“Racism Isn’t Getting Worse, It is Getting Filmed” P.1

Daniel Singh ‘22

On May 25, 2020, an unarmed African-American male by the name of George Floyd was slaughtered in cold blood by Dereck Chauvin, a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While Chauvin was maliciously taking the life out of George Floyd by putting his knee on his neck, three other officers simply stood by and watched as a standard police procedure was broken and an innocent man’s life was robbed. Although infuriating and saddening to watch, the video recording of this brutal murder is the cause of the social uproar that has shaken the entire world. Taking into consideration what has recently happened, as well as what has occurred in the past, I have come to the conclusion that racism isn’t getting better or worse, but that its constant broadcasting has made the public more aware of the very horrific occurrences that are a reality for African Americans worldwide.

Since the establishment of America in 1776, African Americans have played a crucial role in the development of this great nation. Through our hard and toiling labor, America has become a land of opportunity in which over 320 million people now call home. However, racism has always been a part of America, whether it was systemic or outright. Only until recently have the accounts of racial disparity against African Americans been noted and made public in our world today. In the days prior to mass media coverage and even television, racial injustice raged on. Many historians and people that have lived long enough to share their experiences on this topic believe that the implementation of Jim Crow laws, the destruction and murders caused by the Ku Klux Klan, and the blatant disregard for the rights of African Americans shows that racism as a whole was much worse than it is now. While this may be true for those who have lived during these times and have a firsthand account of the evils that occurred in the past, I believe that all opinions are subjective and that the trials and tribulations of one man should never be compared to that of another.

In 1927, a man by the name of Philo Farnsworth invented the first television, and by the 1930s nearly every household contained one. Today, an estimated 285 million Americans have television sets in their households, a number that is steadily increasing each year. Almost every person living in this country has access to some form of media, which constantly spews out information. Fortunately, this continuous coverage of  “important” events has led to the exposure of the everyday injustices and racial disparity that still occurs in our country. Oftentimes when we watch the news on major television networks, we see hours upon hours of violence and bloodshed. Wishing to see less violent content, we are quick to change the channel without realizing the impact that media has on bringing certain occurrences to light. Without these forms of media, the truth on cases such as the death of Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and many more innocent African Americans would remain unknown. Although some forms of media have been exposed for their biases and censorship, the media gives people from all locations in the world access to what takes place on a day to day basis. In the case of racism, recordings and widespread media coverage of the cruel and wicked events that take place bring light to situations that were once suppressed, allowing uprisings and the need to fight for a change.

Although it is painful to hear and to process, racism will never end. The Bible teaches us that true peace and salvation will only come through the second coming of Jesus Christ and that pain and suffering will occur before his coming. Seeing racism in this light may be a true challenge, especially in recent times with how blatant and costly racial disparity is. However, it is important to realize that “this too shall pass” and that God has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). The question at hand is not whether racism is getting better or worse and how the media is responding to it, but rather how we, as God’s creations, can come together to solve this problem and make the world a more equal and peaceful place. It is our job to start a change with the abilities, resources, and influence that we have, and to positively impact the world with the gift of life that has been bestowed upon us.