Beat The Horse

I just saw a video a couple days ago where this White lady was discussing what she felt were disturbing hiring practices. She’s a researcher and the topic of this particular study was hiring inequality. In this video she stated 17% of White job applicants with a felony would get call backs or job offers, meanwhile only 14% of Black applicants with a degree and no felony would get responses from the same companies. To put it into better perspective, 34% of White applicants with a degree and no felony received responses. This should not be news to anyone that has been paying attention to how the U.S. operates, yet it is news to some. Truth be told, it will purposely remain as a “wow” moment for certain segments of the population for the foreseeable future. 

I pay attention to, but I don’t like politics or many politicians for that matter, regardless of political party. I participate in political discourse and the political system because not doing so is irresponsible and in some cases detrimental. In recent years I’ve seen Democrats try to structure an identity, while constantly playing defense, and very little offense. I’ve seen Republicans hold firm to their “take it back to pre-civil rights era” agenda since I was born. For those that may have forgotten, Make America Great Again was the slogan for Ronald Reagan’s worthless ass, just like it was for the ever-unoriginal dumb ass Donald Trump. When social advancements are made, especially at a pace that seems too fast, republicans (politicians and voters) respond like a kid with a nut allergy. They go into shock, but the metaphorical epinephrine to get their system back in this case is misinformation and ignorance; and there are new auto-injectors by the day. 

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If you can stomach the idiocy of GOP rhetoric, you’ll hear a bunch of conflicting ideas, illogical arguments, and painfully obvious racial discrimination. However, from my humble observation, the most effective weapon they use now is the omission of context. This tool is used and seems to be a can’t miss option because I see the exact same arguments from different people in various forums. The conversation can be about crime, education, marriage, sports kids, you name it, there are ready made responses engrained in most Republicans regardless of race or religion, that prove regurgitation is a far more effective political tool than innovation or critical thought. As much as I hate to say it, they are very effective with their messaging even if it is to the detriment of the country.

In addition to the active sabotage of the GOP, there is the passive concern by many Democrats. There is a genuine belief that not actively hating others is in essence doing one’s part. I understand this and with so many causes going on, it’s impossible to truly care about all of them. Hell, caring about anything outside of your own home and bills is commendable these days. However, I believe that without an active voice in the conversation a person is doing a disservice to whatever they passively support. The mass majority of people don’t have a huge following or platform, but meaningful change begins at the individual level. Actively combatting ignorance with the people you love is hard but creates a positive ripple effect. The fight for women’s rights requires men supporting, the fight for racial equality will require White people actively. Supporting and fighting bigotry. 

The same holds true for us so called minorities with family members that are less than trusting with any White people. I fully understand why many of the people older than me that were kids during the civil rights era feel the way they feel, about White folks. Living through the trauma of seeing all the White people that seemingly cared about Black people get killed publicly, combined with the very public killings of Black people trying to advance the cause of equality, has left a very bitter taste in the mouths of those people. As a result, they pass that distrust on to kids, and grandkids. They regurgitate the distrust with neighbors, at the barber shop and so on. I know this firsthand what it’s like to be called naïve or hear the warnings about trusting White people, and though it’s usually delivered in jest, there is a lot of truth in jest or at very least sincere opinion.

Improving human relations in the United States is on all of us to actively participate in. As a result of me feeling this way, I often have what may seem like uncomfortable conversations or lively debates about race. I often write about race, and how wildly unjust America has been to Black people. I touch on the global racism to let folks that may not be aware, in on the conversation that it’s not just here. There is a problem that began long before I was born that has evolved over time. How bad it is in any era is debatable, but what is not up for debate is, Black people are mistreated the world over and this persists because there are far more passive participants and believers in equality than those that will stand up against their racist relatives and friends. Even those that are not racist, but don’t have true firsthand experience to care one way or another. Racial discrimination occurs on a spectrum, it’s not all slurs and police brutality. Honestly, the worst is probably remaining silent when you have the ability to correct someone.

I believe the very small part that I can play is keeping the conversation going. Beating dead horses and finding live horses to beat on as well. Let me take a brief break to say, “beating a dead horse” is a crazy ass saying. Beating horses, live or otherwise to prove a point is a nutty idea in and of itself. I digress. Whatever amount of positive change any of us can influence, it is our duty to try to achieve that. We’re not all going to solve major or even minor societal problems, but as long as we are actively doing what is right, there’s not much more anyone can ask of you, or that you can reasonably ask of yourself or anyone else. We should all do our level best for the greater good of society by beating whatever metaphorical horses need to be beaten.

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