I recently watched the movie “The Help” in theaters and was amazed at how moved I was by it. For those of you that have not had the chance to go see it, the movie is set in Mississippi in the decade of the 1960’s. It does a great job at showing how it was to be a black woman in those times and how many hardships one had to go through. It angered me to see black women be treated as though they were animals. It was as if people did not think that they deserved to have the same rights and luxuries as other races in this era were fortunate enough to have. It really made me think of activism and how important it is to stand up for what you believe is right when you see something that is happening around you that is not just.
After seeing this, it really made me think; does racism still exist today? Unfortunately, the sad reality of it is that it exists in today’s society more than we would like to know. People sweep in under the rug like it is not a big deal, when it is detrimental to us to make it stop. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where the laws allow us to believe in what we want to believe in, wear what we please, and live where we want to live, but is this something that society condemns? When someone does not look like an ‘American’, people immediately belittle them. The truth of the matter is that, to be an American, means that you can be any shape, size, ethnicity or race, but this is not how society looks at it. Take the new show All-American Muslim for example. These people come to America in hopes of making a better life for themselves and their families, but are quickly shown that this may be a lot harder than expected because of all the hateful acts done against them. This happens more than people think in today’s society.
Many people give up on activism, especially when it has to do with race because they feel as though they are not guilty of being racist. When they feel that too many people will disagree with them and their opinions or simply not pay any attention to it, they give up and move on. What we have to realize is that for those the activists that don’t give up, the outcome of their hard work can be very rewarding. While thinking about activism and how it related to racism in the 1960’s, I started to think of racism and where it is today. Yes, I think it is fair to say that laws on racism and racist acts have come a long way in the past few decades, but are we where we should be yet? I, for one, can say that I unfortunately do not think that racism is dead. In fact, we see it everyday. Whether it is obvious or not, things are done subconsciously that prove racism to still be here in full force. Who is to blame for this? Is it the schools? Is it media? Whoever is to blame, this is something that has been an issue for years past and continues to haunt us. I think that it is fair to say that, until we stand up and make it obvious that we will not stand for racial acts, racial slurs, or anything of the kind, we are all to blame in one way or the other for racism still existing in America today. Let’s stand up and do something about this!