As I've been processing the recent injustices in Ferguson, and Staten Island, I have been watching a lot of various interviews on Democracy Now, and the other day I saw an interview with a retired New York City detective named Graham Weatherspoon . It was a wonderful interview, I like interviews like this, because this guy knows firsthand, he isn't guessing, or pontificating in anyway. And I found it interesting that he himself had suffered police brutality himself at a very young age, which was one of the deciding factors that led him to the force, to change things, make them better.
As racism was being discussed, he said one sentence that sums up the problem. He said, racism is a cancer in this country, and no one wants to talk about it, or heal it. And he couldn't be more right. After being surrounded by so many people who are just openly, out and proud racists, it is a cancer, and each generation is spreading it to the new one. I remember I used to work with this girl who was only maybe 21 or 22, and she talked like a life long racist, someone who has had years to hone their craft. And cancerous is a really good way to describe this city I live in. It has a toxic vibe to it. If I had to use one word to describe this city it would be death. Anyway, I also remember a long time ago reading a quote that said something like "we as humans are not meant to live in only one place, we are meant to move, and experience different ways." That wasn't the exact quote, of course, but it went along those lines, and it stuck in my head, because I have noticed that I have met hardly anyone who has ever lived anywhere else but here. It is the strangest thing, I can't imagine living here my whole life. Even if I liked it, BORING. I am so bored I could literally rip my skin off. There is nothing not boring about this city. And the hilarious thing is that it isn't a sweet little quaint village where everyone is kind and loving to their neighbor, that kind of boring I could handle, no there are more shootings here than I ever heard about in Seattle, and the people are the opposite of kind. And don't get me started on the drunk driving topic. Anyway, back to racism, I think that in the case of most of the people where I live it is pure, unadulterated ignorance. I doubt very few of these people have even had many experiences with anyone other than other angry, resentful white people, so this hatred has been taught to them, and they have never bothered to check it out and form their own opinions.
The ignorance is what needs to be changed. I mean, I saw a study on The Young Turks I believe, (obsessed) and only like 58% of white people who were polled thought the Staten Island lack of indictment was wrong, and the numbers were way lower for the Michael Brown case. I mean that kind of says it all right there. We have a lot of work to do, and I have no idea how to go about it. It is about to be 2015, and people are still using the n word, and as I've learned, a lot of it is out and proud, I'm white, I can say whatever I want.
I feel very strongly about wanting this to be a kind world for everyone, and right now it isn't. And as a vegan, it feels very daunting to get humans to be kind to animals, when we are so cruel to each other. I used to live in my little liberal bubble, and think that racism was all but non-existent, and I was so wrong, and I want other people who may not understand that this attitude is real. Like Fox news isn't just an annoying thing that we watch Jon Stewart skewer, there are people who ride and die with Fox News.
If you are curious and have a few minutes, check out the interview on Democracy Now! with Graham Weatherspoon you won't be disappointed, you will be enlightened.