When slavery was abolished in America (and elsewhere), a residual effect of slavery was the racism that has pervaded our society, even to the present time. Of course, discrimination has been around since the beginning of the ages, whether the dividing line is established over color, shades of one color (for example, dark brown against light brown), shape of the eyes, place of birth, religion–and the list goes on. Mankind is divided.

We have chosen here to explore the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in America and the racial divide stemming from it. That divide is White vs. Black, or as one commentator has said, “The lighter hue” vs. the “darker hue.” Racism can be expressed on both sides in a variety of ways. Some racism is becoming more and more glaring, perhaps more prevalent– at least more in the news. But there are also subtler forms of racism that need to be noticed and talked about.

Explore with us this controversial topic…

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Law Enforcement

Prominent in the news during the past few years is the topic of “Police Brutality” –or at least, prejudiced, uneven treatment of African Americans by law enforcement officers. Several clips follow that might put some light and balance into that most important topic.

I Love Being a Police Officer, But We Need Reform

We've invested so much in police departments as protectors that we have forgotten what it means to serve our communities, says Baltimore Police officer Lt. Colonel Melvin Russell. It's led to coldness and callousness, and it's dehumanized the police force. After taking over as district commander in one of Baltimore's toughest neighborhoods, Russell instituted a series of reforms aimed at winning back the trust of the community and lowering the violent crime rate. "Law enforcement is in a crisis," he says. "But it's not too late for all of us [...]

Overt Racism

Many whites who think racism is a thing of the past might be surprised to hear the description in the clips below of the racism encountered daily by African Americans in America.

Racial Insensitivity

Even if a person isn’t prejudiced openly toward African Americans, there is a strong possibility that he is not sensitive to the issues that offend African Americans around him. The mere fact of living in a business or social environment that is mainly white can create a blindness to the needs, frustrations, and injustices in the everyday life of African Americans in our culture.

Racial Insensitivity – Raleigh Washington

Even if a person isn’t prejudiced toward African Americans, he may be insensitive to the issues that offend those around him. Raleigh Washington of Promise Keepers has some wise suggestions.

Racialized Culture

Although individuals in a community may have gotten past racism for the most part, there are still remnants of it in the culture around them, buried in laws, institutions, policy, business practices, and more. These have to be brought to light and purged from our American way of life!

Realities in the Culture – Rev. Delores McQuinn

Although individuals in a community may have gotten past overt racism, there is still racism built into the laws, customs, business practices, and institutions in our society. Delores McQuinn, Assembly Delegate in Virginia, comments on changing a racialized society.

The Power of an Identity – Ted Talk by Brian Stevenson

In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.

How to raise a black son in America – Ted Talk by Clint Smith

As kids, we all get advice from parents and teachers that seems strange, even confusing. This was crystallized one night for a young Clint Smith, who was playing with water guns in a dark parking lot with his white friends. In a heartfelt piece, the poet paints the scene of his father's furious and fearful response.

Unconscious Bias

Increasingly used in the discussion about race is the term, unconscious bias. Bias Studies are showing that even though people think they aren’t racists (toward any people group), they still have favorable bias toward their own group, not necessarily based on skin color. And they have negative opinions deeply held about other groups.