Contemporary Racism

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I am reading, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander about the morphing of racism. Her premise is that racism targeted at the African-American race is still alive in America in spite of the election of President Barak Obama. Racism now manifests itself in not so obvious ways through the legal system.

So far in the book she has laid the foundation that the incarceration of African-American men hinders their ability to fully function as citizens. For instance, a convicted felon has limited opportunity because it is legally acceptable to discriminate against a felon. While I understand legal penalties can be unfair, African-American men actually commit crimes punishable by law. At least some of the responsibility lays with the perpetrators.

I must admit that I am shocked that in some neighborhoods jail time typifies the African-American male experience. The question surpasses the possibility of “if” and ascends to, “How long?” and “When did you get out?” The first time I heard the familiar exchange I remember feeling sorry that their lives consisted of such enslavement. As an African-American female this scenario plagues my own family.

Who’s fault is it? I’m not sure the answer to that question is as important as, “How can it change?” How can a young man live a clean life? The Bible answers this question it poses in Psalm 119:9 with saying, “by obeying God.” Bowing the knee of the heart to God can’t be as hurtful to the pride as bowing to “The Man.”

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