You know what: there are plenty of people tired of hearing about racism. For so many of us, the mention of racism is synonymous with “making excuses”. To a certain degree, they are right. Sometimes, people use the racial climate as a scapegoat for their inferiority. So, it makes sense to be tired of something used as a crutch for a lack of personal inspiration.
Then again, there is always that reoccurrence of “the past” that affects the present/future. There is a study that gives insight on just that:
The Atlanta BlackStar is reporting on a recent study presented at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Vancouver has found that African American and Afro-Caribbean youth face an increased risk of experiencing mental health problems due to the racial discrimination they experience. Lead author of the study Dr. Lee M. Pachter stated the following: “Sixty years after Brown vs. Board of Education, racism remains a toxic stressor commonly experienced by youth of color. The fact that these experiences are encountered during adolescence – a critically sensitive period for identity development – is of great concern, as is our finding slightly higher rates of depression, anxiety, and social phobias in those youth who have more experiences with discrimination.” 
Seemingly, race is a contributor to the mental health issues many of us have today. The survey interviewed 1,017 African-American youth and 137 Afro-Carribean youth between the ages of 13 and 17. Focusing on the role racial, ethnic, and cultural influences play in mental health, the survey noted that 85 percent face racial discrimination, 6 percent experience major depression, 17 percent battles anxiety, and 13 percent have social phobias . Thus, it can be said that racism can affect mental health.
Then again, if you are of African American decent, this is nothing but a “duh” moment for you. Not to sound like a pretentious ass, but any Black person would probably agree with the above statement. If they do not agree, then I would have to examine their life. After that, I would analyze their thought process and value system. Beyond all of that, anybody that is Black in America would be hard pressed to disagree.
Racism and Esteem Issues
Why don’t we take this educational conversation further and take note at how racism has molded our self-esteem in the age of “faux post racial society”. What I mean is this: racism not only causes mental health issues, but it also causes issues with feelings of racial worth. Let me rehash some examples that I have noted before:
a.) The “You Should Date Outside Your Race Because Black Is Wack” type: For me, this is the worst type of mind frame. All those people that follow Christelyn Karazin and Tommy Sotomayor like they preach the good gospel about need to stop it. It makes no sense to isolate distasteful qualities to a race of people. The reverse serves true for outstanding attributes. White does not always make right.
b.) The “Bitter Black Woman Syndrome”: You see this all the time. There are many women that have been burned in life. Whether it be relationships, friendships, or having a matriarchal/patriarchal figure in their lives. I understand it. I know it happens. But should one let that define their existence for the rest of their lives?
c.) The “Bitter Black Man Syndrome”: The same thing for women can be said for men as well. In my eyes, there is nothing worse than a bitter black man. He is angry at black women. He is angry at society. He is angry at everyone (including himself). Overall, he is just mad.
But so damn what? Life is all about ups and downs. One female doesn’t treat you right? Find another one. Society disowns you? Take ownership of yourself. Angry at yourself? Seek professional help. My solutions may sound simple, but some solutions really take very few words.
d.) The “Black Equals Hood and Ghetto” Mentality: Being the lowest common denominator does not equal being Black. Being Black goes beyond stereotypes and media expectations. Black people are diverse just as any other race is. Collectively, we need to either realize this or keep our mouths shut on Black issues.
e.) The Disliking of Natural Blackness: Getting perms because you think your hair is “nappy”. Wearing color contacts to make you look more “attractive” (especially in males). Skin bleaching to make you look “beautiful” and “acceptable”. These are just examples of self-esteem issues. Also, they are examples that someone needs to check on their mental health.
Racism and The Overall View
I know people are tired of the “racism” issue. The only problem is that racism has crafted the world that many of us live in. Ignoring racism is not going to change the fact that it exists. Breaking down the systematic racism that DOES exist, along with bringing mental health to the forefront for African Americans, will do the most justice. Until then, Black people are going to go through the cycle of being consumed by the very thing that others expect them to “get over”.
Racism is not a hurdle. Racism is a syndrome or even a cancer. Approach it in the correct form or fashion.
‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!