Sadly, This is Nothing New – Gaines Column

Being Black in America

Many of my white friends have asked me how last weekend’s mass shooting in Brooklyn, New York at Tops Grocery Store has effected me. I appreciate the question because it allows me to elaborate on my deepest feelings about being black in America. Sadly, the mass shooting is nothing new.

Racists, White Supremacists, Klansmen—whatever you want to call them—have rich roots in American soil. From 1619 until 2022,  black Americans have been the targets and victims of narrow minded, insecure and very limited individuals who have the inability to accept and appreciate differences. They blame innocent people who look or believe contrary to themselves as the reasons for their worlds being unbalanced and unsafe. They harbor hate of self but project it onto those whom they ultimately attack or kill. Unfortunately, black people too often suffer at the hands of these very warped individuals.

“Black people have suffered in America by being viewed… as second class citizens”

Historically, black people have suffered in America by being viewed, consciously or unconsciously, as second class citizens. The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves on paper, but one hundred and fifty seven years to date, dislike, mistrust and lack of confidence in blacks still permeates the Mainstream American way of life.

The bright spot in my perception of racism in America is that social media speaks the truth. More white people that I know learned that racism is real because they saw George Floyd murdered (lynched) right before our very eyes. The marches for justice across the world after Floyd’s death were more diverse than any previous militant marches for justice in history. And the insane rhetoric spewed out from the avid white supremacists like the shooter in Brooklyn, proves to reasonable people that something needs to be done to combat racism in America.

As a lawmaker, my role in helping to solve the problem is transparent. I vow to speak out against and not vote for biased legislation that bans books that speak the truth about slavery, that prevents teachers from teaching about diversity and overall supports anti minority causes in the USA.

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