With the recent shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida by a local Neighbourhood Watch citizen, I started thinking about how some people view people of different races. Trayvon Martin was walking home from the store and wearing a hoodie sweatshirt when he was shot to death by a Neighbourhood Watch citizen who said that Trayvon Martin looked suspicious. If our race can prevent us from walking home at night with some candy and a soft drink, what else is our race preventing us from achieving?
During the work week I have to abide by the dress code enforced by the bank where I work. However on the weekend you will often see me running errands while wearing a hoddie sweatshirt and jeans. If you saw me on the weekend buying groceries in my converse sneakers you may never think that I am university educated, a certified financial planner, and employed full time at a bank. But then again why would you assume that I didn’t?
On the night that he was shot to death Trayvon Martin was not trying to achieve anything other than buy some candy at the local store and walk back home safely. Unfortunately young Trayvon Martin did not make it home safely that night, he was shot to death by a citizen who is supposed to keep the neighbourhood safe, not cause harm. If the way we dress, the grammar that we use when we talk, and the colour of our skin provokes people to aim and shoot gunfire in our direction when we are walking home with a bag of candy in one hand and a bottle of iced tea in the other hand what other actions are our clothes, grammar, and skin colour provoking people to take against us?
- Job opportunity Discrimination. It is very possible that we may not be offered a job because of our race, religion, or skin tone. It is unfortunate, but it is true. Sometimes companies have race quotas that require them to hire a certain number of “minorities” and I also think that this is unfair. I don’t want someone to become a Fireman just because they are Latino, Caucasian, or African American. I want someone to become a Fireman because he (or she) is the best at the job and who would be able to save me if I am ever in a dangerous situation.
- Being in a Relationship and Finding True Love. In my opinion interracial relationships have become the norm, but unfortunately they have not always been accepted. I believe that everyone should have the right to fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. I am not only saying this because I am one half of an interracial relationship, I am saying it because I honestly believe it. Older generations may not be as open to interracial relationships as younger generations are. I have several friends who are currently being pressured by their parents or grandparents to find true love with someone who is from the same race and who shares the same cultural and religious beliefs as they do.
- Earning an Equal Income. Someone’s income should be determined based on their education and experience as well as the expertise that they have to offer. It should never be determined based on their skin colour.
- Buying Our Dream Home in the Perfect Neighbourhood. A few years ago my boyfriend Nick and I were thinking about moving and we went to visit a gorgeous apartment in a really nice neighbourhood. During the visit the landlord told us that there were not any non Caucasians living in the building. We never heard back from the landlord regarding our tenant application even though my boyfriend and I both have stable jobs (that may be an oxymoron these days) with a combined household income of over $100,000. It is totally ridiculous to me that we were not approved for the apartment based on the colour of my boyfriend’s skin. We are all people and everyone pays rent on the 1st of the month, regardless of their race.
Maybe I am totally naive but do we seriously live in a world when someone can be discriminated against (or even shot) because of how they dress, how they talk, or because of the colour of their skin?
Photo by normanrack