My First Experience with Racism

I grew up in a small town where there was virtually no racism. I never saw any at least. Sure, back then people picked on you, but it was healthy, made you toughen up, and it had nothing to do with skin color. I was fairly sheltered though, I had not been to places like Louisiana, the ‘deep south’, or Ferguson for that matter. I was under that impression, even at about 17 or so, that racism wasn’t a problem in our country. Boy, was I wrong.
I joined the military about 17, it was the ‘split-op’ program, where you could attend basic training before you graduate high school, with your parent’s permission. It was a huge culture shock for me, seeing so many different people, with so many different outlooks and attitudes, racism one of them. It was there, for the first time, seeing white, black, and brown mix together, that I saw the racism come out.
In basic training, at least when I was in, you’re not allowed to have cell phones, music, tobacco, various other contraband that makes life enjoyable. The idea is to make things stressful, to prepare you for the rigors of war. One of the best ways to do that is put a group of about 60 or so men in an open bay, forcing them to get along. Whenever we could get a chance to relax, such as a nice shower, we enjoyed it to the max. So when I heard a group of guys singing a Capella style and making music, I wanted to go enjoy it. It was amazingly done; beat-boxing at its best. I figured as well, seeing the tension that existed, perhaps my compliment of being a patron of their beautiful art would help ease these tensions.
I started to make my way over to this area, but about halfway there, my bunk-mate came up and stopped me. He told me it was “black only, right now.” and that I couldn’t go over there. Everyone in the bay area was watching us. I was so angry I couldn’t even talk straight. I told him how messed up it was and left. If I could do it over again, I would share with him how Martin Luther King Jr. died to end the very segregation that he and his racist buddies were keeping alive. These men segregated themselves. They did so because they hated Mexicans, Asians, and most of all, white people, because they bought into the lie that white people are oppressing them, and that we too, hate them. All the people there, the rest of us that is, saw that the only racist people, where the people screaming and yelling about racism. And they truly believed the lie they espouse.
Why am I writing about this, and how does it have anything to do with Ferguson? It’s because if you automatically assume that a cop is guilty for shooting a black man, BECAUSE HE IS WHITE, then you are, by definition, racist. Racism is automatically assuming the man is evil and guilty because of his skin color. Racist people calling people racist is hypocrisy. Mr. Dillon Taylor was shot two days after the incident in Ferguson. He was unarmed, gunned down outside a 7-Eleven, in Utah. The cop was black, and Mr. Taylor was white. Virtually the same story, both men with a criminal past, killed by cops, and yet nobody cares or knows about Dillon Taylor. Do not pretend to care about justice if all you care about is people of your own skin color. If you only care about your own color, you are the racist problem with this country. You’re a liar and a hypocrite. I hate racism and I am going to fight it. Unfortunately, this means the racist news, the racist people in Ferguson, the racist angry mob that violently and unjustly destroyed a town, are all against me. Not cops or judges. My opposition to racism means I am going to fight a large part of America, and will be seen as a bad guy, at least, for right now. Maybe after I give a speech, and become assassinated, I will go down as a hero right alongside Mr. King Jr. Racism is alive today, thanks to the racism of the black community. The different black men in my unit were from all over America; this was a cross section of the black community. They segregated themselves, hating the rest of us, refusing to let me enjoy their music. Because of the color of my skin.

About Daniel Mason

Daniel Mason is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Theology, and is founder and creator of Disciple's Perspective.

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