Racism: Mental Warfare

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Keishawn Robinson

Dr. Neely McLaughlin

Eng. 1001

19 February 2016

Racism: Mental Warfare

Here lately, times have changed for the human race. For many years, in our country racism has been put behind us, many people don't see it to be a serious issue. Compared to the rest of the country, Cincinnati wouldn’t be referred to as a city where racism is a vital problem, but it does and can occur. On the surface racism has appeared to just fade away, when in reality there isn't much physical interactions based on racial profiling. What is mental warfare? Is it life threatening or harmful to our society?

Racism has been a problem for as long as many of us can remember. So when you think about the diversity of our country it can be quite unnerving. Some people may not think or dwell about the way African Americans use to be treated. On the other hand, you have people who stand up for their rights, and still believe that what was going on between both races back then, is still around in society today. The controversial thoughts that we tend to have is shown in the way we live our lives. Throughout my research I’ve came across multiple scholarly sources giving a describing some of the inherited the African American culture. In the article "understanding xenophobia in South Africa,” Nina Hopstock and Nicola de Jager explains briefly how and where the south African culture has experienced diversity, and/ or Xenophobia.

“Since the transition to democracy in 1994, South Africa has experienced an increase in xenophobia. The May 2008 xenophobic attacks, as well as evidence of renewed threats of violence in Gauteng and the Western Cape illustrates that hostility to foreigners is a prevalent issue in South African society. A history of exclusion, poor service delivery by local governments, slow development and an increase in poverty and inequality, an unwillingness to acknowledge the political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, and, in particular, South Africa’s closed-door migration policies have provided a breeding ground for xenophobia. South Africa's political and economic progress will continue to attract immigrants and this challenge needs to be addressed with a properly managed Immigration policy for the betterment of both South Africa and the region”-Strategic Review for Southern Africa.

After the distinctive racial act in South Africa, America has shown there ways of reflecting xenophobia onto black people in our society today. Using someone's ethnic background or distinctive color appearance is one of the ways we choose to show respect. Ignoring the fact that every person with a darker color to their skin is not African American. Physical racism between Caucasian, and African Americans has died down. Instead we belittle each other mentally, and make one another feel contradistinctive.

Long ago around the time of the civil rights movement, African American people weren’t allowed to do or had access to the same things as Caucasian people. For example, there were separate bathrooms, water fountains, schools, churches, bars, etc. certain things African Americans did have access to were usually broken, not useful as it should be or worn out. The school systems wasn’t as good and they were not exposed to the same education as Caucasians, or they were not provided the same privacy or protection from the city/ government. All these things fall under the Jim Crow Laws which was projected on segregation and separating all connection from races.

Mental warfare occurs in our everyday life, it can result in a school, at home, on social media, on the news, or any public place. It is not against the law or wrong to attend the same school or be in the same facility as an opposite race. Although it isn't a law many people still separate themselves contributing to the diversity that is still around. It is a everyday thing to see a white person walking into a public place, but is it likely to see an African American at the same place. For an example, we still have all white schools. It isn't prohibited for a black person to attend an all-white school, but it is possible for this to occur.

The students usually come from an all-white neighborhood. If a black family moves to that neighborhood and sends their child to the school, they are more likely to feel out of place. In some similar situations, the black student isn’t able to go to school peacefully, and feels as if they don't belong and tries their hardest to adapt to their surroundings. That can cause the child to feel like they’re less of a person, or isn't satisfied with the color of their skin or lifestyle. In other cases, parents see their child doesn't belong there, because it is more white people in the school. Immediately, the child is removed from the school without attempting to adapt to a new environment. Possibly staying at that school could have benefit the child in the future, furthering their education. Now the child is forced to attend a school that fits him, racially and where he could feel comfortable.

What if staying at the school with all white students, the child could have learned more? Placing a child in a school where he is comfortable is not always the right choice. He could possibly get distracted and not take his education serious. This isn’t something that happens very often but there are people out there who let the opposite race or pride control the way they live their lives. Although there are no longer segregation in schools we still have it distilled in our minds having a visual of how things use to be, thinking it is how things should be. Our elders who already experienced the racial profiling and civil rights movement tend to bring their old way into modern times, as if that’s the only lifestyle they know. Schools are just one of many ways mental warfare can occur. We tend to think that we are living in a better era, but in reality history is constantly repeating itself. We are reliving racism just in a contemporary way.

“Cincinnati's racial troubles are widely, if only generally, known. Police shoot and kill young black men on the city's streets with impunity. Despite protests, lawsuits and internal police reviews, no policeman has been convicted of anything, nor has any black family been compensated for their loss. In April, 2001, police shot and wounded four unarmed people, including two children, leaving the funeral of Timothy Thomas, an unarmed 19-year old killed by police the week before. On Nov. 7, Charlie Luken, who unquestioningly supported the police throughout, was reelected Mayor, in a high-for-Cincinnati 28% turnout, by 55% of the electorate. Why is racism persistent in Cincinnati? What makes the city different in degree, if not kind, from other American cities?” - stated Hogan Wesley. There are more situations similar to the shooting of Timothy Thomas.

All the information the society has, and nothing has changed. This country deliberately defines our place of living as a democracy, but belittle one another power and limits to what can and cannot be done by the conspiracy of the human race. Mental warfare occurs and won't be recognized unless the problem is confronted. It shouldn't take a victim of police brutality or any form of racism to point out the obvious events and action taking place in our world today.

Stuck in the system is what many might say about our young African American adults in today's society. Times changed and so has the loyalty and willingness to stick together, within our young black men and women. Stereotypically some of our young African American adults, are busy worried about how much money is in the next person pockets and if they have more than one another. Instead of focusing on how they can get it and help each other be successful and have the same privilege and capability of getting the same amount of money or even more. Worried about territorial rights, and gang violence between each other, instead of coming together and standing up for their equal rights.

The biggest gangs that we have throughout the United States, are known to be called “Bloods, and Crips.” In the early 1960’s or late 70’s, the two gangs were made by members of the Black Panther party displaying colors of red and blue. As stated in The Black Rebellion by Panther Members “The CRIPs were not always the gang-bangers they are known to be. The CRIPs were formed in 1969. Raymond Washington, a high school student at the time founded the organization in response to the increasing level of police harassment of the Black community. CRIPs stood for Community Resources for Independent People. It was styled on the Black Panther Party which was formed 3 years earlier, by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, further down the west coast in Oakland.

There were many organizations springing up around the same time all over the country with the same ideas of protecting and serving the community. Like so many of these organizations, their commitment to these basic values was not given the opportunity to run its course. Individuals, marked out by police as leaders, were targeted and arrested on various bogus charges then convicted on the flimsiest of evidence. Many organizations were pitted against each other through the work of informants and undercover FBI agents who would provoke confrontations as well as provide information as to the whereabouts and movements of individuals. Others were just plain murdered by the police. The ferocity with which police departments went after the Black community, particularly young Black men, is shown by the fact that by 1971, 2 million Blacks were being arrested each year. The fear of the Black community producing any more Huey P. Newton’s or Malcolm X's, of the development of a strong revolutionary movement were the main reasons behind such police action and J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program).

Thus, any spirit of resistance was literally harassed, imprisoned or murdered out of the community. Gangs however remained, serving a different purpose.

With large amounts of Blacks being railroaded into prison, you could imagine the social impact. Virtually thousands of youths would be picked up by the police for no given reason, taken to police stations, mug-shotted, fingerprinted and then held until their families were notified and picked them up.”

The information that was provided using my cited sources explains the background, and origin of Crips, but does not explain how the tables were turned. There are many reasons and explanations of what people think caused the conflict/war between the two gangs which was made to protect one another during the civil rights movement. Some may say since society has changed overtime so has the equal rights, which is true. But since the gangs were made for a purpose what and who can they serve, when everything seems to be peaceful? Not saying white people in general caused the conflict but, societies racist (KKK, and other anti- African American groups) noticed that the image of constant violence between different races, could no longer be displayed without it stirring up trouble. So physically they were forced to lay low, as if they didn't exist anymore. But mentally control what moves were made next, by putting gun stores on each corner of a neighborhood with mostly African Americans that were affiliated in gangs. Leaving them no choice but to think what they were getting into was right, in reality they were doing nothing but tearing each other as a race apart.

Works Cited

Nina Hopstock and Nicola de Jager. Locals only: understanding xenophobia in South Africa.Strategic Review for Southern Africa. 33.1 (May 2011): p120.

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