A blog about organizations, change, design, leadership, and general topics.

  Roots of racism in America

Racism has existed in America from the beginning. In the United States of America, racism is a systemic cultural issue. Its influence creates something less than something united. America has always had a strong racist current since the time of slavery, since the beginning. In that day and time, dark skinned humans were viewed as lesser beings, with few rights. They were the property of light colored people, like a table or a chair. How did this ever become reality in our great country? The country and the world were different then, so much different from what we know today.

We continue today to drive inequality right down at the roots of society, in our education system. Our education system today creates a disadvantaged population, generation after generation, mostly made up of the so-called people of color. To understand how this system creates such disadvantage, we need only look at the funding model. It's all about the money. Who decides how money is spent and what it buys? What is money, really? What is its true nature? In a capitalistic society, money translates to capability. More money translates to more capability.

If you fund schools through property taxes—we know that poor neighborhoods have far less tax base—you are in fact, systematically and with intent, creating a reality of inequality, an inbalance in capability, ensuring that the segment of our population getting less money will be disadvantaged forever. The irony is stark, given the Constitution of this country and its Bill of Rights. All men are created equal is just a sentence with nice words. Words are words and actions are actions. Sometimes words become intentions, and still they are not reality. Words become reality only when they transform into actions. America has never lived out the intention of these words.

Now, perhaps, we can turn from our past and make real change. But this must include real systemic change like deciding as a society that every child in our nation deserves and gets an education funded by the same amount of money per child, so that our schools have the same quality of teaching, of buildings, and of supplies, for each and every child. Until we see each and every child as equals, as our Constitution declares, and until we change our fundamental systems to act on this belief, we will never come close to reaching our potential, nor the dream that has captured the hearts and minds of people worldwide. This is how we can create a new nation that lives the concept of equality. This is how we can make the dream come to fruition. This is the first and most important step. Everything else is just words.

The End