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William Crandell: Racism still alive

Published 7:36pm Thursday, August 8, 2013

I guess I’m naive, but I’d like to believe that racism in this country is on the downswing. I hoped racism was no longer acceptable in the public eye and that this country was moving past the racist mindset. I hoped we were getting on with building an America where everyone was treated equally and we could begin to solve the other problems that plague this nation. This summer has been full of events that have proven that I am wrong.  For instance, the backlash over the gay marriage ruling by the supreme court and the Trayvon Martin case with its ugly racial profiling tells me that we still have a long way to go to ascend from those dark ages of bigotry and the ugliness of the Jim Crow laws. As a nation, we need to put to bed the ugly stereotypes, treat every American with respect and dignity, and allow them to have the same opportunities to prosper and enjoy the benefits of a free society.
Last week here in Michigan we had yet another example of racial stereotyping. Larry Arnn, the President of Hillsdale College, while testifying about the Common Core Curriculum before a state house committee, referred to African Americans as “dark ones.” This man is a college president and supposedly one of the best and brightest of our nation using a racial slur in a public forum. We trust this man with the education of our children and the people of Michigan should demand that he resign to send a clear message that we as a society will no longer tolerate bigotry.
One of my neighbors has a rebel flag in his yard. I know that the rebel flag has become a symbol of rebellion but to some Americans it is just a constant reminder of racial hatred and a time when this country was willing to destroy itself in the name of bigotry and subjugation. There’s no pride in that flag and it is a clear symbol that our society needs to change. The south and its oppression will not rise again and we will not let our fellow Americans be treated as if they are beneath us anymore. America belongs to everyone of all races and creeds and I’m more than willing to fight to keep it that way.
William Crandell is a community activist and active member of the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Democratic Party. He is also a member of the South County Democratic Club where he has served as their communications director and as the chairperson of the SCDC Blue Tiger Community Action Committee.

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