Systemic Racism

I started working on this post when I first heard about the brutal and unwarranted murder of George Floyd, and then of Breonna Taylor, and then Ahmaud Arbery, and Oluwatoyin Salau, and Rayshard Brooks, and Tete Gulley, and seemingly countless others. This isn’t just an issue that started a month ago when it broke into mainstream media again, it’s a lethal mentality that has existed in this country from the very beginning. White supremacy and white privilege are painfully present whether we like to believe it or not, and it is the responsibility of privileged people like myself to fight back against systemic racism until it is dismantled entirely.

Police brutality is just a small portion of the institutionalized injustice that is engrained in our country’s current functionality. Anyone who’s seen 13th on Netflix knows that mass incarceration of POC is a modern continuation of slavery. Anyone who has researched the origins of police departments in the United States knows that they were introduced as a way to protect white citizens by controlling BIPOC. Anyone who has had enough interaction with POC in their own lives knows that racist double standards are enforced in the workplace, in education, in entertainment, in fashion, in housing, in medicine, in politics, virtually everywhere.

Reform is not enough, and the failure of the Democratic party to recognize this is disappointing. We need a complete reimagining of how to run our society in a way that doesn’t inherently favor those with pale skin. And those with specific genitalia, and those with significant wealth, and those of a certain religion, and those who perform gender in particular ways, and those with certain abilities, and those with certain language proficiencies, and those who were born in certain places, etc. The dismantling of the Minneapolis police department and the continuation of Black Lives Matter protests around the world give me hope that we will see significant changes in our lifetimes, and we can’t complicitly let this be another fleeting trend.

To the BIPOC reading this: I’m so deeply sorry that it took this long. To the non-white POC and white people reading this: we have a lot of work to do. There are so many ways to help, from signing petitions, to donating to anti-racist organizations, to safely protesting in your area. Information is more accessible than ever, and setting aside time every day to educate yourself on un-altered American history and what’s going on right now will help build a safer world for others to live in.

A revolution is long overdue. I will not stand for such bigoted violations of human rights, and I promise to continue learning about and contributing to this fight as much as I can. Black lives matter, and it’s time we start acting like it.

X Sophia

Posted Juneteenth, 2020