A cup of coffee made me think of racism on the #PassionateSpot

I was thinking about a lot of things this morning. Its Monday a new day to the beginning of a work week for most. Today I wanted a different scenery to work in. I have worked for myself for four years now I can just about make my own schedule, so I decided to stop into my addiction, which is Starbucks.  After ordering my usual I sat down next to a blend of demographics Asian, black, white, and all that in between.

After powering up my laptop I noticed I wasn’t near an outlet. I had to ask a white male that sat next to me if he could plug my laptop cord in for me. Our exchange was so pleasant, so routine, and in a matter of seconds he had plugged in my laptop. I said thank you sir, as I always address most men sir and most women maam and began to think about our exchange.

I looked around the café and noticed every one of all shades of color and backgrounds where seated together. And when addressing that man as Sir, I started to remember the days when African American’s had to address white people as sir and maam. It was a must or you would be a candidate for crucial treatment.

Just 40 years ago the world was different. In 1972 in Fort Worth, TX where I was raised schools were finally integrated. My own mother was 16 years old and for the first time was bused to go to school with white kids. Just 40 years ago I could not eat in a café with other whites. I couldn’t turn to a white man and politely ask for him to plug in my lap top.

The world has changed and as I sat in Starbucks and reflected on the difference the world has become I start to see why many believe racism doesn’t still exist. However that is far from the truth.  Just look at some facts I have discovered by a simple Google search;

1.    While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned
2.     According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.
3.    Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated
4.    According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates
5.    The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses.

These facts pertain just to the judicial system and are quite disturbing. Many also fail to see the opportunities that are offered to black people verses white people. For some odd reason it’s often portrayed that people of color are mostly on government assistance or welfare when Welfare Statistics show that Percent of recipients who are white who receive assistance is 38.8 % and the Percent of recipients who are black is 39.8 %. Not a huge difference huh?
Funny how I started to think about this just from sitting in Starbucks and asking a white male to plug in my laptop. Yes we have so many rights as a people than what we had 40 years ago when integration began. But the hopes of racism being extinct is far from over. I guess we must all do our part in making sure we can get rid of some of those disturbing statistics I listed above.

Food for thought!

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Comments

  1. Very nice, reflective post Tameka. Amazing how simple gestures or observations trigger deep reflection.

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