College Park, Maryland
May 11, 2011
By: Solomon Comissiong
There is a well know saying that goes, “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.” Pretty self explanatory adage, huh? By not believing in the “devil” mankind would let its guard down by assuming the threats of evil were reduced simply because the devil did not exist. Whether one believes in the devil or not, the threat of evil still exist in myriad forms—obliviousness to evil only increases one’s vulnerability to malevolence. In 2011 a disbelief in the existence of a very real evil is hurting a great many people similar to the way carbon monoxide can quietly sneak up on someone and inflict lethal damage. This evil is as real as the people that created it, and those who continue to perpetuate it. This evil, that predominately harms people of color—-is none other than institutional racism. Institutional racism is not hate based language, it is much more harmful.
In 2011 we cannot afford to base the myth of a living in a post racist society upon hate language. In fact, many people of color who continue to suffer as a result of living within an institutionally racist nation have never been called nigger, coon, spic, or the like. Terms like nigger, coon, and spic have commonly been used by white people to describe people of color—usually because those same white people are coming to grips with their own inferiority complexes and inner demons. It is not only about ignorance, as some people use as an excuse to explain why many white people use those terms to describe people of color; it is about hate—plain and simple. Not only do they hate people of color, they are conflicted with demons swirling around their own self-hatred. They continue to use these petty terms as a means of deflecting their own shortcomings to someone else—-in this case that someone is anyone that looks differently from them or has vastly different cultural norms. Nonetheless it is not hate based terms that inflict the most damaging effects upon people of color—it is the institutionalization of white people’s hatred that causes the most damage. In essence, it is the very reason their inaccurate and hate-based propaganda keeps getting recycled within most of America’s public school systems—they are institutionally racist and white supremacist to their core.
Institutional racism within America’s schools creates, and then promulgates heroes out of known murders, slave owners, and rapists, such as Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and Andrew Jackson—to name a few of many. These barbarians just happened to inflict the brunt of their assault on humanity upon the lives of Africans and Indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere. One has to wonder if they would be extolled if they committed that kind of carnage upon other white people…probably not. Kill, rape, and enslave Africans—you get enshrined as national heroes. Murder, plunder land, and mutilate Native Americans—you get US holidays named after you. The common denominators rest upon the monsters being white and the victims being of color. Any humane society would never accept this, however within countries that lack morality this is a way of life supported by every major institution within it (schools, government, media, etc). Why you may ask…because every major institution within the US has been infected with the societal cancers of racism and white supremacy.
Institutional racism in America, in many ways, functions like an actual cancer. Institutional racism kills just like cancer kills. Cancer slowly and systematically, if uninterrupted by aggressive treatment, robs the host body of essential tissue and cells it needs to survive. Institutional racism robs communities of color of the ability to determine their own destinies. In essence, they are robbed of human rights—-life, liberty and their collective pursuit of happiness. Those who support institutional racism, or are too socially limited to recognize it, often point to limited examples of black entertainers (athletes, actors, musicians) to feebly “prove” that racism is a thing of the past, meanwhile never addressing the masses of black people who reside within governmentally neglected communities (ghettos, slums). These intellectually dishonest people want no part of constructive dialogue that rests on substantive facts that unequivocally substantiate the large chasm of racial inequality throughout the United States. They insist in not recognizing information that sheds light on the fact that in 2011 African-Americans earn roughly 60 cents to every dollar their white counterparts make. These people are not simply the right wing Republicans some may envision; they are also white liberals. White liberals like to masquerade around as if they are “friends” to the black community; however they policies and actions speak louder than words. When it all boils down, white liberals, themselves, don’t even speak about institutional racism. Year after year African-Americans die unarmed by way of rampant police brutality. Year after year African-American communities are broken up via targeted gentrification. And year after year African-Americans are targeted by a vastly flawed criminal “justice” system to serve as a viable cheap labor force within America’s prison industry complex. All of these things continue to happen simultaneously and yet no targeted national platform, from the Democratic Party, to eradicate these man-made evils. Democrats are no better than Republicans when it comes to tangible progressive change. They are as comfortable with the metastasizing cancer of institutional racism as are their Republican counterparts. They are conniving frauds and the sooner the black community divorces itself from the Democratic Party, the better!
Institutional racism is in fact, as American as apple pie. Those who claim that the US is now a “post racial/racist society” are playing their part in perpetuating this evil. The US corporate media is a sizable part of the problem. They routinely and methodically ignore any substantive coverage of this ongoing problem, all the while promoting the myth of America being a society now entering a post “racist era”. Media consolidation in the US is not just about a few corporations controlling the vast majority of news and information flowing through most homes in America; it is also about 92 percent of all radio stations being owned by whites as well as 96 percent of all full power television stations. Institutional racism plays a large role in this enormous media ownership disparity that comes nowhere close to actual population figures based on US racial demographics. The US corporate media, which is almost entirely all white, deliberately provides no space or agency for any person who might speak out against the institutionally racist bloodlines of America.
Those who choose to speak out against this evil are playing a significant role in elevating the specter of consciousness, thus enabling more people to see where their collective efforts should be placed—fighting the scourge of institutional racism and white supremacy. Independent and progressive black media has historically shed far more of an accurate light on institutional racism and discrimination than that of the corporate driven white media, liberal or conservative. The black media has played this significant role dating back to the 1800s with publications such as Freedom’s Journal. In 2011 media outlets owned and controlled by people of color is arguably as important as it was in 1827. While white liberals and conservatives, alike, play their unique roles in keeping institutional racism in perpetuity—it is people of color who must endure the brutality of this devilish institution. While the corporate media does all it can to convince society that institutional racism is a thing of the distant past it is people of color who are systematically languishing in the bowels of Americanism. Even the politically regressive first African-American president is a product of white supremacy and institutional racism. Had Barack Obama been an African-American candidate who actually sought out to mitigate the negative influences of institutional racism most of white Americans that voted for him would never have in the first place. Barack Obama was “safe” enough for many white liberals to vote for. He was the black guy who would never make them feel guilty about their white privilege and American institutional racism that they, in fact, benefit from. Then candidate Barack Obama was someone they could vote for and subsequently claim they were not racist because they had, in fact, voted for an African-American candidate. Now that Barack Obama is President Obama, very little has changed except for the fact that he has become even more socially conservative. Obama did not become more progressive upon winning the 2008 election; he became more conservative as if he had to prove to his white constituents that he was the same safe “negro” they wanted him to be. If the white nationalist wing of the Republican Party (which is most of it) were not so damn racist they would understand that President Obama is comfortably in tune with them on most social issues, especially those dealing with race and discrimination. Obama is the perfect spokesperson for white America to promote its false image of a nation free of inequalities. He is, in essence, a black man more comfortable making excuses for America than he is actually doing something tangible to lessen the devastating blows of institutional racism. If this were 1812 Barack Obama would be more than comfortable doing whatever it took to remain in his “master’s” house and not outside toiling, day in and day out, in the fields with the other enslaved Africans who hated their devil-like master, as well as the wretched institution of chattel slavery. Yes, he is the kind of guy Malcolm X might refer to as a “House Negro”. Obama’s presidency has done more harm in clarifying the existence of race based disparities in America than he has working towards its eradication. He has consistently ignored the plight of masses of African-Americans that voted for him, all the while working to gain deeper favor with the white financial institutions that contributed to his 745 million dollar campaign “war chest”. They will refuel is re-election campaign funds in 2012 thus he feels compelled to cater to their every beck and call—to hell with the masses of black people suffering as a result of institutional racism in America. Obama continues to be a very clever way America has covered up her racist ways to those with their heads still buried in the sand of obliviousness.
Institutional Racism in America is a devil with over 400 years of experience in destroying the lives of people of color. It is a devil that exists whether we believe it or not. This devil and those who benefit from its nefarious work hope that many of us continue question its mere reality. The longer we are lost in the disbelief of this devil’s existence the longer people of color will systematically be caught in this hell on earth. Institutional racism is nothing short of hell for those who are robbed of the same rights routinely given to whites. Institutional Racism is evil and it is a devil. When we will, as progressives, wake up, except its reality, and no longer tolerate its existence by destroying it—once and for all?
Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the Executive Editor of the Your World News media collective (www.yourworldnews.org).