Jessica a johnson
My president and all black leaders in America tell me that all white people are guilty of systemic racism! Even if they don’t know what this term means! And it begins at birth, just like original sin. No way out.
So, as long as black people believe that every white American is born a racist, there will never be a racial cure. I now know that even my black friends secretly regard me as a racist and there is no way to change my mind.
I will never be accepted as a good person just because I was born white.
I received this email from a reader in Ohio, someone who is clearly distressed by the current state of race relations in our country shown in the media. His post was in response to my column last week calling for racial healing and forgiveness following the guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin case. I have a feeling this reader is exhausted from news overload because he has no hope that we will reach a point of reconciliation.
In my response, I assured him that I didn’t think he was racist and that not all African Americans believe that every white person is prejudiced. I could tell he was genuinely frustrated because he mentioned his black friends and obviously cares how they see him. His post shows me that many people need to better understand what systemic racism is.
After:Opinion: Forgiveness paves the way for healing after Derek Chauvin’s verdict
Systemic racism, also referred to as institutional racism, is defined as ingrained structures in our society that result in discrimination and disparities in our education, politics, health care, criminal justice, housing and social systems. ’employment.
If we look at housing, for example, the story of redlining is well known, in which mortgages invested in suburban neighborhoods and refused to grant loans to blacks. This discriminatory practice dates back to the early 1930s, when the Federal Housing Administration funded builders who built houses for whites in subdivisions. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 outlawed redlining, but there are still cases of biased lending practices, such as Hunt Mortgage Corp. in Buffalo, NY, cited by state financial regulators for “low lending to minorities.” Redlining, in the past and present, has been a huge obstacle for many African American families in building generational wealth.
Now, as far as my reader is concerned, it is not his fault that our country has a painful history of redlining and other forms of discrimination that are still ingrained in our institutional systems. Just because some racist whites have engaged in these sectarian practices does not mean all whites are racists. And when you look back in history, you can always find white people who were on the safe side.
For example, Anne McCarty Braden, a white journalist and civil rights activist, challenged racism in homeownership in Louisville, Ky., In the 1950s. Braden and her husband helped a black couple buy a house in 1954 in an entirely white district. They paid a high price by being shunned and ridiculed by those who viewed them as racial traitors, but Braden remained a staunch activist for 60 years.
I plan to send my reader another reply as I didn’t have time to review the history just mentioned in my first email. I think this quote from Braden would resonate with him: [“It’s] as if you are part of a long chain of struggle that was here long before you were here, and it will be here long after you are gone.
I believe many white Americans feel like my reader, battling the sins of our nation’s past as racial unrest continues to dominate the news. I want to encourage him and others to be part of the change for progress. Braden felt doomed for getting involved in the civil rights movement as a young girl when she attended a church youth session.
I have always believed that God has a special way of touching the hearts of people in the struggle for social justice, because he does not look at us through a colored lens. When I contact my reader again, I pray that they will know that they can be “accepted as a good person” which is not based on race.