The idea for a series on racism was brought up when the World as One Project was started at the beginning of last year. When all of the protests erupted in the United States, it seemed like a good time to get going with the series- the idea being to promote peace and understanding of all sides.
I personally believe that we do have a problem with racism and a problem with law enforcement in our country. However, I can no longer support the Black Lives Matter movement or its many groups on the World as One Project. At least not in the same way that I did before.
First of all, there are many groups that have formed out of the Black Lives Matter movement and each one has a slightly different agenda. Consistent actions are hard to find and propaganda is spread like wildfire. It is nearly impossible to know who to support even if you support the cause itself.
Another issue is that most of these groups are too focused on protests and making themselves known than actually working toward solutions. Protesting only goes so far and the increasing anger and hostility are discouraging a lot of people from getting involved at all.
Lastly, the newest trend on social media is to connect the movement in the US with the events in Nigeria. The issues in Nigeria are not simply tied to race. While both issues are important- they are not related. Western media tends to ignore any countries that they are not directly involved with and the reasons are far more political than they are racial. Nigeria does deserve worthy attention and action to help, but their heartache should not be used to fuel an agenda for our people here.
For those reasons I am dropping the racism series completely. I would also like to apologize for the previous posts, particularly on Twitter, where I supported some of these groups. I did not realize at the time how negative they were and I quickly learned that even the best intentions would be met with hostility. The World as One Project is meant to promote unity, but it seems that unity is simply not possible right now.
With all of that said, I want to make it clear that I do support the need for equality and will continue to promote that concept on this site. I understand that not all people may see racism with their own eyes but it does exist. When we have people who feel they are being treated unfairly, it's important that we try to understand and that we try to fix it.
From what I've seen myself, I believe racism is most prevalent in the form of discrimination. If you don't believe me, just take a drive around one of our cities. We have communities that are not receiving the funding they need, or that is already allotted to them, and their families are suffering greatly. Everyone should have access to food, housing, medical care, education and employment- ALL of these areas are lacking in minority communities.
These are not failures of the people themselves, but failures of our system as a whole. Reasonably it's those in office who are most responsible for these problems, but we all have the power to stand up for a change. The issues won't be solved if we don't make them a priority. Here are a few ideas of things that YOU can do to help where you are--
Contact your local officials. Bring up the issues in your community and suggest ways to help. Create a petition, call a meeting, get involved! This is a great way to address the issues in law enforcement as well. If your local department is understaffed or you see problems- let someone know!
Find or start a group in your area. Look at the issues specific to your area and bring people together. Does the school need landscaping or a new paint job? Does the library need books? Do people need help finding scholarships or employment?
If you don't feel comfortable leading a group in person, try social media. Facebook is a great tool for local causes!
Volunteer your time. Help at the local shelter or food pantry. Read at the library. Sign up to be a tutor at the school or community college. Coach a sport.
There are GOOD people behind the cause for racial equality and they deserve to be heard. Whether you believe there is an issue or not, at least try to listen. Our future generations are depending on us!
Written by Sarah Haney