The year 2020 has come with many unforeseen events and surprises. Covid-19 rocked the world and had everyone filled with too much fear to do anything or go anywhere. Then, after a while, people were no longer affected by the threat even though the virus resulted in many hospitalizations and high death tolls worldwide. More and more people have started going places and linking up with friends. Many are being spotted not wearing masks and social distancing has apparently become a thing of the past.
Perhaps quarantine and the isolation associated with it drove people to their limits, and they are apparently willing to take the risks involved. But the coronavirus isn’t the only virus going around. In fact there is something more ominous looming over like a dark cloud. It’s been there for quite a while but like covid-19, people have become so accustomed to it, they tolerate it and even pretend it doesn’t exist. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m talking about racism.
This virus has been around far longer than we care to count, and though it has a tendency to lie dormant for a while, it shows itself sooner or later and the results are often tragic. Being that racism is the perception or belief that one’s own race is superior to others, and that every race has behaviors stereotypical of one’s background, culture or ethnicity, it fits perfectly in the virus category, being that this mindset is detrimental to those who think it as well as those who are victims of the actions that stem from it. A virus is defined as a piece of code that copies itself and wreaks havoc by corrupting the system or destroying data. Racism has definitely corrupted our justice system and in many cases has copied itself in the form of being passed down through generations and perpetuated by all who operate under its agenda.
Police brutality, racial profiling and a host of other mentalities and behaviors play a role in this ugly ongoing pandemic. As we mourn the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others, it’s time to come up with a solution. Death should not have to continue to be the outcome. Here are seven steps to the cure.
We have to be the change we want to see. So in order to do that, we have to work the system from the inside so that our efforts will reflect back out to the community. If the spaces for those in power are occupied by racist or crooked individuals, then the laws and policies they create will either not benefit us or be detrimental to our well-being. But, if we had more people of color and those who have a heart to serve and who want to see justice on our police forces, and in the courthouse and the white-house, then we would have better laws and policies, and we could then began our mission for positive change. We have to gain access to the spaces that make decisions in order to have a fair fight against systematic racism.
infiltration will contribute to representation. Those who represent us speak on our behalf. It is very important that our voices and issues are heard. If we are not properly represented, then we cannot be properly accommodated and we will continue to be overlooked and underserved. Those who look like us and those who share common goals and perspectives, will be more likely to look out for our best interest because they understand the issues we face. That’s the power of representation.
There needs to be effective programs implemented that will educate the masses as well as those in power. The programs created need to hold those in power more accountable and not yield to any biases of privilege or race. Young minorities need classes on how to stay safe and how to respond in the event of racial profiling so as not to escalate an already hostile or dangerous situation. Officers need more sensitivity training and problem-solving skills. They should have to pass stress tests and PTSD tests before being allowed on our streets. This way, fear can’t be as easily used as an excuse for shooting unarmed African Americans and minorities. And there should be harsher penalties for those officers who don’t exercise the proper self-control needed for many situations they encounter. Firing a weapon should not be the first solution thought of when the need arises to de-escalate a situation.
the programs implemented will bring about education and knowledge is power. Usually, if people know better, they do better. Proper education will also combat racism and expose it for the ignorance that it is. People should also educate themselves on other people so as not to make misinformed assumptions about their capabilities or character based on stereotypes instead of lived experiences.
Once people are educated their eyes will be opened. The goal is to encourage people to realize their own mistakes as well as the hardships others endure due to systematic oppression. Hopefully, they will then understand and advocate for the type of change that will benefit the greatest good for all. The first step to fixing any problem is recognizing and being able to agree that one exists.
Once people have come to a place of realization of the occurrence of racism, and also how to stand against it, they can then identify what perpetuates it and will hopefully not give in to its vices. Identification of the problem can lead towards the dismantling of systematic racism and all the horror that stems from it. Racism is detrimental period, however, when it is systematic and exists in places of power and decision-making, it can and does do much more damage.
This is the ultimate goal and what we are striving to see. The system as it is needs a serious makeover and can never be beneficial to minorities and people of color without the much needed change we are all so desperate for. Ultimately, the right people have to care and the right people have to be in position in order for transformation to finally take place. Can we make it happen? What can you contribute to the cause? Lets get active! Let’s do our research! And let’s become the change we want to see. This is our cause so it has to start with and be initiated by us. But every race and demographic can and should be a part of this change in question. Although society defines and divides us by race, we are all a part of the human race.