Archive for July, 2013

Zimmerman verdict stirs up a pot of racism, classism and debate on American justice

July 15th, 2013 in News

I woke up yesterday morning with a very heavy heart. Yes, we know Trayvon isn’t the only victim of unjust laws, and we know that our judicial system is not entirely free of classism and racism. We know this, yet what are we doing to stop it?  Unfortunately, it is the victims of these injustices that are the least well educated on the subject.

I thought about how I would feel if it had been my brother or one of my little cousins; about how devastating a loss it would be to me and my family. I couldn’t imagine.

It made me recall my own encounters with racism growing up in the small, rural area of Hammond, La. I went to predominately white schools; and by “predominately” I mean there were maybe three or four black students in the entire school.  Placed there by my mother who felt that for her children to ever get a chance in this world, we had to be infused into white culture, we had to know how to survive in a white world. So, she infused in us with an education of black empowerment; however, because we lived in Hammond we were unable to attend predominately black schools.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that at school my brother and I were victims of racism every day. And let me tell you, the racial slurs were really creative. We were always on the defensive because we knew it wasn’t right. Yet, when we told our teachers or the authorities about it no action was ever taken against the children responsible. The culture of racism in the schools we attended seemed to be an accepted part of the system. Classism and racism are apart of our judicial system. No one argues this.