Sam Chatman (Shaolin Word Boxer)
Sam Chatman
(Shaolin Word Boxer)
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Sam Chatman Shaolin Word Boxer

I agree with you wholeheartedly. All it takes is a perusal on YouTube or various other social media platforms to find the most venom-loaded, offensive slurs that anyone could possibly utter. However, I’m not sure how much of that is people’s bravery at not having to stare someone in the face and say these things versus being a Twitter gangster who, in most instances, would not have to face any consequences for such repugnant behavior.

 In terms of racial animus in the country, at this time, I think it’s definitely become worse. One need only look at the number of unarmed young African American’s who have been gunned down by the police. Another example is the level of disrespect that has been paid to our president, whether it’s one congressman calling him a liar (never saw that before) during a state of the union address or various news agencies referring to him as “Mr.” Obama instead of President Obama (never heard of another president before President Obama referred to as Mr.). There were numerous other instances, including the whole birther issue that smacked of racism and xenophobia.

 Like you, I don’t mean to insinuate that things are worse today than they were in the Antebellum South or during Jim Crow. However, as a child of the 90s and as an African American male, I still felt racism and knew that it existed. I just thought that we were making progress, and ultimately, all we needed to do was address the structure of institutional racism. But numerous things, including the rise of Trump on the backs of people’s fears—his scapegoating of Mexicans and Muslims seems to highlight the notion that we’ve taken three steps back.