Let’s get one thing straight: racism is a white people problem. In the past few days, it has come to my attention that the world believes that marginalized minorities, especially those of the African-American community, are expected to magically solve a problem that white people bred and birthed. But the reality is that the only way to truly disassemble hundreds of years of systemic racism is through the people who created.
Given the recent events in Charlottesville, it’s not surprising to see that white people seem to think that racism is something that was demolished years ago, seeing as it is 2017 and it’s oh so unbelievable that something like this could happen.
But what strikes me the most amidst this entire mess is the notion that “peace” and “love” and “union” is going to miraculously dismantle hundreds of years of systemic racism.
Now don’t get me wrong. It is one thing to sympathize with the families and communities of the victims of the Charlottesville riot but it’s another thing to believe that peace and love are going to solve the real problem at hand here. Just because we march for peace in the streets doesn’t mean somewhere another black mother is losing her child to the very system that was supposed to protect him. Just because we strive to “come together” as a nation doesn’t change the fact that black people are still being incarcerated five times more than white people. Just because you go on twitter and tweet for peace and justice doesn’t mean the racists and neo-nazis of Charlottesville are going to magically change their beliefs. Not to mention, as a 17-year-old black girl, never in my life will I hold hands and negotiate with white domestic terrorists for the sake of “peace” and “love”
Not only does this rule apply for racism, but for all types of activism. We don’t live in a world where we get to love away all our problems, it doesn’t work like that. Activism is a grassroots transformation, that leads up to the movements and marches and everything in between. Understanding this is the first step to solving centuries of culturally conditioned bigotry.