Spend a few minutes every day updating yourself on current events and you may find it hard to believe that we’re living in 2012.

Of course there have always been, and will probably always be, isolated incidents of blatant racism. There has been hate in this world since the dawn of man, and hateful people will likely always find a way to drum up some difference that they find distasteful. It’s also troubling to see the police and judicial system seem to exhibit prejudice in applying laws and the extent to which they protect us, but no system is perfect and there will probably always be flaws in American justice.

But when I think about how much progress black America has supposedly made in how this country treats and perceives us, and then look at Trayvon Martin’s murder and how it’s been covered, then at Rekia Boyd‘s senseless death, then at the stream of vile insults hurled at “Awkward Black Girl” creator Issa Rae by anonymous racists, then at all of the hatred that has popped out of the woodwork during Obama’s presidency, I have to wonder: have we made as much progress with social and and institutionalized racism as I’ve always believed?

Black Americans have only been allowed to eat at any lunch counter we want and attend desegregated school for a little over fifty years, and change comes slowly. Yet recognizing that attitudes are slow to change is little comfort in a world where your life and rights seem secondary to those of others. Those who seek to deny us those rights may have become more crafty or even internet anonymous while doing so, but I’m not confident that the racism behind all of it has significantly decreased since the Civil Rights movement. Did you imagine that we’d still be dealing with people calling us “nigger” in the twenty-first century, or with police forces that don’t value our lives? Are you surprised?

What do you think?

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  • The majority control the power, the 1% control the system….damned if you do, damned if you don’t! It is what it is, find our niche, and keep it moving.

  • Come on now! I love this…because I often ask myself the same question: Have we really improved race relations?

    But let’s think about it. I mean really…Have we ever had a heart to heart discussion on this matter? It seems that nowadays people just like to cover the whole “racism” issue up with a bandage..instead of healing the wound left for our people.

    And just a little comment: I was called a “nigger” for the very first time in my life 2 weeks ago at my college (Indiana..go figures). A group of white boys in a run down gray car shouted the slur at me as I was walking to class.

    I couldn’t look at another white person for the next few hours. It really hit home. I talked to my parents and they had numerous circumstances where they were called a nigger and put in racially tense situations.

    I talked to a few black people on my campus and many of them, if not all have had similar situations with racism. It’s truly sad. I never thought it would happen to me. But now I know how it feels like and I can honestly say, I can’t imagine how it was for black students back over 50 years ago to go to predominately white institutions and get called that (and treated horribly) each and every single day.