As a child I was racist.
I grew up in a small Iowa town in a two-bedroom trailer with a single mom and six siblings. We were dirt poor and so was almost everyone I knew. We were "one-pair-of-pants" people. Along with almost everyone being poor, almost everyone was also racist.
I was taught that black people are lazy and have the same shot in this world that I do. After all, I was poor white trash.
Who the hell has a harder road than me? Well, turns out anyone with a different skin color in this country. Particularly those with a black skin color.
As we’ve tried to hide the shame of our buying and selling human beings like cattle, we justified our misdeeds by dehumanizing those with blacker skin than ours until they were nothing but cattle.
When the world moved on and forced us to give up our unique brand of slavery, we continued to try to hide our shame by doing our best to systematically limit the possibilities for those with blacker skin. We limited their vote, we limited their ability to own a home, we limited their ability to live where they wished, and we limited their ability to travel without fear.
We must not fail to realize that all these these things we continue to do as a society. We must seek growth within ourselves. We must realize the ongoing white privileged that exists and that privilege only exists at the expense of another’s soul.
I am proud to be an American. I am not proud of how Americans have treated people with different skin color.