Racism in America

by Neil Rickert

I just heard the announcement on my local NPR station.  They will be interviewing President Obama on the question of whether racism has gotten worse during his term.

Presumably, the interview is on tape.  They have not yet played it at my local station.  But, from the announcement, it looks as if Obama will be saying that actually things have been improving.

I look at this partly from the vantage of a university professor (now retired), and partly as a member of the community.  From what I have seen, there is more interracial friendship, more mingling.  Overall, I agree that things have been getting better.  This has been particularly noticeable over the last 15-20 years and the improvement of racial relations continues.

So why are we hearing so much about racial issues on the news?  I believe that to be a backlash from the more racist members of our society.  Racism is deeply engrained among some groups.  Others have been trying to overcome their racism.  But, for people raised during a racist era, that can be difficult.

Our younger folk have grown up in an era of change.  And we are seeing that change.  There is now far more recognition of the unfairness that minorities often face.  And that increasing consciousness of the problem is also part of why we are hearing so many news reports on racial issues.

I’ll ask those of minority groups to be heartened by these changes.  I don’t ask them to be patient.  I understand their impatience.  Change has been far too slow.  I naively thought that racism would end with the civil rights legislation of the 1960.  But changing laws is easy, compared to changing people and changing cultures.  Yet there is ongoing change.  Your children will experience less racism than you experienced.

One Comment to “Racism in America”

  1. Neil,

    From my personal experience I would say you nailed this one right on the head.

    I have been very pleased to see on a personal level many more inter-racial friendships than I did growing up and it has been a great pleasure to see. And you are kind to mention that asking for patience at this point isn’t understanding enough.

    Liked by 1 person

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