(Photo Courtesy of Jane Mount
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In light of recent events within America it has really allowed the American public to “wake up” to see what we as Black Americans are going through on a day to day basis. Also to allow them to notice how racism in America is a learned behavior/mindset that has festered into a true disease. Diseases that affect the brain are called mental illnesses and they are schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. Now those disorders are things we have adopted and created programs to help individuals who are coping with them. However, the American society and globally we have normalized racism and created ways to be completely discreet about it which in fact are microaggressions. The fact that racism was and still is normalized on an everyday basis, why don’t we think of ways to break it down and help individuals with the same or similar mindsets.
Ways to address racism is to place it in the same category as traditional mental illnesses and instead of briefly talking about it in schools and workplaces for a quick five to ten-minute presentation. Actually spend time on it, give proper education on it and how it affects everyday life including implementing real policies to protect people in work and educational spaces. This would allow people to properly be educated on how racism itself but not think of it as a subjective matter based on family and peer influences. For instance, although racism is learned behavior it eventually becomes a disease because there comes a point in time where the individual is old enough to learn right from wrong and chooses what side they want to be on. With the power of knowledge one can sit down and learn properly and decide for themselves.
In addition creating programs and groups that talk about racism and ways to stop the negative speech and behavior then it would make it a lot easier for one to discuss it similar to therapy without the judgement of the outside influences. Moreover, in theory this will dwindle down the amount of people to suffer with a racist mentality and provide more security to those people who are affected severely from racism. With that being said, this would not only knock down people who have the racist mentality but it would start to bring down large corporations and systems that profit and were built off of systemic racism. Prime examples are prisons, mass media, stocks, and the justice system. These are things we encounter or hear about on an everyday basis and they play major roles when it comes down to systemic racism and were purposely designed to keep our minds focused on something else without focusing on the bigger picture on how we are held back.
A way to deal with systemic racism is to properly wake up and realize it is time to fund back into our own communities and allow a real change to happen. Gentrification is alive and well, which is how we are being pushed out into smaller cities with few resources similar to Native Americans on a reservation. To combat this, we as minorities need to start our own businesses, support businesses from other minorities like ourselves, and purchase a share of stock. Purchasing a share of stock allows one to make decisions on a company, which will be pushing change from the inside out and not allowing anymore of this to continue. Overall, implementing these ways to battle with racism requires everyone to do their part because no single person can fight a war alone. There is strength in numbers and the more people do their part and aid to fighting this disease the sooner we can bring about change in the world.