the desert.

Racism is so dominant in sports that I am honestly perplexed at your response, did you forget that Don Imus called the Rutgers female basketball team “nappy headed h*es” on national radio, this was just 2007. Or in 2013 when Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper couldn’t get backstage at a concert, so he decided to tell the bouncer, “I will jump that fence and fight every n–ger here”, Riley’s teammates were mainly black. Even your own sport is occupied by racist. It doesn’t stop there, in Europe sports fans throw bananas at black soccer players. This is almost tradition, racist but traditional.

Racism in America dates centuries back when Africans were transported from Africa and brought to America to become slaves. While they were slaves here, they became dehumanized. Slave masters would whip them till the skin on their backs cracked and call them every demeaning name under the sun. It’s irresponsible for Cam to completely disregard this part of American history that makes up today, we have not moved on from the racism in the past,there are people still relishing in it. Last week George Zimmerman got assaulted for bragging about killing Travyon Martin, last year Dylan Roof walked into a Charlestons church and shot innocent black people, men and women. He stated that he wanted to start a race war. That was 2015, we have not advanced at all when it comes to racism. To a certain degree I can understand how money would blind someone as influential as you, but then I remember you’re a football player and I shouldn’t expect much from you.

When Travyon Martin was killed, the media worked day and night to victimize George Zimmerman. They released photos of him with his middle finger up, and emphasized his size and height. In the eyes of many white people, black men are already threatening, they are viewed as less innocent looking than their white counterparts. Their innocence is stripped away at a very young age, children like Tamir Rice who was playing with a toy gun, and got fatally killed. At just 12 years old, the police assumed that he had an actual gun, shooting him in seconds after spotting him.

Cam should take some advice from Simone Manuel, after winning the gold at the Rio Olympics she gave a powerful message about racial interactions, she said, “It means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality,” she continued. “This win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on. My color just comes with the territory.” Not only did she address police brutality, but she addressed that even she is affected by it because she is black. Cam’s total disregard for race happening in America is a slap to the face of all the men and women fighting for racial equality. It would be a lie to say we aren’t affected by race in present day America. Race is why black people aren’t getting jobs they quality for, it’s why black kids aren’t been giving equal opportunities at school and why there is no diversity in films. This is not post-racial America, this is racist America.



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Evelyn V. Woodsen
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Evelyn Atieno is a sometimes journalist who enjoys binge watching Gossip Girl every other month. She has been featured in MTV,Business Insider, Huffington Post and The Baltimore Sun

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