The debate over race has dominated the American media for the past few years. From the Trayvon Martin case, to Eric Garner in New York, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the racist comments from former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, emotions are high over race relations.
In fact, an NBC poll last month showed that around 57 percent of Americans believe race relations are bad in the United States.
I fully understand that racism from whites to blacks is alive in certain factions of society. Do I believe it is as prevalent as the media and general public make it out to be? No, I do not.
But there is another hidden issue dealing with race, something you’ll never hear in the media. It’s something that I may be called “racist” for. I’m willing to take that heat.
Over the past few months, I’ve been called a “cracker,” “white privilege” and many other terms due to my “white” race. I’ve also watched my friends (from both political sides) get called similar or worse things than I have, just for being white.
A good friend of mine, Bethany Bowra, is a good example. Bethany has had to pay most of her way through school by working hard. She's worked part-time jobs for years just to get through community college. When she took a stance against Barack Obama's "free community college" just a couple weeks ago on Twitter, racial attacks dominated her Twitter timeline.
priveleged rich white ppl be like @BethanyBowra— Ｃ Ｏ Ｒ Ｎ Ｈ Ｕ Ｂ (@DanaTDF) January 9, 2015
White people like you are so annoying. @BethanyBowra— The holy trinity. (@_basicloser) January 9, 2015
@BethanyBowra little white ass bitch doesn't even know what she's talking about smfh. There are some kids with bad grades & are trying to+— . (@lDFWLOU) January 9, 2015
She relayed her views more thoroughly in a recent blogpost for The College Conservative.
I've also heard stories from police officers about how they’ve been verbally abused in my hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin by a small group of minorities. And then you have people like Reverend Al Sharpton, who constantly calls whites “crackers” and New York congressman Charles Rangel, who called Tea Party supporters “white crackers.” No outrage or protests occur after they say these things and few people even know about the statements because the media will not cover them.
Unfortunately, this proves a double-standard in today’s society.
When a white man/woman uses racist language towards another race, they get ridiculed for it and very rightfully so. On the other hand, when a minority uses racist language towards any other racial groups, no one seems to care (especially the mainstream media).
This isn’t “reverse racism,” this is actual racism and we need to pay more attention to it. There has to be a strict line drawn for any racial comment or action, otherwise our country will continue to be haunted by these issues.
The other major problem I’ve encountered is the term “white privilege.” Somehow (as many non-Caucasians have stated to me) just because I am white, I am immediately more privileged. Each race has people from every class of society who are battling through issues.
[sharequote align="center"]But if we don’t hold everybody to the same standard, race relations will only get worse.[/sharequote]
At the same time, Caucasians, African-Americans, Latinos, Indians, Native Americans and Asians all have the same opportunities to succeed in the greatest nation on Earth. Every single person of every race is privileged. They are privileged to live in this amazing country with incredible opportunities for all.
America, as a whole, has made gigantic strides in healing race relations and removing racism in our culture. Overall, I truly believe our nation is one that treats everyone equally. Sadly, there are small minorities of people who continue to be racist, but they need to be held accountable. We can’t reprimand and disgrace one group of people for their comments, but not the other.
I’ve grown up in an America where I’ve always believed that everyone is born with the same rights and freedoms. Therefore, we should all be set at the same standard for our words and actions.
Simply put, racism is alive in a small (but loud) minority of people’s minds. But if we don’t hold everybody to the same standard, race relations will only get worse. Let’s take a stand against double-standards and all racial divisions, instead of pinning it all on Caucasians.
Email Benji Backer with comments or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
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