I’m still a little taken back every time the conversation about racism comes up. I find it surreal that after all this time it’s still an issue. It’s been 154 years since slavery was officially outlawed in the US, yet slavery and racism are alive in various forms such as domestic servitude, sex trafficking, forced labour, bonded labour, child labour, and forced marriages, and are occurring in throughout India (14%), China (3%), Pakistan (2%), Russia (1%), and others (15%) (This Is What Slavery Looks Like in the 21st Century)

Karl Marx, among others, has had an influential factor in the social and economic civilization we now call home. Marx was a theorist creating benchmarks for business practices that are still in practice today. He writes:

 

The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement, and entombment in mines of the indigenous population of the continent, the beginnings of the conquest and plunder of India, and the conversion of Africa into a preserve for the commercial hunting of black skins are all things that characterize the dawn of the era of capitalist production.What is a Negro slave? A man of the black race. The one explanation is as good as the other.A Negro is a Negro. He only becomes a slave in certain relations. A cotton spinning jenny is a machine for spinning cotton. It only becomes capital in certain relations. Torn away from these conditions, it is as little capital as gold by itself is money, or as sugar is the price of sugar.

This mocking explanation explains the origins of racism and the role of the slave trade in the rise of capitalism that produced racism against Africans; the dominant ideology that equates Africans with being a slave. Eric Williams of Slavery and Capitalism writes: “Slavery was not born of racism: rather, racism was the consequence of slavery,” and while slavery existed as an economic system for thousands of years, racism, as we understand it today, did not exist. Wikipedia’s Justification for Slavery in the United States is said to be a “necessary evil” and a “positive good” – A somewhat jaw-dropping argument to support on such a high traffic site. We all know we shouldn’t take anything Wiki says too serious, but what about the children, and anyone else seeking information about significant aspects of world history – like slavery and racism.

Up until a few years ago, I would have argued that slavery was a quickly declining tragic event of the past, but it is becoming ever more apparent that slavery is nowhere near a thing of the past. I was convinced it was gone because I never saw it, and it wouldn’t be tolerated where I grew up either. It wasn’t until the World Wide Web kicked up, that I realized how sheltered I was. I had traveled but only to other 1st world nations – I was ignorant, as most children are, about the world outside of their own. Since the beginning of the World Wide Web, and even now, racism and hate speech is abundant.

Some of us may need to look a little harder for it than others, but irregardless, it’s happening, and it’s affecting the lives of millions. Millions of children have been lost to sex trafficking; millions are putting up with their rights being broken every single day of their lives; and millions of workers are slave working in the same way Hitler slave worked the Jews.

I’m not sure what exactly it is that links past racism with future racism, or how racism is born in new generations, but I can imagine it only takes a peer or parent conducting a racial hate act to instill the same immoral carelessness in others. One way or another, new websites are popping up, and old ones are growing in membership. White Pride World Wide, for example, is a white supremacist website where members gather and hate collectively. It took me less than 1 minute of browsing to find a video of a man murdered in broad daylight. Another minute and I found several Jew hate postings; apparently their a “big problem.” I dunno, the only problem I see is that people believe Jews are a “problem” let alone a big one.

Unfortunately, this is not the only website of its kind. The Insurgent is an open forum offering, chat, T-shirts, and games, such as African Detroit Cop – A Really Stupid game, Shoot The Fags Before They Rape You!, and Border Patrol – Don’t Let Those Spices Cross Our Border. These games are a far cry from traditionally well-known violent games such as Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty in that they are solely dedicated to racism, where GTA a user can act violently, but it’s not coded as a racist game any more than Call of Duty where troops are sent out to secure enemy lines. Yes, there is killing, graffiti, and much more, but I don’t think GTA or Call of Duty are going to have the same physiological impact that Shoot The Fags Before They Rape You is going to have.

Fortunately, there are movements and lawyers battling their way to a more equitable future. Dr. Lisa Nakamura speaks about internet shaming, and explains how when trolls (online thieves) are caught in the act, by scam baiters, aim to act as vigilantes posing as a potential victim to scammers in order to waste their time and resources, gather information that can be used by authorities, and publicly expose the scammer. Encouraging them along, the baiters entice them to photograph and film shameful acts as restitution.

 

The Huffington Post states that ending racism starts with educating youth, and Thought Co claims that fighting racism is in part at the individual level, in part at the communal level, and in part the national level. The exhaustive list can be found at the link provided. Black Lives Matter is an activists movement campaigning against police violence, and perceived systemic racism, towards black people. All Lives Matter movement sprang up after and has been criticized for dismissing the message that black lives matter. Later on, Blue Lives Matter was created by police supporters further muddying the waters. But, Black Lives Matter suggest these 13 guiding principles for those who chose to become involved.

  1. Diversity
  2. Globalism
  3. Loving Engagement
  4. Empathy
  5. Unapologetically Black
  6. Black Women
  7. Collective Value
  8. Black Villages
  9. Restorative Justice
  10. Queer Affirming
  11. Transgender-Affirming
  12. Black Families
  13. Intergenerational

Black Lives Matter also speaks to broader movements aiming at promoting policy reforms to end police brutality, increasing community oversight of police departments, and creating stricter guidelines for the use of force. It is also strongly advised that each of us look inward, becoming completely racially aware.

Remember – Just because the president of the United States can get away with racism doesn’t mean everyone else is entitled to try.

 

 

 

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