August 20, 2014

In the ongoing turmoil brought on by the fatal shooting of 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO on August 9th, Coco begs the question, “Is it us, or is it them?”

Many white people today are under the impression that racism is a thing of the past. That we live in a so-called “post-racial” society. They say that the problems that black people face today stem from their own issues. If they would just try harder, work harder, they could pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The problem with that line of thinking, however, is that we have created such a strong culture of oppression and hatred towards blacks in this country that they no longer have any bootstraps by which to pull themselves up.

We have truly deluded ourselves into thinking, and actually believing, that we treat everyone as equal. That everyone is operating on a level playing field. We don’t, and we aren’t. Whites have collectively put their thumbs on the scale for centuries. We oppress and treat “the other” as a second-class citizen. We have set an unattainable standard for them to meet. And the Vaguely Unpleasant part is, when they don’t meet it, we punish them for it. Do you see the irony here? Coco confesses her own racial stereotypes. Only through conversations about race that are honest, tough and hopeful, can we continue to build a more perfect union.

As you listen to this episode, take a good hard look at who you are and how you not only treat others, but also how you perceive them. Ponder the way you think about “the other.” Odds are, you don’t think of them as your equal.

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