This is post #100 on this blog (!) so I figured I should make it a good one.
I was traveling a few weeks ago, as you may have been able to tell from my recent posts. Since I had many hours to waste in airports and on airplanes, I read the Hunger Games trilogy. The books were incredible, by the way. In the first book there is a character named Rue, a 12-year old girl, who befriends main character Katniss. I don't want to give away too much, but you as the reader are supposed to (and do) fall in love with Rue. Unless you've been living under a rock, you also know that the Hunger Games movie just opened in theaters about a week ago. Apparently, when fans went to see the movie, they were surprised that several of the characters, including Rue, are played by Black actors. I have to admit I also missed the two lines in the book that reference Rue's and another character's skin tones. But some movie goers weren't just surprised--they were appalled. In fact, they publicly admitted that they no longer liked Rue.
Since I'm not a writer, or a philosopher or an ethicist and certainly not a specialist on "-isms", I'm not going to make this a long treatise on equality in America and beyond. I simply want to force you to think about how despite portrayal as a country based on freedom, the American society is biased. Women still make less money than men in the same jobs. Minorities are stereotyped constantly in the news and by the public. In this video from ABC news, a White actor, a Black actor, and a White actress all pretend to be stealing a bike in the same area. A camera crew secretly captures the responses of the public. If the results of this short experiment aren't proof that racism is prolific in this country, I don't know what is. Other examples include racial steering in housing, discriminatory mortgage lending, harsher punishments for students of color than white students who commit the same offenses, and racial bias in hiring practices.
Most of this is not overt hatred, and not the typical images that the words "racism" and "sexism" bring to mind, but that's what all those examples are. Just because it's not intentional, doesn't mean it's not racism. What I'm trying to say is I hate hate, and I'm writing this post to bring awareness to the issue. The more people thinking about and discussing the problem, the more likely it will be fixed.