I had heard of many of the atrocities before; I had heard of the discrimination against Chinese people, the internment of Japanese people, the medical experimentation by White doctors on People of Color in the USA--particularly the sexual and reproductive experiments; I had heard about adoption of Native American children by Whites, and of housing discrimination. New to me was the video clip on environmental racism. I had learnt all of this in bits and pieces; I had not put it all together so powerfully as is being presented here, as is coming together during this time of unrest. Personally I have a lot of identities to grapple with, both as victimizer and as victim, but for sure I have benefited from the color of my skin to the detriment of my fellow humans with darker skin tones.
Do I think these things still impact our society today? Absolutely. Many years ago I had heard that the singer Peter Gabriel had an initiative to place cell phones, with their cameras, in the hands of people in countries where there were known human rights abuses, for the purpose of documenting those abuses. I also remember during the Arab Spring several years ago, how powerful the use of cell phone video was in highlighting what was going on. That was then--and I would have thought those times were over in the USA. Several years ago a technician came to my home to service my Internet. He was a young black man. I had asked him about his experience of racial discrimination in the city where I live--since it is known to have racial tensions. He denied ever having experienced racism against him. I was skeptical, but hopeful. I was naive. I was passive.
Scrolling through Facebook and Twitter feeds, and seeing the way White people are being filmed performing conscious and unconscious racial abuse, is disquieting, disheartening, and disturbing. I know there are bad people in every society, group, and community. There are bad people in every walk of life, regardless of the color of their skin, their beliefs, their backgrounds. Last night I was reading about a White woman who is being investigated for murdering her daughter and adopted son, her husband's ex wife, and her own ex husband. It doesn't even have to be a heinous crime. Some people of color are racists too. I'm rambling but hoping this is a safe space to try to process my feelings and thoughts. To answer the question: I have no doubt that the events highlighted in the videos still impact us today. Yes.