The Pain of Racism

I was recently on the receiving end of some racially tinged hostility. I ran over to help a person who had put herself in danger. Rather than thanking me, she said something horribly mean and racist.

I’d like to think that this was an isolated incident; but sadly, it is not. It’s more the rule than the exception, particularly these last long years of Obama. He sent out signals from the get-go that white people were the cause of everything bad in the world (as David Horowitz dubbed the practice, “Hating Whitey.”) Obama has said that the gloves should be removed. From what I have seen, they sure have, verbally and physically.

I was reading a popular online forum around here called, Berkeley Parents Network. People post anonymously about their experiences with doctors, the school system, and the like. You should read some of the postings on violence at Berkeley High School (BHS), as well as the middle or even elementary schools. There are pages of horrendous incidents towards their children. Here are a couple of them:

We get a report from our teen at BHS about blatant robberies at the bus stop at Games of Berkeley on Shattuck nearly every other day. For now, there is a group of boys targeting white male freshman. . . OUR CHILD FEELS HELPLESS TO HELP HER FRIENDS THAT ARE BEING ACCOSTED! NO CHILD SHOULD FEEL THAT THEY CANNOT BE ON A BERKELEY STREET WITHOUT FEELING SAFE AT ANY TIME OR HAVING THE ABILITY TO GET HELP FROM OUR COMMUNITY SERVICE PEOPLE OR DOWNTOWN MERCHANTS, INCLUDING GOING TO AND FROM SCHOOL. Please help by reporting incidents like these so we can stop the escalation of crime on youth by other youth.

Or this one:

My son, then a senior at BHS was mugged by four males in the stairway at lunch in Bldg. C. At first he was not going to report it, but after immediately speaking to his 4th period teacher, he did. The then principal sort of blew it off. I went in the next morning and was appalled at the ”political correctness” of not following up.

Now again, you might think that these are isolated incidents; but they are not. And the level of hostility and an open season of violence have increased significantly since 2008. Prior to that time, there was at least some semblance of civility, a superficial attempt for everyone to get along, despite how people may feel deep inside. But that pretense no longer exists, given all the racial hatred that has been whipped up the last few years.

It is angering and humiliating to be on the receiving end of someone’s racism. But it’s something else too: heartbreaking. When that woman whom I tried to help treated me utter hatred, it was painful. Tragic. She did not regard me as a human being; to her, I was an evil other. And, from this culture, she’s gotten the message that her viciousness was acceptable.

It’s a scary situation, especially for those of us living around here. But what’s particularly alarming is that no one will talk about it. In fact, hostile behavior, even crime, is excused and rationalized.

Why, I ask myself all the time? Is it extreme denial, an unwillingness to let go of the dream, even while their own children become casualties? Is it codependency? Masochism? Is it the Stockholm Syndrome, where people, through brainwashing, learn to love and exonerate their attackers? And also: why would anyone in his right mind (and with financial resources) send his children to any of the public schools around here?

I don’t know. . I’ve spent years trying to make sense out of things that don’t make sense. And when things are so illogical, and when this head-in-the-sand attitude leads to horrific violence and social disorder, we know it’s being engineered by the Evil One, who is stirring the pot of all the malicious happenings around here. And he is in the driver’s seat when someone treats another person horribly simply because of that person’s race.

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