Racism is when the white man calls my black neighbor a nigger or refuses to hire her because she is black. If we see it we know it is real and we can call him out but it's rare that we see it any more and when it does happen it has little, if any direct effect on me, a white resident in a mixed race, mostly black neighborhood. But there is another kind of racism that has been going on in Greensboro, North Carolina for the last 50 plus years that is even harsher and does greatly effect me and the other white residents of my mostly black northeast Greensboro neighborhood.
And it's being practiced not in Northeast Greensboro but in downtown Greensboro and in Greensboro's most exclusive mostly white upper-class neighborhoods on a daily basis.
You see, when city leaders, developers and realtors conspire to place housing projects in a neighborhood because it's already mostly black and they'll never be able to sell any high end homes there anyway-- that's institutional racism, the most dangerous and destructive kind of racism there is.
Institutional racism not only destroys its intended victims but also destroys the lives of your own kind. It leaves them angry and unwilling to support the status quo. It comes back to hit you in the face. And the longer you do nothing about it the worse it gets.
When city leaders, developers and realtors conspire to place a second housing project in a neighborhood because there's already one housing project there and they'll never be able to sell any high end homes there anyway-- that's institutional racism. Institutional racism discriminates against entire neighborhoods as white folks like me become "friendly fire" incidents. Only, after one is bombed repeatedly the friendly part gets harder to believe. That's what happened in my northeast Greensboro neighborhood.
When city leaders, developers and realtors conspire to deprive a neighborhood of adequate police protection because the neighborhood is mostly black and they'd rather concentrate police resources in the higher end neighborhoods where the city leaders, developers and realtors live-- that's institutional racism. That went on for over 30 years in my northeast Greensboro neighborhood.
You see, unbeknownst to a lot of you high class white folk, us poor white folk that got left behind are finally beginning to figure out that we too have been victims of white on black racism for all these years. Not the he said she's a nigger and won't give her a job type racism but the more dangerous and destructive institutional racism with its repeated "friendly fire" incidents. And like our black neighbors who we finally learned to love, we're starting to get pissed-off about getting discriminated against.
Now admittedly, we weren't very bright, it took way too long for us to figure this stuff out and a lot of our kind still don't get it but when they do get it-- and they will-- there is going to be hell to pay right here in Greensboro.
When the Mayor of Greensboro, city funded non profits, developers and realtors conspire to deprive a mostly black neighborhood of high paying jobs while building industrial parks on the lilly white county lines 10 miles outside the city limits and downtown performing arts centers at taxpayers' expense-- that too could be seen as Institutional racism.
Who knows, it might be that Skip Alston and Earl Jones end up adding a new wing to the Civil Rights Museum. Wouldn't that be a hoot?
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