The topic of racism is a dicey one in many circles here in the United States of America (USA) that many people would rather not touch because of the heat that effuses out of it. It is the proverbial elephant in the room that many people choose not to see; however, it is unavoidable and colossally present. Racism is a metastasizing social cancer that is eating deep into our very core as human beings—silently annihilating the health of the body politic in our nation. This article is an editorial-chemotherapy-piece, an opinion piece, an attempt to diagnose and proffer healing to the disease that is destroying the very nature of our union. Racism is the chasm that is speedily dividing our communities as acrimonious seeds are sown in our society’s various facets. In the current times, we have seen racism spike in America. So far, we have seen an uptick in racial infused remarks coming from the highest echelons of power in the country; race motivated marches, riots, violence, killings, shootings, heated debates on television, hate speeches, anger, bitterness, the opening of old wounds from the Civil Right Movement era, to mention but a few.
The issue of racism is eroding the earth, binding our culture as a nation. The problem of racism is weakening the foundation of the nation—America—and we need to commence the healing process to ameliorate the damage that has already been caused down the roads of our history to the avenues of our present times. As dark as it may seem, it is a conversation that we all need to have from the green grassroots of our everyday people to the highest echelons of power that lead us as a nation. We do ourselves great injustice by sweeping it under the rug and pretending that it is not there—that it does not exist. Racism is alive and well in America, and it is rearing up its ugly head daily, and we need to get rid of it before it annihilates our union as a democracy. Racism is as toxic as the two deadly sisters of Black Mold—Stachybotrys chartarum and Stachybotrys chlorohalonata. It destroys the air of our harmonious existence and sanity, making our nation sick with its deadly spores. We need to end the rancorous hate-mongering destroying our society before the chasm becomes too vast to handle or too enormous to fix—if it has not gotten to that extent already. This editorial piece is our attempt to join the discussion—just our opinion on the matter.
There is a general perception that racial discrimination has declined in the United States of America. The fact that both Blacks and Caucasians can now access employment and professional opportunities without any visibly perceived discrimination has created the opinion that the United States is no longer biased racially. It is a measure in the right direction; however, gaps need to be addressed without any hesitation. Since the days of the Civil Rights Movement, whites have extensively overcome their discriminatory attitude towards blacks, and an aspect of inclusiveness has taken some shape and form. It is an organic process, an ongoing change that needs to stay positive and progressive. Although the present state of America is much more humane when compared to the past that was associated with slavery, experts believe that the 21st Century has its own fair share of challenges, specifically with the growing societal angst concerning present-day systemic racism and the fast coming to light and the spread of chalky supremacy and proto-fascism.
“There is more that unites us than divides us.” — Mauricio Macri
History has a way of repeating itself. However, America should exercise some severe caution not to slip back to the days of the Civil Rights Movement again. Are we at the precipice of psycho-social and cultural collapse? Are we already too late to salvage the status quo? Hopefully not. We must never allow ourselves to slide back to those years of brutality against the people of color. Black Lives Matter. Asian Lives Matter. Hispanic Lives Matter. Native American Lives Matter. American Lives Matter. All lives matter—all lives are important. We may be different, but we have a lot more in common. A stitch in time will save nine. Before we allow the rip of racism to split our country apart, we need to become deliberate in fighting this deadly issue before it becomes one that cannot be remedied. In recent times, we have started experiencing a sharp resurgence of race talks in America. Why? Because in the past couple of years, we have seen acts of racism see the light of day. Because of this, the dialogue is on and is fast gathering a lot of societal momentum. After all, a problem discussed is a problem half solved. In this editorial and opinion piece, we will look at the widening racial chasm in the United States of America through six different lenses. After this, we will look at six possible ways to bridge the racial gap in the United States of America.
6 Lenses of Racial Chasm
There a widening racial chasm or divide in the United States of America. There are various lenses through which we can look at racism in America. Looking through the lenses that we will address will give us more understanding of race in America. It will help us understand how far this racial divide has gone. By seeing how systemic racism is being perpetrated, we arm ourselves with the facts that can help us discuss ways to bridge the racial gap in the United States of America. People of Color reading this should use the facts presented via these lenses to re-educate themselves. It should be a motivational éclair to stand up and dig ourselves from the depths of the odds that are not to our favor.
First, the issue of racial chasm can be envisaged through the lens of wealth creation. There is a tremendous gap between Caucasians and the People of Color, especially blacks, in wealth matters. The wealth possessed by people of color has been declining since 1989 to the present time.2 On the converse, wealthy Caucasians have increased their wealth significantly. Apparently, based on past projections, there is a suggestion that the wealth in possession by People of Color will reduce drastically by 14% by 2020. Reading the facts from the Government dossier titled “The Economic State of Black America in 2020” presented by Congressman Don Beyer, the Vice-Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, will draw tears to your eyes. Here are some facts posited under the “Wealth” section of this report. First, “the median wealth of Black families is only one-tenth of White families.” Do you know that “Black households have never held more than 5% of the nation’s total wealth, while White households held 85% in 2019, despite Blacks making up around 13% of the population?” According to the dossier, “the median household wealth will reach zero by 2053 for Black households and 2073 for Hispanic households.” Second, a college degree via statistics will not help close this gap. Third, historical disparities perpetuate the Black-White wealth gap. Fourth, wealth accumulation is hard for Blacks due to the difficulty of paying off student loan debt. Fifth, Black Americans approaching retirement have far fewer savings.1 I establish that you read the document for yourself. The facts presented are gut-wrenching.
It is projected that Caucasians will continue to become wealthier in the future. Could we say it’s because of some privileges that they enjoy? That could be a possibility, all things being equal. This could be their competitive advantage. In an ideal state, all racial classes need to have the same fighting chance to build wealth. If this must happen, there needs to be an equitable balance in shared societal privileges to create a square playing field for all racial classes to play ball. If this does not happen, then the possibility of changing this directory will never see the light of day. If an even playing field exists or is created and the people of color refuse to play ball, no one needs to be blamed for that ensuing mediocrity and non-performance. It would be best if you got it while you can—opportunities never linger around for that long. Furthermore, via presented facts, the perception is that People of Color, especially Blacks and Latinos, will suffer a reduction in their wealth due to challenging situations facing wealth generation.
Second, the issue of racial chasm can be visualized through the lens of property ownership. For People of Color that have the means to own real estate property, there exists some salient discrimination that may not be too obvious. For instance, people of color who rent or purchase real estate properties often face an assortment of barriers, such as being looked down upon when in the market to lease or acquire residential homes, facing greater difficulty in obtaining residential loans from lending facilities, etc.5 Relating to rent and purchasing real estate, I have had some experience concerning the statement above. A couple of years back, my job had taken me to Midland, Texas. The realtor lady that my then company had assigned to me first took my wife and myself to a run-down part of the city. We had told her that we wanted something reasonable, in a decent and quiet neighborhood. Her first perception of reasonable pricing immediately gravitated towards something that was run-down. Her first idea was to take us to a property that the company she was representing had for rent in Midland’s run-down area. As soon as we drove into the neighborhood, we were immediately turned off. We walked the house for a couple of minutes—it was not a good place—dirty, broken doors, filthy restroom, the whole nine. At this juncture, we asked her to show us a better property in a more decent neighborhood.
She told us that she thought we would like it to be more economical—mark the word “thought” —so she just assumed. Economic or reasonable should not immediately translate to a poverty state of reasoning—at least, that was our perception. Could we being People of Color be what made her immediately think that we could not afford to live in a more decent neighborhood? I wonder—just saying. However, we never told her that we wanted to live in a run-down part of the town, but this was her first assumption. She then took us to another part of town that had nice townhomes and all. She kept on making an emphasis on the higher rent of the three-bedroom townhome in comparison to the first place she took us. To cut a long story short, we ended up getting the home in a nice neighborhood. So, I asked myself, “Is this my experience, or is this the experience of all People of Color? Or, was this just a fluke.” However, the entrenched racial prejudice creates the impression that people of color are not expected to own prime property or live in pleasant neighborhoods. This could be why the constant assumptions and the prevalent seclusion from some sections of town for those that are not People of Color. Consequently, one comes to acknowledge the inability of People of Color to access home equities to build their retirement homes.3 A change in mindset is a solution to curb racial bias.
Facts presented in the “The Economic State of Black America in 2020,” cited above as it relates to homeownership by People of Color, are mind-boggling as well. First, “less than half of Black families own their homes (42%), compared to nearly three-quarters of White families (73%).” Second, “the homes in majority-Black neighborhoods are valued lower.” Third, “Black Americans overall pay higher mortgage interest rates.” Fourth, “Black homeownership rates are trending downward.”1 The odds are not in favor of People of Color, especially Blacks, when it comes to Homeownership.
Third, racial chasm can be reflected via the lens of the current federal taxation regimes. There is evidence suggesting that the existing tax subsidies are structured to favor Caucasian households, which gives them access to benefits that can make them easily become more affluent. It is noteworthy that many of the taxation subsidies target people with higher earning capabilities, which makes Whites benefit more. Many people of color usually have lower earning capacities (i.e., wage range) and, as a result, are not privy to benefit from the federal taxation regimes. According to the “The Economic State of Black America in 2020,” “Black households earn a fraction of what White households earn. For instance, the median annual household income for Black households in 2018 was $41,692—$21,000 to $29,000 less than white households, which had a median income of $70,642.”
To Caucasian households that benefit more from government tax subsidies, it is their privilege to avail them of such opportunities, and nothing wrong with it. However, this article’s tilt leans towards the equitable distribution of that privilege to level the playing field when it comes to earning capabilities of all races. Leveling the playing field will also entail not intentionally putting up barriers that will bar People of Color from having access to the same taxation subsidies available to Caucasians. Hence, People of Color need not wallow and grovel in the quagmire of despondency with an unprogressive mindset. People of Color must find honest and positive avenues to multiply their earning capacities. Be it getting a college education in other to become an expert in a highly sought-after profession or turning an honest, creative, and unique business idea into a lucrative resource-generating-machinery. The path which each person chooses to take is subjective. The bottom line is finding positive avenues to create wealth to start benefitting from the federal taxation regimes. Also, corporations must ensure that their wage range for all racial groups is equitable—as an avenue of leveling the playing field.
Fourth, racial chasm can be revealed via the college education gap in the United States between Caucasians and People of Color. We can say that this is a contributing factor to the widening racial chasm in the United States. Although education has been construed as the greatest equalizer in society, the United States’ perspective paints a whole different picture. Research shows that college education is often dependent or directly correlated to the excellence of the K-12 learning that a student receives.2 However, there still exist segregations within neighborhoods, whereby low-income students of color are isolated and are provided with schools that sometimes offer them little to no growth compared to their counterparts. Here is the twist, sometimes, People of Color who have a lower income capacity can afford to live in shoddier neighborhoods. These neighborhoods, in turn, may not be privy to having the best schools around. Thus, many of the kids of color have no option but to go to these schools in these neighborhoods. Hence, when students of color are not provided with facilities that can make them compete well with their Caucasian counterparts or other better-served races, they are left less prepared to enter college. Education, believe it or not, is a compelling competitive advantage for all those that acquire it. The fact remains that knowledge is power.
When it comes to education, there are some facts that we can learn about Black young adults when compared to their White counterparts. According to the “The Economic State of Black America in 2020,” in 27 years (i.e., 1990-2017), the number of Blacks and White adults finishing high school have converged to the same levels. Statistics state that Black rates went from 66% to 88%, and white rates went from 79% to 90%. The same also goes for the number of Blacks and Whites dropping out of school, also in this span of 27 years. Furthermore, despite the share of Black college graduates doubling, statistics still hold that they lag behind their White counterparts. Why? The difference in Blacks’ college completion outcomes compared to Whites hinges on two major things—first, the difference of institution types. Second, the access to resources like parental wealth for financial support during enrollment that White students have as a competitive advantage over their Black counterparts and other People of Color.1
Additionally, the cost of university education has risen by more than 60% in the last twenty years, and this has isolated many of the students of color from attaining professional training.5 In fact, many of the students of color are forced to work part-time to raise their college fees, which places them at a disadvantage with their Caucasian counterparts, who spend most of their time on campus, giving them more time to focus on their studies. Working while going to college may seem very noble; however, there is a stark difference when you can focus on one thing at a time. Yes, some might say that multitasking is a marvelous idea; however, the truth is that while you are multi-tasking, you are not giving 100% to any of the tasks that you have on your plate. The person who devotes attention to one thing at a time will become a master at it—case in point, those who stay on campus. In fact, many of the students of color seldom finish their university education since they are forced to leave studies and earn a salary to fend for their families. Hence, the great divide manifests itself in that white students are much likely to graduate in time and access employment and begin their wealth creation journey earlier in their lives.
Fifth, the United States’ racial chasm can also be attributed to socio-cultural factors and differences between Caucasians and People of Color. Essentially, Caucasians are more likely to get married to other Caucasians in the same socio-cultural strata. This factor has the potential of influencing and increasing their wealth status to some degree. Hence, if a white person gets married to a fellow white, and both are from well-off homes, there is more possibility for family support coming from both couples’ parents. This support allows the couple to solidify their life-foundation with a strong capacity to learn, earn, and accrue wealth, giving them a chance of a stabilized future—an umbrella of financial security that gives them a competitive edge over the sundry affairs of life.
On the contrary, marriage between blacks on many occasions, are characterized, comparable, and associated with low socio-economic status.2 Don’t get me wrong, some people of color who are affluent, with high wealth capacities, are also able to support and empower their progeny with great wealth like their white counterparts. Likewise, some whites are characterized by low socioeconomic status. However, the point of difference is the statistics; the number of those affected may be significantly lower than people of color who fall into that low socioeconomic status. Hence, the level of wealth acquisitions between blacks and whites can be affected by socio-cultural factors. On a considerable scale, marriage becomes an opportunity for the whites to access wealth, with statistically more people of color experience more financial challenges in the long run. These differences is another lens that we can use to perceive the widening racial gap in a nation.
Sixth, the current and increasing racial chasm in the United States can also be attributed and seen through Leadership’s lens from the highest echelons of power. The Office of the President of the United States of America holds a lot of dignity and respect. The United States is currently the world super-power and whoever sits on that seat wears the cap of the Top Leader of the Free World. This cap must be worn with grace, and where possible, with some spunk and charismatic flair. However, we must be cognizant of the saying drawn from Shakespeare’s Henry IV. Part II, 1597, that “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” To wear the President of the Free World’s crown or hat is a Herculean task, to say the very least. Don’t get me wrong, to be fair and objective, the President of the United States of America may not be 100% perfect in every sense, nor are all their policies always overly laudable. However, each President must aim to do their very best in exercising that leadership role, to put some dignity to the presidency’s seat. Whether it is a four-year term or an eight-year run, every President of the United States must seek to serve honestly, stay transparent and forthright, and unscathed by no scandal. Talk about Presidential speeches; they should all be a knowledge-infused work of word-art. For me, when I listen to an eloquent and intellectual President, Jackson Pollock’s “One: Number 31, 1950,” always comes to mind—a cautious but free weaving of choice words to deliver the mastery of knowledge and seasoned sapience to the hungry ears of the sagacious sage. People pay attention to the President of the United States’ words—from a broad perspective, people pay attention to the words of Presidents in general. The words of their leadership influence citizens. The Office of the President of the United States is a beacon of light that every American citizen looks up to and, therefore, must be a positive shining example to the country’s citizenry. Anything contrary to all the positives that have been highlighted above becomes a problem that needs to be addressed.
America has undergone a long evolution in embracing our ethnic differences. For instance, the Presidency of Barack Obama showed the world that America had come a long way in its societal and cultural evolution—a black man, a minority—the President of the Union—the President of the Free World. He may not have had an easy Presidency—he walked a tight-rope—often facing very offensive racial remarks, but he walked the rope, nonetheless. His Presidency showed the world what America can be and could eventually become. It showed the world that diversity and inclusion is a powerful tool that can unite a nation and usher it into the avenue of golden possibilities—it is a potent force that can bring about change at an extraordinary scale that could amaze the world. If we can accept a black man as President, then the country can potentially embrace other minorities (e.g., a woman, a Hispanic, an American of Asiatic origin, etc.) and afford them a chance of rising to the most prominent seat in the land. That is the power of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. This was a progressive stance that showed the world that all things are possible for bridging the racial chasm in the nation. It was symbolic of progress. In no way should America retrogress from this stance. This Editorial column and opinion piece is a clarion call for America to move forward in the inclusivity and diversity march. The United States of America is a nation of immigrants, a conglomeration of peoples from diverse ethnicities and races, representing inclusion.
America is the most diverse nation on the planet. It is the job of the sitting President to ensure that unity is maintained. Make no mistake; this is by no means an easy job—it is not a job for the faint-hearted, to say the very least—so kudos to the man or woman who wears that hat of responsibility. However, it’s sad to say that in the current times that America is witnessing an increasing state of racial prejudice, social instability, and the widening gap concerning race-related issues. It’s a retrogressive stance that we must endeavor to stop at all costs. To curb this rising trend, the highest echelons of power—the Presidency, the Senate, the House of Congress, the Judiciary, and all influential powers that be, etc.—must rise to the occasion and quell this fire. They must quell this inferno before it razes down the efforts of our forefathers who led, fought, bled, and brought the nation together—as one republic, under God, indivisible, a realm of liberty and justice for all. The Office of the President of the United States must never be divisive. It must never be a bully pulpit to divide our union. The President of the United States must never be racially biased. The President of the United States must never be one that embraces bigotry or one that turns a blind eye to those who are wreaking havoc under the flags of racism. The tenure of any President who sits in the Oval should never be stipulated by favoritism or an opportunity to entrench their racial dominance or lean towards a particular group. Any political administration occupancy should never be a time when any ethnic group should ever feel oppressed, inferior, or unheard. In recent times, however, people of color, especially blacks, have been facing a backlash, a notion of which insinuations are made that they hold an inferior position in American society’s body politic. The highest tiers of power’s role are to create a halcyon national ambiance that embraces tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. Anything short of this is absolute poppycock, void of any good reputation, respect, or admiration.
The progeny of the backlash that the People of Color have been facing is the enhanced galvanization of the social activist movement sweeping across the country—Black Lives Matter. The campaign has been sensitizing the public about the deliberate killings of African Americans under the guise of crime. The movement is an ember that adds heat to the boiling pot of racial tensions in the nation. Is the act helping to change notions, or is it adding fuel to the already raging flame of racial tensions in the country? Time and chance will tell. However, evidence suggests that the movement has enhanced racial prejudice against blacks. For instance, the question of ‘colorblindness’ that has ordinarily been propagated by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement has only entrenched racial prejudice further.2 Can we salvage the current situation? I wonder a lot of water has gone under the bridge in recent times. It is intrinsically impossible to say we need to be oblivious of our differences—it is what makes us novel and beautiful in our own right. In an ideal state of the word ‘humanity,’ we radiate differences that make us who we are—color, gender, religion, etc. These are protected statuses that we need to love and respect each other. It should not be the pedestal for hatemongering, to say the very least. However, the galvanization of this movement and more (e.g., the Colin Kaepernick Taking A Knee Movement, MeToo Movement, The Anti-Islamophobia Movement, White Nationalist Movements, etc.) is a negative sign to a united and unbiased body politic that embraces diversity, tolerance, and inclusion; vastly increasing the girth of the racial chasm in the United States.
We should always respect the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America. However, the Office of the United States’ Presidency should never be a persecutor pulpit for incendiary, hateful, mocking, and unprocessed remarks that are racially infused. At no time should racially-charged words come out of the highest office of the land—the Oval should be a platform that portrays tolerance and unity so that the citizenry can follow suit. The reason is that people look up to the power of the Office of the Presidency. The Commander-In-Chief should never be a Divider-In-Chief. He or she should always be striving hard to unite the nation at all costs. The Office of the Presidency of the United States should be preaching diversity, equality, justice, respect, liberty, and tolerance! If the Office becomes divisive, then the nation will become divided. It happened already—remember Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017—the Nationalist March, where a car plowed into a group described as “anti-racist” demonstrators, killing one person and injuring 19 others, authorities and witnesses said. Supremacist rallies are now becoming the norm around the country. Black Lives Matter rallies are now springing up everywhere. There is also an uptick in MeToo rallies. A nation of equity and concern for the rights of all should be devoid of all these rallies revolving around negative biases.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
The People of Color, especially Blacks, have been dealt a fatal racial blow of recent and in the recent past. The careless killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, etc. have become a clarion call for a new Civil Rights Movement. Is it a crime to be Black? Any thinking sage would ask. “All Lives Matter,” whether Black, White, Latino, Latinx, Asian—everyone matters. That should always be the message coming from the Oval. The Free World leader must be the propagator of the word(s) of peace that unites the nation. Enough water has gone under the bridge in the United States of America. We are not the Divided States of America—we are the United States of America. The more we embrace racial division as a nation, the weaker we become as a body politic. United we stand, divided we fall. If we don’t get our act together as a nation, it will only be a matter of time before we fall as a nation. Another nation could also take advantage of our position of weakness to circumvent our position to become the world’s greatest superpower.
The hornet’s nest of hatred seems to have been stirred up, and we, as a nation, must begin to heal before it really spins out of hand. All lives matter—Whites are not more important than Blacks. The black man is not more important than the Latino or Latinx. The Latino or Latinx is not more important than the Asian—or any other ethnic comparison you can conjure. We are the human element, and we need to embrace ourselves, our differences as such. We all breathe the same air, see and share the same sun, and walk on the same earth. America is a conglomeration of differences that should make us unique. In a sane state, the ideal would be to celebrate our differences. Our differences should not be what divides us; it should be what unites us. The quicker we come to this realization, the better for us all as a nation. We need to start a dialogue and work towards cultivating a solution to this public variation that is eating into our body politic fabric. We need to heal and see our divide. We need to stop all bigotry. We need to embrace ourselves as humans. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.
6 Ways to Bridging the Racial Chasm
So far, to this point, we have seen various lenses through which we can look at the widening racial gap in the United States of America. It has been a convivium of sundry thoughts and ideas that give us some insight into noticing racism in America. First, we surveyed the racial divide in America via the lens of wealth creation. Second, we saw the racial divide through the lens of inequities of property ownership. Third, the current federal tax regimes. Fourth, the college education gap. Fifth, socio-cultural factors. Sixth, through the lens of leadership. These six points are the symptoms that give us some insight into the causes of the widening racial gap in America. These points are in no way exhaustive—other sagacious minds reading through this piece can come up with more lenses via facts and reason on other factors that may contribute to the racial divide in the United States of America. We will look at various ways to deploy to help us bridge the gap of the racial divide. Without further ado, let us delve into the exploration of ways and means of bridging this gap.
First, increasing the income levels of the People of Color can help to reduce the racial chasm. If income levels can be improved, it will become possible for the People of Color to build their wealth in the same capacity as their White counterparts. Tools that can be implemented at the local, state and national levels to enhance racial equality include equal pay between workers and improving retirement plans.4 In an ideal state, an equitable balance in remuneration will also ensure an even playing field for all despite their racial background or ethnic makeup.
Second, there is a need to ensure high-quality, affordable, and funded education for People of Color. In this regard, mandatory college and graduate education can be enhanced by assisting students from low-income families to finish their studies and graduate with their degrees. The government could step in by ensuring that educational policies are promulgated that provide scholarships to low income earning People of Color that encourage them to finish their programs; hence, improving their graduation rates with less distraction. Some of these policies must also be geared towards ensuring that debts do not imprison students of color upon finishing their university education. Further, post-graduation grants can be given to them and sundry opportunities for debt-forgiveness. Many such students fail to acquire wealth because they spend much of their resources, paying financial aid debts instead of beginning their wealth creation and accumulation journey upon graduation.
Third, statistics show that many Caucasian students often inherit property from their parents, which places them in an advantageous position. However, if the racial chasm can be overcome, then the above advantage would become an advantage that all could share in. Once again, you could relate this to the effect of earning power. If People of Color earn more, they will find themselves also able to build legacy wealth. This will give the chance to leave a befitting inheritance to their progeny. Considering the existing situation, white children access unearned wealth, which gives them a competitive advantage over the People of Color, who seldom have anything to inherit from their parents. There is a need for policy measures to ensure a more equitable society for earning power that does not depend on an economically unattainable trajectory. In similar situations, wealthy Caucasians often pass their dominance to their children.4 If such policies are enacted, it will become a much more even playing ground for all races across the board.
Fourth, a change of attitude and mindset will help fix the current variations and widen the racial chasm. History has shown that People of Color are as much qualified as their Caucasian counterparts. However, economic bias has made the former remain inferior—a change of attitude will help remove this bias of looking down at people of color despite their advanced education and professional qualifications. The equitable distribution of opportunities and privileges, well emphasized in the constitution of organizations and the nation as a whole, would create a form of balance.3 The society needs to start making a concerted effort towards changing its mindset that always looks down on People of Color, especially in the workforce.
Fifth, a fair and just legal system can help reduce the widening racial gap in the United States. The country can bridge the widening racial chasm by ensuring that the legal system is well structured to prosecute individuals and entities that propagate social inequality, bigotry, violence against People of Color, etc., which all contribute to the ever-widening racial chasm. The law should be resolute in addressing racial profiling issues by the law’s arm—the police. There has been a rising case of police brutality, with many police folks killing People of Color and walking scot-free without being prosecuted. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), in a piece titled, “Breonna Taylor: Timeline of black deaths caused by police,” state cases where the people or police that shot several of these folks—walked away without prosecution. For instance, the officer that shot Eric Garner was fired but never prosecuted. The same thing happened to the killer of Trayvon Martin. The officers that killed Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Breonna Taylor, etc., all walked away scot-free.
From the above cases, one can almost say that there is a stint of bias against People of Color from the law’s side. This article does not justify any wrong-doing—if any—of those who lost their lives. However, is having someone under custody not good enough? Must People of Color always have to take a bullet to become a number in the statistics of those who have lost their lives in police brutality cases? Sometimes, from the lens of the law, People of Color will ask the question, “Is it a crime to be a Person of Color in America? Why do People of Color lose their lives, and nothing happens to the assailants?” Has this become the new reality for People of Color in America? Once again, to bridge the racial divide gap in America, the legal system must become more just and fair to addressing the issues of People of Color being killed indiscriminately without the repercussion of the assailants of the crime. People of Color in the United States of America are human beings too that have rights. All lives matter.
“Is it a crime to be a Person of Color in America? Why do People of Color lose their lives, and nothing happens to the assailants?” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze
Another suggestion where the courts could play a role is to enact anti-discriminatory laws that will prosecute those who deny children of color an opportunity to study in K1-12 learning institutions dominated by Caucasians. Such should not be going on, especially in this day and time. The goal is an equal playing field at all levels of society.
Sixth, people of color need to help themselves. People of Color should not always point accusing fingers at their Caucasian counterparts. People of Color must also ensure that they are helping themselves in society. People of color must satisfy themselves by striving diligently, never to accept the status quo of mediocrity and inferiority. People of Color must exhaust all angles of becoming better—go to school, acquire an education in a lucrative professional track, become an honest entrepreneur, stay out of trouble, stay clear of violent and irrational behaviors, be responsible members of society, etc. Despite the hate that comes because of skin color—the lesson is for People of Color not to adopt a tit-for-tat approach to the treatment. Remember—all lives matter. However, no matter how much People of Color get beat down, never accept to stay down. Always rise—see who you can be, believe that you can be what you see, and you will become what you see and believe.
People of Color—help yourselves, support yourselves, empower yourselves. People of Color who have made it to the high echelons of political, religious, economic, entertainment, and sports power should help their brothers and sisters to arise. They should become mentors for their kinfolk and beyond. Together, they should rise and shine and become more outstanding. Help those you see in your kinfolk with the promise to rise. Help all humanity to arise. Stand together in respectful solidarity and be full of love, charm, and grace. Do not hate, despite the hate that you receive. Win them over with love. People of Color should assist themselves in becoming the best they can ever become. For instance, Lebron James should go into the Chronicles of Blackdom for starting the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. More People of Color with the resources should tow his path and support one another to become more. If you see your brothers and sisters who are budding and aspiring—support them—help them stand—help them achieve their most significant possible potential(s). Such self-love will become a seed that triggers more love that begins to spread and expand.
People, this article is not here to take sides. This article is here to unite us despite our differences. Let us stop the hate binge—white to black or vice versa. This long-form article is equally against People of Color speaking down on White people. Yes, there may be much resentment from some segments of the White folk against People of Color. However, it does not justify the People of Color meting out the same hatred for all the White populace. There are a lot of good White folks who genuinely embrace People of Color. However, we should not lump them into the same category as those prejudiced against the People of Color. For instance, a Caucasian friend of mine, while living in one of the Southern states, said he was walking somewhere, and a black kid went up to him and called him a very incendiary name that some People of Color refer the white folks by in jest. He looked at the kid with pity. However, as we discussed this issue, we said that there is a lot of resentment in the air between the different racial sides—whites vs. the people of color. We need to start the mending, the healing, the coming together as one nation with inalienable rights in the bonds of unity under God.
The racial gap continues to increase in the United States of America despite how much the Civil Rights Movement era’s atrocities have tapered down from then till now. We have looked at the widening racial gap in America through different lenses. We viewed racial chasm through the lens of wealth creation. First, there is still a vast gap between People of Color and their Caucasian counterparts who have greater access to wealth in affluence matters. Second, we looked at it through the real estate ownership and renting lens. People of Color face greater discrimination when it comes to renting or owning real estate. Third, we saw that it is reflected via the current federal taxation regimes. Our Caucasian brothers and sisters tend to benefit more than the People of Color via the federal tax subsidies. Fourth, through the education gap lens, we saw that many People of Color attend K1-12 schools in cheaper schools that are not in prime neighborhoods than those of their white counterparts. Fifth, we saw that racial chasm could also be attributed to socio-cultural factors between Caucasians and People of Color. They have greater parent support when it comes to assistance and the living of an inheritance. Finally, sixth, the widening of the racial chasm in the United States comes from the highest echelons of power. The Presidency, the Senate, the Congress, the Judiciary, and more need to be at the forefront of spearheading tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. In no way should divisiveness be springing from any arm of national leadership. The Office of the Presidency of the United States of America is not a bully pulpit but a pedestal for bringing the country together under the umbrella of unity. United we stand, divided we fall.
To curb racism, first, we saw that we could do increase the earning potentials of People of Color to give them a more even playing ground when compared to their Caucasian counterparts. Second, there is a need to ensure the existence of high quality and affordable funded education for all to benefit from it. Third, revolves around the government, establishing a more equitable society to allow all races an even playing ground and a fighting chance to succeed. Fourth is the need for a widespread attitude change against racism. Those at the highest echelons of power need to become people that unite instead of divide. Fifth, a just and fair legal system that does not profile the People of Color. Violence against People of Color must be brought to light before a fair justice system free of any form of bias. Sixth, People of color that have made it and moved on up should help their kinfolk still at the bottom of the pyramid of life. Support your fellow kin, help one another rise from the ashes of oppression like the Phoenix. We can curb racism. We need to decide as a body politic to renounce the expanding elements of bigotry. We are humans. America, consider the saying by Aesop that “United we stand, divided we fall.”
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are all different—that is what makes us unique as human beings. At Oaekpost, we believe that, as human beings, we are wearing earth suits in the form of our skins. You are of a lighter shade of brown; hence, you are referred to as “White” or “Caucasian”—that is amazing. We celebrate you because you are beautiful—you are human. You are of a darker shade of brown; hence, you are racially classed as “Black” or just a Person of Color. We celebrate you because you are beautiful—you are also human. We celebrate Latinos! We celebrate Latinx! We celebrate the Asians! We celebrate all humans for the differences that we share. We are all human! Think about this, it might be a dark instance, but it is one that is true. One certain thing is that when we all go six feet under, the grubs don’t say, “Wow, today we are about to have white gourmet flesh, so it’s going to taste amazing.” Nor are the maggots going to say, “Umm, guys, I don’t think we should eat this one—this one is a Person of Color.” Or that this one is Latino, Latinx, or Asian—there is no distinction there. Six feet under, it does not matter; you are maggot caviar. Only bones will be left after they are done.
As Mauricio Macri once said, “There is more that unites us than divides us.” We really need to stand united as our name signifies. We are the United States of America (USA)—we are not the Divided States of America (DSA). Those that are spreading hate—whether Whites or People of Color—what do you really gain? Nothing will come out of spreading hate but more division, more rancor, more violence, etc. There is no superior race; we are the human race. We need to spread love and not hate. The official motto of the United States of America is “In God We Trust.” Right? So, if we really trust God as a body politic, then we need to heed what the Good Book says that “We need to love God first with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.” The second golden rule of life is that we must learn to adhere to one nation under God is that “You must love others as much as yourself.” No other commandments are more distinguished than these.6 All men should be our neighbors—despite the natural differences that distinguish us as human beings. So, if we are one nation under God, then we need to live by these principles. Or, has America turned away from God that these tenets no longer apply? It is left for the conscience of all who read this editorial and opinion piece to scrutinize where they stand. Racism is the progeny of ignorance. Enough of hate-mongering. Enough of the acrimony. Enough of divisive race-baiting. Let us join hands and rebuild the foundations of love upon which America stands. Let the healing begin in earnest. This is America—In God We Trust.
- Beyer, D. (2020). The economic state of black America in 2020. Retrieved from https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/ccf4dbe2-810a-44f8-b3e7-14f7e5143ba6/economic-state-of-black-america-2020.pdf
- Bouie, J. (2017, Sept 17). The wealth gap between whites and blacks is widening. Retrieved from slate: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/09/the_wealth_gap_between_whites_and_blacks_is_widening.html
- Miller, M. (2017, October 12). How to close the race-based chasm in U.S. retirement wealth. Retrieved from Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-column-miller-retirement/how-to-close-the-race-based-chasm-in-us-retirement-wealth-idUSKBN1CH1B5
- Shapiro, H., Meschede, A., & Osoro, S. (2013). The roots of the widening racial wealth gap: Explaining the black-white economic divide. Retrieved from Brandeis: https://iasp.brandeis.edu/pdfs/Author/shapiro-Thomas-m/racialwealthgapbrief.pdf
- Thompson, B. (2018, February 18). The Racial Wealth Gap: Addressing America’s Most Pressing Epidemic. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianthompson1/2018/02/18/the-racial-wealth-gap-addressing-americas-most-pressing-epidemic/#800fd437a48a
- Mark 12:30-31 – The Living Bible (TLB).