Power + Prejudice = Racism: A Math Lesson

People have failed to realize what racism actually is and, in turn, have labeled the wrong people “racist” when witnessing acts of prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry. So, who can really be racist? White people. Only white people. While prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination are aspects of racism, there is a deeper meaning behind the complex. When you add up these aspects and include power, you get racism. White people have continuously oppressed people of color over the centuries, especially Black people. Subsequently, the oppression of minorities has resulted in a seemingly everlasting system that benefits all white people… whether they like it or not. 

The institutional power and authority that white people have developed on a mass scale is the reason why no minority can ever be racist towards them. The direct results of racism vis-à-vis the Black community include, but are not limited to, police brutality, poverty, mass incarceration and discrimination in schools and workplaces. The levels in which these acts of racism play out on a daily basis is something white people will never have to experience because of their white privilege. While white people are also subject to these injustices, the statistics between white people and Black people are incommensurable. Their skin is like a shield while Black skin is a big red target. 

Just last year, a study found that Black men were 2.5 times more likely than a white man to be killed by a policeman. Cases concerning Black people falling victim to police brutality have been increasingly covered by the media over the years. Statistics show that out of the 1,099 people killed by police last year, twenty four percent of them were Black. This does not seem that bad until you realize that Black people only make up thirteen percent of the entire U.S. population. Black people were also found to be 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed in comparison to their white counterparts. 

As a result of this trend, the Black Lives Matter movement was born. While no one ever said ONLY Black lives matter, those who oppose the movement tend to retaliate with “All lives matter” and “Blue lives matter”. While all lives do matter, Black lives are the only lives that are currently seen as disposable. The statistics do not lie. These movements were merely created to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement, thus insinuating that these movements are simply pro-police brutality. A uniform is a choice, a race is not.

Looking at Black people who do happen to make it into handcuffs and into the cruiser alive, they can obtain prison sentences that are nearly twenty percent longer than a white person who commits the same crime. Racial bias is ultimately allowed in the criminal justice system, as judges are able to hand out sentences without restraint. When it comes to marijuana possession, Black people are 3.64 times more likely to be arrested in comparison to white people, despite similar rates of use. These disparities are nothing but blatant racism.

These are just a few of the many examples of the ramifications of racism and the poignant, deeply rooted hatred of anything that challenges eurocentrism. I truly do not understand why white people want to be oppressed so badly. In this dimension, they will certainly never experience racism. They will never understand the weight of fear that comes with being Black. The constant fear of losing a family member, the constant fear of losing a friend, the constant fear of losing your own life… all because of skin color. The oppressed cannot, and will never, oppress the oppressor.

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Nathan Odige