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The Racial Divide: The Truth Behind Being American

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

By: Deandre Dean

What is a American citizen? Easy someone who has the freedom of race, religion, and speech. Is this still true in 2019? That is at the heart of most debates. Let’s start with the most difficult subject that is so taboo. Race which is defined as the common grouping of individuals based on physical appearance. That is the definition thanks to Google and Merriam Webster, which took a second to find that out. Let’s unpack what that really means.

All those individuals are alike because of their skin tone. This is problematic at the jump off, simply because individuals means each person is unique based off their personality and independent thinking. We do not see that when we see Race. Capital R because people are lumped together based off skin tone. Race is also socially defined, meaning it is and still holds no merit. It was used to categorize and separate groups of people. That is the only use of race.

The idea that Race is used for demographics is appalling. Demographics that were and are still used to segregate people. The beauty of living in a liberal state like California is the diversity. The downside is the racial segregation that plagues this country, such as the county of Los Angeles. In East LA are those brown folks that have been working since immigrated to this country. The unfair wages that were fought for with activist and leader Cesar Chavez. The lazy ones live in South LA were their history is linked to slavery and forced labor, yet we stereotype them as lazy now because they know their self-worth. There is no real north LA, but we call it China town as if that forgives the history of banning a group of people. The Asian Exclusion Act of 1882, which was not repealed in law into 1943.

Never forget your history people. Oh did I forget West Los Angeles, nope. It has and always will be predominantly Caucasian. It does not need a history refresher. What’s the point to all this racial history, simple; the education system were true change occurs. It is unfortunate to be a African American male in this country. There are real consequences that are unseen. William A. Smith coined the term racial battle fatigue (RBF) which I bet most people have never heard of outside of the educational or psychology departments.

RBF defined by Google is the social, physical, and psychological effects based off awareness of one’s race. Guess who has to worry about this? Ding ding ding, you guess it if you said those bothersome black people who seem to constantly have a issue that needs representation. Being aware you are African American in a country that despise you, neglects you, stereotypes you, and marginalizes you has real physical repercussions.

The symptoms for RBF are insomnia, headaches, high blood pressure, ulcers, and accelerated heart rate. All these symptoms are almost a replica for P.T.S.D., which is the psychological term for post traumatic stress disorder. PTSD and RBF are real and not reported due to people’s internal mechanism for handling stressful situations. If constantly dealing with racial hatred, a person becomes desensitized to that type of behavior and it becomes a part of their lived experience.

Race is a real lived experience that the majority of African Americans can easily point to instances of discrimination, prejudice, and harm to themselves or those they love. When people dismiss racism it is saying it does not matter if you have, did, or will experience racism; it is not happening to me so it must be an illusion. In the education sphere only two percent of African American males make up the representation that young black people have to look for as role models.

That means across the country of American, one teacher can be found to be a African American male. I have had one professor in the English department in my undergrad. Can not recall any during my duration in high school or middle school. The numbers at a university or college are just as low. So with just two percent being the norm, yep that sounds right when you look at the data. You will not see role models to aspire to young black people.

The lack of numbers for people of color to get into higher education or jobs beyond entry level starts in our schools. You say diverse, what you really mean is more women present while still leaving men behind in representation. Men of all ethnicities need to be present in the education sphere in order to motivate and help guide young men and women to want to be in a public or private space called schools.

When you have no role models of Asian American, Armenian, German, Polish, and every other ethnicity and/or race - you are telling the youth of America, YOU DO NOT MATTER. If they did, you would hire more diversity in the sense of representation of all groups of people. Not just women of color to appease the number of demographics that says minorities are employed in schools. Change happens when you notice a problem and not just accept it, but demand that it be addressed. The saying make America great again, or whatever nonsense rhetoric that Trump’s administration made up is a great idea in fixing a problem but not when it is exclusionary.

Some people may hate that ideology, but we all know the leader of this country aka the forty fifth disaster to be elected is just a stepping stone in history of striving to do better. One

step forward was the great man and leader beforehand, thanks Barack Obama for being an example of a well rounded president. The current problem starts with acknowledging there are major problems that need to be addressed. Now, let’s look towards the future and hope the 46th president rather a fine man or a great woman, first in history to appointed will lead the world into the future for real change.

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