Standing Up To Racism
By Lola Harmon-Ramsey
Ms. H-R has written for N3 when she finds the time and gives in to our constant badgering for more of her writings.
This is a post from her social media page we found to be a thoughtful and compelling piece of writing and asked her if we might share it with our readers. After a smidge of the aforementioned badgering she agreed. We hope you find it as candid and heartfelt as we did.
What to say when everyone has said it all? Honestly, I don’t think I’ve earned the right to share my opinion on race or what’s going on. I know I am the epitome of privilege. I wish more of you knew that too.
What I can tell you is that the community I live in is 94.8% white according to the 2000 census. Maybe that isn’t exactly correct today, but I would venture it’s still pretty close. In all actuality, I would say the city I reside in, Fremont, is more like 98% white because people of color are rare here.
Another thing I can tell you is that I am a huge failure at standing up for racism. Just a few months ago I was at a party that included a confederate flag on the wall and a lot of very disgusting racist “jokes” and language that have been haunting me every week and day since, because I wanted to say something, but I was too afraid to speak up and say how offended I was by those words that were freely shared. I felt like I would be chastised for saying different. We have turned politics into a shouting match and I knew I would lose, so I was too weak to voice my stance. I regret that, but I can’t take it back.
I’m switching my stance now and I don’t care if you are offended if I call out your racism that you openly show. I think it’s time.
I have failed miserably at addressing these issues that aren’t always in the forefront and honestly, isn’t that the privilege showing? I didn’t even have to think about doing something until I wanted to address it. Nobody in my life has gone to jail or been harmed by breathing, running, anything.
I’d also like to remind everyone sharing Martin Luther King and his peaceful protests that you deem “better” than whatever has happened this past weekend, MLK was murdered for his work. He was a hated man and segregation still exists in many communities although it is not defined as such. Minorities still get the short end of the stick.
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