Racism in Minnesota

Have you ever walked around an unknown area and you just have this feeling of being unwelcomed? I have and I am sure most of you have. Even though it’s the 21st century, racism is still alive and well. Even though racism should already be a thing of the past people within my community in St. Paul are still showing signs of racism and that can be intentionally or unintentionally. Racism is apparent not only in St. Paul but it is apparent all through-out the United States and it’s not just towards one race or ethnic group but it’s racism towards all race and ethnic groups. However, in my community racism is worst for people of color. Minnesota is not a good place for people of color to live in.

The reason I say this because out of all the times I have encountered racism/ discrimination towards another race it is always a white person saying or doing things that discriminate against people of color. An example of this would be when I went with my brother in law to purchase a new car from BMW and Mercedes. The sales representatives did not greet us or acknowledge our presence despite having looked at us when we walked in. My brother in law and I spent about 20 minutes walking around the show room and within those 20 minutes there were 4 other customers who came in after us and every single one of them were greeted and asked if they needed help. Then there was a fifth person who walked in and did not get greeted and of course she was a person of color. I could tell from my brother in law’s facial expressions that he was frustrated and upset because he was ready to purchase a new vehicle, but he did not receive any assistance. At the end of the day my brother in law bought a car from Honda because he was treated as an equal and there was no discrimination with Honda’s customer service.

It can be so frustrating for people of color, no matter how much money they make if they are a person of color people will always discriminate them; my brother in law was especially frustrated because he makes great money working with a fortune 100 company making over 100,000 dollars a year and he gets treated just as any other person of color. My brother in law did make a complaint to BMW and Mercedes and they were willing to reduce the price of the car for the customer service but my brother in law denied the offer. With this being said people of color will always be looked upon as being broke, living on minimum wage and welfare. A few things I have heard people say about other races that have money are: “its drug money”, “That’s money they made from the casino”, “that’s welfare money that we all pay taxes for.” All of these phrases were said about different ethnic groups.

In Minnesota racism effects, almost everyone depending where the location is. I can say that racism is still huge. There was a photo in 2015 of a white male getting into the face of a white police officer because the officer wasn’t doing anything about the black lives matter protest at the state fair; there was a caption underneath the photo that read “What if this was a black male?” This question makes me wonder what if it was any other race rather than a white guy screaming into the face of the officer, what would have happened? No one will really know what will happen but everyone knows deep down that if it was a person of color the situation would have been different. There have been many articles on police officers shooting African Americans over little things because of misinterpreted information. Social media plays a big role because so many people now a day depend on it to get their news, often time a social media site can leave out information which causes people to misinterpret the situation. Social media often times outline the bad things that African Americans do and they never focus on the important things such as he/ she was a father, mother, daughter, son, aunt or uncle.

On Wednesday July 6th 2016 Philando Castile was shot in a traffic stop, Castile was unarmed and African American, according to Castile’s girlfriend who was a passenger at the time said that he was only doing what he was told to do and that was to get his license and registration. At the moment Castile had reached for his wallet to get his license he was shot 4 times. We don’t know what took place before the shooting of Castile but I still don’t understand why the officer shot Castile, could it have been that the officer thought Castile was that much of a threat when he was told to get his license? Did Castile get shot because the officer thought he had a gun or did Castile get shot because he was African American? The officer assumed Castile had a gun just because he reached into his pocket, why would the officer assume that Castile has a gun when the officer obviously asked him to get his license. I am so angry, upset, and afraid that this happened. Even democrat Mark Dayton said. “Nobody should be shot and killed in Minnesota for a tail light being out of function. Would this have happened if those passengers would have been white? I don’t think it would have.”

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If shootings of people of color continue to occur there will be a lot of hate crimes and the number of incidents will rise. We have to treat each other with respect and everyone needs to learn how to forgive each other. That is the only way everyone will be able to live peacefully. A way to combat racism starts with mothers and fathers; they have to teach their children how to love everyone and treat everyone equally. I have always believed that people aren’t born racist, they end up being racist because of the people around them, especially the people who raise them. If kids were raised to not see color there would be no racism.

Jane Elliott is a great person to teach people who thinks racism doesn’t exist, the reason I say this is because she puts those people in the shoes of people of color. The way she achieves this is through her famous experiment called blue eyes or brown eyes, what this experiment does is it separates the people by eye color then the brown eyes will be classified as the superior group while the other group (usually the racist people or people who don’t think racism exist) is classified as the inferior group. Jane Elliott then gives a brief history lesson and after that the superior group (usually people of color) then stands around the inferior group and they proceed to discriminate against them along with Jane Elliott. The purpose of this exercise is to overwhelm the inferior group to the point they want to leave the room in which case they are not allowed to because if they were people of color they can’t simply just walk away from their skin color.

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Speaking of people of skin color, my brother was discriminated because of his skin color. Two years ago, he went to the Washington county fair and within thirty minutes of arriving he was already called names by people such as gook, and chink. Other people said phrases to their acquaintances such “we don’t have room for a yellow chink”, “we’ll bomb you to extinction”, “fuck japs”. After those encounters my brother left the fair, he hasn’t been back since and I don’t think any of my family members will be going there. I shouldn’t feel afraid to leave my house, I shouldn’t have to worry about my loved ones when they leave the house, I shouldn’t have to worry about my friends when they go to school. With every racial slur our world becomes darker, with every act of injustice we get cast aside by society more and more. Humans have learned so much over time and have completed so many great feats such as landing a person on the moon but one thing we have failed to do is learn how to love and treat one as equals.

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