Stop ignoring racism, it hasn’t gone anywhere

Karla Enriquez and Briana Hicks

For every Facebook debate, there’s the person who claims to be all about peace and love and declares that we need to look beyond race. The post calls for people to be color-blind and unite as one.

This is problematic and tone deaf. Current times detail how racism is alive and well in the United States of America.

When the color of my skin and the sound of my last name disqualify me from getting a job, you can’t ask me to see beyond color, because the system we operate under isn’t doing so.

Or when the curly texture of my hair is seen as unruly and unprofessional for the workplace, you can’t expect me to ignore the blatant discrimination.

When one of the presidential hopefuls is inciting hate crimes against people of color and spewing hate toward the Mexican community, I am not allowed to see beyond color.

The system reminds me everyday that race matters when the majority of officials in this country don’t look like me.

Pop culture reminds me everyday that race matters when I don’t see anyone I identify with in film, television, magazines,and album covers.

The entertainment industry even goes as far to remind me that the color of my skin matters when it is constantly depicts kings and queens in Egypt, and Africa with white faces.

And yet we’re supposed to accept that this nation is color-blind.

Not when universities are taking away our safe spaces, where we go and interact with people who make us feel like we belong.

Or when students in the black student union at Cal State LA feel they need segregated housing because they may be tired of dealing with the racism.

Not when micro-aggressions are an everyday occurrence and not when my culture and my appearance are the punch line to a joke.

I can’t even enjoy a night out at a bar without seeing a young white male wearing a shirt with a noose on it and the words “hang loose,” when all races know historically nooses were used to hang people of color for a numerous amount of things.

Definitely not when my people are dying at the hands of the police and when we’re being displaced out of the communities we built, by forcefully increasing the rent without concern for the many different low income families who have lived in that neighborhood for generations.

Don’t ask me to be color-blind when there’s discussion about a wall being erected to keep my brothers, sisters, uncles, tias, and abuelos out only because each wants to survive a nonsense war on drugs across the border.

Don’t ask me to ignore the fact that black lives are being constantly slain by the hands of majority white police officers for minute “offenses.”

This land belonged to my ancestors before you staked a flag on it; this land was my land before it was yours.

This land was helped developed by the Africans you bought, enslaved, and displaced from their homeland. This land flourished on the backs of minorities who worked hard to learn to call this place their home.

Stop telling minorities to ignore the injustices being committed by the hands of racist men and women who have a deep rooted hatred for our people. Racism is alive, and it hasn’t gone anywhere.