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The Northerner

Majority must cease ignoring racial issues, address problem

Crystal Smith

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Can’t a brother speak his mind without all the drama?

I’m somewhat confused about what freedom of speech really means. I mean, I understand that as humans we are endowed with the ability to think freely and process our thoughts in an intelligent manner. As Americans, we are not only free to have these thoughts, but we are free to express them any way we wish.

Well, at least some of us are. I have heard so much negativity from “intelligent” people regarding hip-hop artist Kanye West’s statement about President George Bush. Kanye’s statement, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” was his opinion.

I understand that he said this during an emotional time for our country; I can also understand that this statement was made during a live telethon, which aimed to raise money for Hurricane relief.

So what!?

Since when do the rules change to suit the television networks and the government as a whole? Mr. West was not only censored, but criticized for the things that he said and the time that he chose to say them. Give me a break, people. Are we so weak-minded that we have to rely on the media to censor what we see and hear so that it doesn’t influence us? Would the caring Americans who wanted to donate to the cause change their minds because of one man’s beliefs?

What about those who happen to agree with Kanye West? What if there are black, brown, white and yellow people who will reflect on President Bush’s track record as it relates to black people?

I think it’s sad that some of us have to bite our tongues and walk on eggshells so as not to upset those who represent the majority in this country. It appears that no one ever wants to discuss seriously this issue of race in America. The race thing is like the big purple elephant in the room, we all see it but we pretend not to notice it.

Of course race plays a major factor in much of what goes in this country, and so it has been since the Africans were forced into servitude. The general ideology of white America has shown time and time again that anything other than white is less than, period.

Let’s not kid ourselves here; let’s acknowledge the elephant. What about slavery? Was that so long ago that it is no longer a relevant example? What about the Civil Rights movement-which was not even fifty years ago, and the laws that were in place which sparked the movement.

Still need more recent evidence? What about the way that Middle Easterners were treated in this country after 9/11? Shall I go on? Police brutality, racial profiling, job discrimination, housing discrimination, drug laws, gang laws, gun laws, driving while black, and the list drags on and on. There are times when race plays a factor in these instances-that is a fact.

I find it humorous when the majority claims race isn’t an issue. The reason why it doesn’t seem like a reality to the majority is because it isn’t a reality to the majority. How can you discriminate against those who have all the power? It is the minorities who bear the brunt of racist ideology, whether unconscious or deliberate. But, it certainly does exist.

I challenge anyone who thinks I’m wrong to do just a little research on the matter. I charge you to interview 10 black, brown, or yellow people. Ask them specifically about their experiences regarding race, I’m sure that you will get at least one story from every one of them. For those who maintain that the “race issue” always comes up with black people and that the claims are unfounded, it’s OK.

Just as that ignorant ideology has been taught to you, so has the ability to recognize it and deal with it been taught to us. I now know what Marvin Gaye meant when he said, “It makes me wanna holler and throw up both my hands.” We may not all agree about these issues, but we can surely agree to disagree.

I’m just keeping it real.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Majority must cease ignoring racial issues, address problem