My mother is an educated woman who has spent most of her life assisting college students from different cultures and religions, and exposing them to the American culture. In turn, she has taught me to treat all people equally and to not judge others based on racial or cultural differences. As a result, I grew up accustomed to being around all types of people. For the longest time, I thought the world possessed this type of perfection of equality. One can only imagine the shock I felt as a young adult and having pieces of my “I have a dream” notion shattered.
A couple of years ago, I had one conversation with a politician of the same race that would change the way I saw politics, race, and gender equality. The summer I graduated from college, I caught a ride back to Syracuse from my internship with a family friend and a former politician. When the conservative, right-winged, religious politician asked me what I thought of gay marriage, I expressed my full support. The conversation became very heated, and in a last minute attempt to prove my argument, I asked the politician if he would ever attend a church where the pastor was a woman. He responded with a stern face, “NO!”. I was shocked and offended that this man, who defends my people, thought his rights as an African American male were more important than my rights as a woman or the rights of a gay or lesbian individual.
In the past two decades, a new form of racism has found its place within the American culture. Inter-minority conflict and tensions have increased throughout the country and in politics. With the passing of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the James Byrd/Matthew Shepard Prevention Act, the consequences of these tensions have become devastating to minority groups that aim to make a difference within their community. In addition to the growing racial and ethnic tensions within the U.S, there are still the existing tensions regarding women rights and LGBT rights.
When it comes to racial conflict, the L.A. riots are notorious for confronting White racism with violence. With times changing and California’s diverse populations increasing within the last 20 years, so have the tensions between the African American, Latino, and the Asian populations. The battle to end racism is no longer just a fight to end White racism, but a fight to end all prejudice and racism that exists between and among all groups.
One of the most brutal inter-minority related murders within the past 10 years is the murder of Cheryl Green. Cheryl Green was murdered in California in 2006 by two men of a different race, who went out looking to harm people of the African American race.
Inter-minority conflict has become damaging to the progress towards equality within and outside of politics. The 1994 California Proposition 187 ballot aimed at prohibiting illegal immigrants from using healthcare and other U.S. resources. According to the voting statistics, both Blacks and Asians voted 52% Yes and 48% No to the proposition. Change is dependent on voting; therefore, if minority groups don’t vote for each other the probability of change decreases.
The questions that now exist are: Why do these conflicts continue? How are these conflicts affecting movement towards equality? How do we move forward?. The questions have a simple answer. One cannot support the equality for themselves without supporting the equality of another. One cannot support immigration rights if one cannot see the true struggle of the Asian population; our country’s “model minority.” After four hundred years of not being seen as a human being, one cannot support African American rights for equality if one cannot support the rights of the immigrant population. One can’t support women’s rights without supporting the right to choose to marry whomever, regardless of their biological gender. Most importantly, one cannot support any of these rights without supporting the rights of all women of all races, from which life stems from.
The Voice of the People — Get Involved, Get In tune, and Get It Out
CNY Latino presents a new column that represents the people of Central New York.
Hello Central New York! As CNY Latino’s new appointed columnist, let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Crystal and every month I will rock your world, get you pumped up, and challenge your way of thinking. Before we get to the good stuff, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY by a very diverse and loving family. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in Music Industry, I returned home from college and I have been slowwwwly building my resume over the course of a couple years.
Throughout my life, I have experienced many different cultures that have given me a very unique perspective on life: one that I hope to share with my readers every month.
I am passionate about people, diversity, and living life to its fullest. As a person, I have always felt the need to find a deeper understanding of life by looking into the lives of others.
I believe that awareness of one’s self and others is the key to truly grasping the world in which we live in.
Through the course of the upcoming months, my column will focus on the United States and how our current states of affairs have impacted various minority groups nationally and throughout Central New York.
Hopefully, I will be able to grow and help other people grow, but in the meantime, keep reading…
For questions, please email me at: email@example.com