A word of caution: things are about to get fiery here.
Racism can be an uncomfortable topic; especially when you are either a victim of racism or considered a perpetrator of such. The hard truth is, everyone is a little racist - as the song goes, but everyone can STRIVE not to be. Because? Because we are better than that.
Granted, this is not easy. It's easier said than done, definitely. People have their prejudices the moment they are born, but this in no way justify being a racist person - deliberately or not. The thing is, this cannot be completely healed unless one becomes more informed about what racism is, what its consequences are, and why it is never, ever right to be.
If you want to drive that insight into yourself or someone you know tends to have racist tendencies, below are three great films to immerse in and get schooled about racism.
These movies show that humans need to go deep within themeselves and recognize the fact that yes, they can all sometimes be racist. They cause almost nothing to rent and are worth buying if you want that option:
I Am Not Your Negro
If you are one of those who remain confused about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, now is the best time to know more about it. This movie is the perfect way. If offers viewers a journey back into important Black history, showing the connection between the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter. If you cannot fathom the existence of slaves, but still finds difficulty in understanding the value of the BLM movement, this is a good one to start be more informed. The movie questions black representation not just in Hollywood but beyond so there are a couple of lessons to be learned.
The Uncomfortable Truth
This story will make you uncomfortable because racism should make you feel that. If you are complacent about racism then sad to say, you could be part of the problem. In this movie, the story revolves around the son of Civil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland. Viewers would dive into 400 whole years history of institutional racism in America with this movie. It shows why, if you think racism is no longer true these days, you are wrong. It shows why movements like the BLM are more important than ever.
Black, White & US
This movie shows all angles of racism existing in America through the lives of four white families who adopted African American children. The movie will show how they overcome their inherent prejudices and biases to become advocates. What this does for me is that it opens the eyes of us privileged ones that having Black friends is not enough, calling for diversity is not enough, and being kind to people of color is not enough. We all have internal prejudices that make all these act not enough. We must learn how to overcome them!
These movies cannot make anyone not racist overnight. But what they do is that they help people go deep within themsels and recognize the fact that yes, they can sometimes be racist BUT Sometimes is NOT EVEN GOOD.
Being racist once is more than enough. If you caught yourself having fun at the expense of someone's color, looking at the Black Lives Matter movement as nothing but a bother, and thinking anti-racist sentiments are from snowflakes who do not understand the world, then maybe it is time to sit down with yourself and wonder why all these are coming from. How can you just judge a person based on his or her color? How is that commonsensical?
Granted, this is probably the product of society's conditioning, but if this is the case, it is on you to do something about it.
Racism remains a contentious issue. Racist people hardly get jail time for the hurt they caused. (This should not be a cause a whoop of celebration. Frankly, if you even finding yourself smiling at the thought that racist behavior does not land anyone in jail these days, then you should start evaluating the person you are.)
But if you feel that you are bordering on becoming one, think whether you can handle causing harm and damage to another person just because his or her color is not as light as yours or as the same shade as yours. Think then realize how crazy that sounds.
If you suddenly caught yourself with guilt, no worries. This is the right time to feel this. The world is already starting to look and feel small - just one virus can kill us all, regardless of your color. This should already be a HUGE wake-up call that we are all the same!