We are all familiar with the horrific act of terror recently occurring in Charlestown, South Carolina. First, we must face the sorrow over the loss of life and show astonishment by the forgiveness offered from the people of Charlestown so quickly after the fact. This act is something that ought to cause pause for evaluation on how the USA dialogues and diminishes racism in the future. The reason this act merits evaluation on racial issues is because the perpetrator wants a race war to start and a dialogue about race is a good place to start for the likelihood of a race war to decrease.
Racism is ingrained in the history and has not yet been overcome within the United States. A large portion of the United States was built not only on the ideals of freedom and liberty, but also on the backs of wrongly whipped, emotionally abused, and personhood denied people. The civil war was fought over a multitude of factors; however, there is not the ability to say that human rights for slaves did not play a large role. Recently, we have been reminded that the roots of racism remain engrained in sections of America. I do not want to comment cause by cause on each police shooting or other act of supposed self-defense because I feel far from certain on my ability to determine accurately if each case was a result of racism. Some acts seem beyond a reasonable doubt others maybe not. However, there is no denying that this was an act of terror with race at the forefront.
The current time for dialogue on the problem of racism in America must be taken advantage of so we do not face the tragedy of death to this belief ever again. We are used to a media news cycle where something is nearly constantly talked about on news networks for three to four days then forgotten. For example, a couple weeks ago FIFA corruption was the topic of discussion for everyone and now it is no longer discussed on network news. A topic like racism must not sit on the back-burner until another event where it enters the media because the events almost always revolve around an assault or murder. There must be a forum for sustained dialogue on race throughout America until racism is no more.We ought to have opportunities for people of various ethnicities and religions to dialogue about what life is like for that demographic and how racism surfaces against them. We can all learn a lot from the unique experiences and cultures around us, let us find a sustained way of learning from the beauty and wisdom of each other. Not just hearing about hate crimes the people face. A way to do this would be to have Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day not just be a day but a week where each night a different demographic is given the opportunity to share about their unique culture and challenges, either in local schools or town-hall meetings, or simply over the media, either social media or the traditional radio/television.
This issue has a substantial amount of overlapping with the Middle East. I have had the pleasure of traveling to Istanbul and meeting people from the Middle East throughout my travels. Muslims have been some of the kindest people I have ever encountered. Middle Easterners have often faced the sorrows of racism and the challenges of religious persecution. Many Muslims face religious persecution after the acts of terror from the Boston Marathon bombing or the acts on September 11. These acts of terror are not supported as righteous acts of religion but as horrific events, according to all but 7% of Muslims interviewed on the acts of 9/11 according to research by Dalia Mogahed and John Esposito (http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2008/03/02/who-speaks-for-islam/) We must remember that racism has many unfortunate faces throughout the Middle East and they all ought to be addressed.
Racism is both sad and still existent throughout the America. We must find a way to sustain dialogue on the issue of race in America that lasts, instead of being forgotten in a few more days. The quality of life and life itself is at stake for those who face racist actions. I know I do not have all, or in all honestly any substantial, answer to how to end racism in America. I do know that this issue is not simply solving itself on the current trajectory and that we are each responsible on finding a way to ensure that life is not ended on our watch. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
If you have any thoughts on ways to work against racism or religious persecution I would love to read your comment. Additionally, I would be happy to publish any stories where you personally encountered the horrors of racism or religious persecution. Thank you.