Racism has been around since the beginning of mankind and may always be around in one form or another, but I hope we can keep moving in the right direction with each new generation. Unfortunately, what happened to George Floyd is just another reminder and certainly not the only one recently that we have a long way to go. We must all play our part in making meaningful changes on a systemic level.
I have a unique perspective when it comes to racism. I imagine very few people have. I am half Indian (East Asian), part white, and part Native American (not a lot but way more than Elizabeth Warren). However, many think I am African American and as a result, I have been called the N-word and other racial slurs many times throughout my life, been racially profiled by some police officers, and faced other obvious forms of racial discrimination. In fact, in some ways, I know what it is like to be African American more than I know what it is like to be what my actual ethnic background is as you get treated by what you’re perceived as. On the other hand, some people think I am white and I have been around white people that are clearly racist but feel comfortable expressing their racism in front of me not realizing I am not white or perhaps not caring. Does this represent the majority of white people I have interacted with? Definitely not.
Despite my experiences with being the recipient of racism and being around people that are racist, I don’t believe most people are racist. While I know all too well what it is like to be racially profiled by some police officers, I don’t believe most police officers abuse power and engage in racial profiling. In fact, I have had more positive interactions with the police than negative ones. However, racism and abuse of power are still serious issues with deep roots that need to be addressed.
I am glad people are protesting and making their voices heard. It is heartening to see a wide variety of people from diverse backgrounds joining together to create massive change. Unfortunately, some criminals are taking advantage of the situation and using it as an opportunity to steal and be destructive. Clearly such people don’t care about social change and are only focused on what they want regardless of the consequences. Yet the majority of people engaging in protesting are not criminals or opportunists and have their hearts in the right place. Lets also not forget that thieves and abuses of power come in many forms such as corrupt politicians who benefit from maintaining the status quo and some corporations that utilize child slavery such as many chocolate companies.
I have had the good fortune to travel all over the world and the common thread I see with most people is they want to have a good life, they want their families to have a good life, and they want to live in peace. They care about others and not just people they know. I have been the recipient of many generous acts of compassion from strangers in many countries such as New Zealand, Kenya, Japan, India, and America that simply saw someone in need and took the time to help. Not with the expectation of getting something back in return but helping for the sake of helping. One thing we can all prioritize is helping others in need whenever we can. The more beings you help the happier and more fulfilled you will be.
An example of a fantastic individual that works tirelessly to help those in desperate need of saving is my friend Ty Ritter founder of Project Child Save Ty and his team have rescued kids from sex slavery and human trafficking all over the world often putting themselves in serious danger to do so. They didn’t sit on the sidelines hoping things would improve all on their own. They realized they have unique skill sets that can be utilized to save kids from horrible cruelty and they acted on it and continue to. Ty also wrote a fantastic book My body is my own for parents and concerned citizens to help protect kids from predators. Have their actions resulted in the eradication of child slavery? Of course not but I guarantee you it made a difference to the kids they saved.
I think the silver lining of this situation is it is revealing clearly how many people of all backgrounds care about injustice and want to see systemic change. I like the intense passion of people coming together for the betterment of all. Activism is important and nothing changes for the better until the masses demand change. Police brutality should never be tolerated but the larger picture is no form of brutality period should be tolerated. Most police officers are doing a great job in a very difficult occupation one that is often thankless. The overall brutality in the world would be insurmountable without the police putting their lives on the line daily to protect all of us. I am friends with a few officers and they all agree that racial profiling and abuse of power are real problems and they want to see both addressed just like the activists do. Ultimately it will be all of us working together not against one another that has the most impact.