YWCA Greater Cleveland: 10 Steps Toward Bridging Our Painful Racial Divide | Not in Our Town

YWCA Greater Cleveland: 10 Steps Toward Bridging Our Painful Racial Divide

YWCA Greater Cleveland

"There is a cure against racism. The deep wounds can be healed but the healing process is intricate, deliberate and will require involvement from those who have previously remained silent."

On April 27 YWCA Greater Cleveland hosted a screening and discussion of Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness to a large and engaged audience. The event--and this piece below--is part of YWCA's national Stand Against Racism campaign. 

By Margaret Mitchell, President & CEO, YWCA Greater Cleveland

Margaret A. Mitchell, YWCA Greater ClevelandThe year was 1937. My mother and her sisters were playing in the front yard of their Greensboro, North Carolina home when a speeding delivery truck jumped the soft earthen curb, hitting and killing three-year-old Anita Shoffner. The driver, who was drunk and White, was never charged in the murder of my mother’s sister, who was African American. My mother's family story is not unique, and growing up in Fresno, California, I knew hate was not just a Black and White issue. I spent more afternoons than I can count in the home of Mary and Ernest Gonzales eating homemade tortillas with fresh butter, learning the realities of Mexican American life, the harsh realities of extreme bias.
 
For far too many Americans, the death of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin reopened painful wounds. Sometimes I am lulled into believing these old wounds have healed. But the devastation of hate and racism is an injury that never seems to heal. Instead it brings bitterness, anger and hopelessness to the surface, which breeds with fear and disillusionment in the open air. This same destructive fear thrives in San Diego, where an Iraqi-American woman was murdered on March 24, 2012, and racism is the suspected culprit. Hate and racism also hang in the air in Kansas City, where police are investigating two Black teens who allegedly set a younger White teen on fire in late February of this year.
 
The scar tissue of hate and racism is everywhere. A 2005 study by the U.S. Department of Justice estimated there are about 191,000 hate crimes incidents per year. How many more times will mourners need to gather at candlelight vigils or march for justice as the result of racism and hate? When will it stop? Will the wounds of racism be healed in 2042, when, according to State of the Dream 2012: The Emerging Majority report by United for Fair Economy, a major demographic shift will take place and the majority of the country will be non-white for the first time in our nation’s history? 2042 will be a reality, but it won't be a magic wand. In fact, some data from the report suggests the economic divide between people of color and Whites may be cavernous. Will this vast economic divide aggravate generational wounds of bias into a frenzy not seen since the 1960s?
 
There is a cure against racism. The deep wounds can be healed but the healing process is intricate, deliberate and will require involvement from those who have previously remained silent. When racism raises its ugly head, silence becomes toxic and our apathy is interpreted as total acceptance. We always have a choice: do nothing and let racism go uncontested and flourish, or do something -- act up, rise up, and speak up. We must pick up the armor of righteousness daily in order to slay the evil forces of racism at work against us. It will not be easy and it will not always be comfortable for any of us but courage is a game changer. We must each take a step each day to garner support and find our voice as the moral majority.
 
Here are 10 steps we can each take to step out of the shadows of silence:
 
  1. Learn about other people and their culture but go beyond foods and festivals.
  2. Explore the unfamiliar. Put yourself in situations where you are in the visible minority.
  3. Be a proactive parent. Talk to your children candidly about race.
  4. Don't tell or laugh at stereotypical jokes.
  5. Think before you speak. Words can hurt whether you mean them to or not.
  6. Be a role model and help educate others regarding your own experiences.
  7. Don't make assumptions because they are usually wrong and stereotypes are destructive.
  8. Consider how race and racism impact your life and those around you.
  9. Don't let others get away with biased language or behavior- speak up and out.
  10. Take a position against hate and take a Stand Against Racism.
Hate attacks civility, community and escalates into the disease of racism -- racism hurts everyone.
 

Originally published by YWCA Greater Cleveland 

Comments

I RECENTLY QUIT MY JOB OF TWO YEARS BECAUSE OF RACISM. MY STORE MANAGER AND SUPERVISOR SAT DOWN WITH ME(SHIFT MANAGER) 3 TO 4 TIMES WITHIN 3-4 MONTHS (CALLED MEETINGS) TELLING ME HOW I NEVER DO MY JOB RIGHT, I ALWAYS COME TO WORK LATE, IM ON THE PHONE WHEN IM ON THE FLOOR ETC. I CRY BECAUSE I TAKE MY JOB VERY SERIOUS, I BUST MY BUTT OFF EVERY DAY, IM PREGNANT N I PICK UP HEAVY ITEMS JUST SO I CAN GET MY JOB DONE. WHEN I ASK THEM TO TRAIN ME MORE, SINCE IM NOT DOING MY JOB RIGHT..THEY TELL ME THAT IM NOT A BABY, THEY NOT GONE HOLD ME BY MY HANDS TO TRAIN ME I HAVE TO LEARN BY WHAT I SEE. BUT YENI MY STORE MANAGER HAVE TIME TO TRAIN THE OTHER HISPANIC PEOPLE. GIVE THEM RAISES AFTER THEY TAKE A CLASS. I'VE DONE MY CLASS 3 MONTHS AGO N I NEVER GOT A CENT RAISE. I TOLD THEM WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE A MEETING, WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE GETTING SUSPENDED. THEY ALWAYS SAY STOP WORRYING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE, WORRY ABOUT YOURSELF. YEA I LIKE TO BE TREATED FARELY IF SOSO AND SO COME TO WORK LATE AND HE DON'T GET SUSPENDED WHY IM I GETTING SUSPENDED.  I DONT STEAL, I DONT OWE THE SAFE MONEY. MY STORE MANAGER PUT ME N THIS OTHER AFRICAN AMERICAN BOY TO WORK OVERNIGHT SO WE CAN BUST OUR BUTT OFF,BECAUSE ITS ONLY FOUR PEOPLE WORKING OVERNIGHT, WHEN ITS SUPPOSE TO BE FIVE. TWO IN THE KITCHEN, ONE CREW TAKING MONEY AND ORDERS, AND THE MANAGER HAS TO RUN FOR DRIVE THRU N PRESENT THE FOODTO THE CUSTOMERS,  CLEAN THE MCCAFE, COUNT 6-7 REGISTER TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE $100, STOCK THE FROUNT COUNTER AND DRIVE THRU, CHECK THE TEMPEATURE FOR BREAKFAST, HAVE PREP CHART READY FOR LUNCH AND BREAKFAST, ETC. BUT BREAKFAST AND LUNCH THEY HAVE 10-15 PEOPLE ON THE FLOOR. SO THE LAST MEETING THEY HAD WITH ME I CRIED WHEN THEY TELL ME ALL THE NEGATIVE THING ABOUT ME N HOW THEY GONNA SUSPEND ME AGAIN, AND WHEN I GET BACK IM ON 90 DAYS PROBATION. I SAID WHEN I COME BACK CAN I GET A TRANSFER, I'VE BEEN ASKING FOR A TRANSFER FOR 4-5 MONTHS. THERE IS EXCUSE IS THERE ARE NO STORES THAT NEED PEOPLE, WHEN I CALL OTHER STORES TO SEE IF THEY NEED PPL THE SAY TES THEY DO. OTHER MANAGERS TELLS ME THAT THEY JUST MAKE ME STAY HERE SO I CAN SUFFER, THE CREW DON'T RESPECT ME, SO TRYING TO GET A JOB COMPLETE IS HARD CUASE AT THE END OF THE DAY I HAVE TO DO IT MYSELF. I EXPLAIN THESE TO THE STORE MANAGER AND SHE DOES NOTHING, THE CREW VOICE IS HEARD, AND NOT ME THE SHIFT MANAGER.

Girl,

Michelle Obama is what a strong black woman look's like. Never Ever give up.

Young lady, don't let those ignorant slave drivers get away with what the did to make your life a living hell, they should be held accountable and it should be made known to your old company what these un- professional fools did, so they can be investigated or possibly fired. You should file a complaint with EEOC for harrassment if anything and because you were expecting when they allowed you to do heavy lifting. This company you worked crossed the line on so many occassions and levels. Also next time you work for another company and you're having problems with employees or management, please make sure you document everything that happens by adding witnesses, names, dates and times just in case you have to sue someone, file complaints with the labor commission or EEOC. Oftentimes when people go to their companies HR departments to file complaints but they will sometimes turn on you you, like they did to me on one of my jobs. The Bottomline is that there are some absolutely horrible people in this world whom wrongly get management jobs they don't deserve so they abuse their "fake power" to make themselves look more important or use it for racial harassment.

I went to the Rainbow clothing store number 00751 located at 1420 metropolitan avenue in the Bronx NY 10462, to purchase some items with my wife which we normally do whenever she is leaving for college. But this time, she wanted some summer foot wears when she came back from campus.  Immediately we entered into the shop, the floor clerk with operating number 3058jh approached us and said unethically how may I help you. My fiancee, calmly ask where their foot wear section was, the  clerk then pointed downstairs and then called one of the floor clerks downstairs and literally ask her to
keep an eye on us. At that point I decided to ignore her behavior and then have a sit while my wife shop.

After she choose 5 items, we proceed upstairs to pay for the items. When the items was charged and then receipt issued, we proceed and exited the store to our car when the store clerk followed us outside the store after her earlier Deming behavior and then in
front everyone in front of the store said our items have some items that have not be checked, collected
the items and checked in the store at the register she used to charge the items but found nothing and
there was no business ethical reaction such as apologizing for the deeming,racial and bias conduct.

I believe that new york city has being a city of growing business because of the consumers and
businesses that are welling to service the consumer in service. And attitude like this end up pushing
NYC residence to shopping malls outside the city and the city would in the long run loose jobs due to
such individualized racial discrimination due to color, accent and social perspective.
 

 

Greetings. My name is Elreta Dodds. I am an author and independent publisher (dba Press Toward The Mark Publications). My latest book, "Racism, The Bible, and The American Dream" (subtitled, "From Slavery to Obama: A Frank Discussion, from a Christian Perspective, on Racial Discrimination in America, and its effect on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness") is Winner of the 2012 International Book Award in African American Studies and is also Winner of the 2011 National Indie Excellence Book Award in Social Change. The purpose of this book is to dispel any misconception that the Bible condones racism, to better enlighten the public about the seriousness of institutional racism that exists in America against minorities today, to encourage more individuals to speak out against racism when the opportunity arises in their circles, and to redirect, as many as possible, those who erroneously misuse the Bible as a weapon to justify racial hatred. An exhaustive history on racial discrimination in America is included. The book emphasizes that racism is not just a social issue, but it is a moral issue as well. Many peopl have told me that they believe this book should b in our schools and colleges across the country. The book is available at Amazon.com and at other online sources. If you'd like more information about the book and/or about me please feel free to visit my blog at www.racismthebibleandtheamericandream.blogspot.com. You can also visit my website at www.elretadodds.com or email me at presstowardthemarkpub@netscape.com. Thanks!

Racism, The Bible, and The American Dreamracismthebibleandtheamericandream.blogspot.com

 

 Do we See the Outward or Inward Color of Others?

             Today we live in a world with so many different types of people; Hispanic, White, African American, Chinese, Greek, Italian, Jewish, Arabic, Polish, Indian, Irish, and Native American. There are so many unique cultures and ideas from all of these types of people. Every type of people has a drastic effect on the progress and advances that take place in our world. However now days I think a lot of people find it difficult to see the beautiful differences between races, instead they use slang and derogatory terminology to describe people who are different in skin color than them. They falsely accuse them of being dirty, lazy, mean, violent, ignorant, and dangerous. The only explanation to the whole situation is insecurity on the party that is doing the persecuting. They are afraid that other cultures and races may be more important than theirs, so they ridicule them and tell them that they are inferior to them and that their culture isn't as sufficient as theirs. Those who persecute other races do this so that they may feel superior to other races in hope to feel more secure about themselves. These people lack the sense of equality. They lack the knowledge that God created all different for a very special purpose. The Cherokee Chief Attakullakulla quoted “I will eat and drink with my white brothers, and I will expect friendship and good usage from them. It is but a little spot of ground that you ask, and I m willing that your people should live upon it.” The Native American Indians were persecuted by the white men for centuries, the whites constantly drove them out of their land and broke treaty after treaty with them until all of the land they possessed was taken from them. The whites sent them on the long and painful journey of the trail of tears that drove them out of the west and away from their original land. Yet Chief Attakullakulla the native of his land still had open arms to the white people and was more than happy to have peace with them. Chief Attakullakulla saw the inner color of people; he saw the inner light of people. The light exists in all people regardless of what color skin they have. There is also darkness that exists in all people regardless of what color skin they have. How many times now days do we all fail to see this? We get so caught up on the outside we fail to remember that there is inner light and darkness in people to. I recently analyzed a story about a young man named Trayvon Martin and an older man named George Zimmerman. Being from Florida, where the incident happened, I heard it all. I heard the prejudice towards blacks crowd say Trayvon deserved it because he was a black trouble maker. I heard the so called ‘Anti Racism’ crowds say we want justice because this man George Zimmerman was a racist. All the while both of these crowds failed to do a few things. They failed to love others unconditionally and that neither of these groups of ‘know it alls’ were even there when the incident happened between George and Trayvon and most likely it had nothing to do with race. Chances are it was a misunderstanding on both of their parts and I know that if George and Trayvon could go back and do it differently, they would. Rather than putting the topic to rest and moving forward trying to learn how to see the inner beauty of people, what do we do? We focus on the color of these two men’s skin and say it must have been because of racism. My Lord, Jesus Christ, said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” Instead of trying to make the world a better place by loving our persecutors and enemies we try to quarrel with them. We must learn to love. Our love needs to be unconditional; it needs to flow from us like a mountain spring. No one ever said that this was going to be easy, life is a constant battle to stay on the right side of good. Everybody in this world is carrying a burden and a cross. Nobody’s burdens are heavier than anybody else’s, they are all equally painful. In the midst of our burdens we must see the beauty of this journey were on and the beauty inside others. The Apostle Peter said “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Instead of looking down on someone because of their skin color, we need to learn to see the color that is inside everybody. We need to change, everybody. We need to get back to the core of loving your neighbor as ourselves. We need to put envy and the will to avenge our persecutors to death. My uncle Robert Maskal once told me “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves first.” Our will to have revenge on those who have hurt us will only kill us in the end. It will only divide the cultures and races of people more. Until we humble ourselves and clothe ourselves with love and compassion, the racism, selfish pride and ignorance of this current world we live in will continue and we will allow darkness to reign. We have to ask ourselves today, right now, what have we been doing? Have we been seeing the inner or outer color of people? Have we been seeing the flesh or the Spirit? Have we been living for the better of this world or the better of ourselves? 

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