Don't Be a Racist!
The following short essay is part of a project initiated by The Sociological Cinema to introduce young people to sociological ideas and explanations regarding important social issues. In this case, I met via Zoom with one precocious young sociologist named Aeonian for about 30 minutes each week from April to December 2020. Drawing from a wide range of resources, including The 1619 Project from The New York Times, we surveyed the history of race and racism in the United States. With our final class approaching, I asked Aeonian to write down her thoughts about the cause of racism and what can be done to end it. What follows is her answer.
he root cause of racism in the U.S. is that racist people don’t want to be overpowered. Don’t just say white people are racist, that is a lie! White people aren’t the only racist people, other people can be racist too. My guess is 40% of white people are racist or have a racist history. The key point is that we must pay attention to how some people try to overpower other people based on race.
How can American Society overcome racism?
Racist people could try to welcome BIPOC folks more. If a racist person were in a BIPOC person's shoes, the racist person would know how bad they are acting. I think racist people should think more about what they do. Racist people might think, “Well, ‘Black Lives Matter’ means other people's lives don’t matter,” but Black Lives Matter isn’t saying other lives don’t matter. Black Lives Matter is saying, “Our lives matter too.”
Like I said, a lot of white people are racist, but other people can be racist too. There was a racist guy at my school who was in my brother’s fourth grade class, who went up to white people and said,” you need milk,” and then went up to black people and said, “you need chocolate milk.” He wasn’t white, he was Hispanic.
Consider John H. Brown, who was a white abolitionist leader in America. He was able to support the abolitionist cause by becoming a conductor on the Underground Railroad and by establishing the League of Gileadites, an organization established to help runaway slaves escape to Canada.
Whether people are Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, or white, the point is everyone should be against racism and willing to risk their lives to save other people’s because we all need to help each other.
Aeonian A. is a 5th grader in Connecticut. In her free time, she likes to read books, such as Fuzzy Mud or Holes, and she likes to play video games with her friends. Her favorite subjects are writing, reading, and sometimes math.
1/26/2021 06:29:08 pm
Aeonian - you hit the nail on the head! There is racism all around us and it's NOT privy to only ONE race. I'm proud of you for understanding that and being open to learn more about it!
1/26/2021 08:07:31 pm
You’re right Aeonion, if we all tried to walk in someone else’s shoes, there would be greater respect, understanding and less racism. It is important to recognize racism comes in all colors. We all need to be aware. You are so right when you point out that by saying “BLM!”, it doesn’t mean other lives don’t matter. It is just pointing out an obvious statistic concerning Black lives. Yes, we all need to step up to save others. Maybe we can be the change.
1/26/2021 07:42:27 pm
Yes, racism can manifest itself in all different ways seen in society. If only people could really imagine themselves in other shoes without bias.
1/28/2021 06:27:45 am
Treating people with dignity and respect, helping others when they are in need regardless of race. Using your words carefully when you interact with others. Aeonian's calling us to stand up against racial prejudice and help others as daily practice in order to have a more equal and fair society for all. Hope to make a world a better place. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Hope to read the next post soon! :)
1/31/2021 07:29:23 am
I like the way you translate "Black Lives Matter" into "Black lives matter too". It helps me to realize the movement is not pursuing a privilege, but just equality. And the anecdote you shared is very inspiring. Racism exists everywhere no matter if people being aware of it or not.
2/25/2021 07:34:13 am
So much of our society is based on power. Power to gain leverage. Power to overtake. Power to succeed. Your take on this power and the fear of not wanting to be overpowered is wonderful, not to mention your passion in the essay comes through strongly and I look to you being a very influential person in your future!
2/1/2022 03:04:58 am
All the racist people need to read this article, it might change their Mind!!!!
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