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A nation that was never built for us, will never stand for us

A nation that was never built for us, will never stand for us

By Alexandra Lys

Evidence showing that racism is alive and well is relatively easy to find.

Yet, the shooting of nine African-Americans by a 21-year-old white male at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. seems to have been a necessary evil to show America that bigotry is still an epidemic that plagues this nation 150 years later.

It is only now that the mainstream media can allow itself to acknowledge that the place we call the “Land of the Free”, is tarnished with prejudice, hat-red and discriminative fear.

Fittingly, the massacre received national media attention; however, as nine bodies lay dead in a morgue, news coverage and public inquiries have been focused on terrorist Dylan Storm Roof, keeping him in the forefront of broadcasts while the slain victims’ names and faces play second-fiddle.

National media reports on Black and brown issues only to demonize them. Innocent Black children killed in cold blood by police like Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Tamir Rice are depicted as thugs and  grown men. The same outlets glorify the villainous, enabling Roof to maintain his innocence by labeling him a “mentally ill boy” and reducing his crimes to, ac-cording to Fox News, a sheer issue of religion.

It is irksome that only now can we address the longstanding elephant in the room and have timid and feigned open discussions about the extent of racism. These discussions then reduce the larger issue to symbolic gestures of moral outrage, such as, the removal of the Confederate flag in commercial settings. This iconic victory, however, is merely a small gesture used to appease the Black masses.

The Confederate flag, a sign of the racial bias that remains engrained in American culture, remained hung at full mast after the Charleston massacre shooting took place. The flag’s elimination may be considered an improvement, but systematic disdain and violence against Black men and women remains habitual.

Instances of blatant disregard for Black lives and property continue to surface while incessantly being swept under the rug by blasé press. National media is no longer trustworthy which is why the youth run to social media and blog sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. These sites allow users the ability to liberally exercise their freedom of expression and speech.

Presently, news mediums have conveniently shifted their attention from the church shooting – now old news to white media – to celebrations of same-sex marriage becoming constitutional, while disregarding the six predominately Black churches have burned in the span of a week.

We continue to buy into the information presented and assume that the media has our best interest at heart because of an implicit obligation to remain unbiased. The news industry is, nevertheless, a business mainly interested in pushing the dogmatist agendas of chauvinist owners like that of Rupert Murdoch, while appealing to a predominantly white audience.

A system cannot fail those it was never built to protect. A nation that was never built for us, will never stand for us. Our predecessors have fought tooth and nail for equality but it seems as though we are fighting an everlasting battle in which white supremacy will always prevail. Al Sharpton said it best, “We have defeated Jim Crow, but now we have to deal with his son, James Crow Jr., Esquire.”

Alexandra Lys is a current  senior at FAMU pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Public Relations.

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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