Race Relations in America

News & Society

  • Author Larry Farmer
  • Published June 20, 2024
  • Word count 684

Race Relations in America

Early in Obama’s first administration it seemed as if race relations in America were entering a new, positive phase. I was teaching at Trinity High School, and we had an evening event with a guest speaker. I don’t remember some of the details surrounding the gathering, but I do remember the speaker, who was White, had a couple of biracial children. I believe they were adopted, but I can’t be for certain. At that point in history, race relations were as good as they have ever been in my lifetime.

One thing that stood out during those years was the number of biracial children visible in public. If one went to Walmart, you would notice White and Black couples and elderly Whites with biracial grandchildren tagging along. They seemed content, and society as a whole appeared to be accepting. It was all very heartwarming.

At one time I cheered for the sports team that had the most Whites. If the team happened to be all White, so much the better. Around 2011 I no longer cared whether there were any Whites on my favorite teams. The White players seem to bog the team down. My views along with society in general were changing for the better.

Before the Trinity event began, I engaged the guest speaker in chit-chat. I remarked about the great strides in race relations and how racism might be a thing of he past. He agreed with me that things were improving, but he said it would take another couple of generations for the ideal world to be reached. I agreed with him, but I still maintained a positive outlook that it could come sooner. A few years later everything came crashing down when the Travon Martin incident took place. Travon, a troubled Black teenager, was killed in a struggle with George Zimmerman, a Hispanic who was described by the media as a vigilante. During Zimmerman’s subsequent trial in which he was found not guilty, it was all Black vs White.

Barack Obama did his part to inflame the Martin situation by saying that if he had a son, he would look like Travon. Later, the killing of Michael Brown took place in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was a Black hood killed by a White policeman who was simply trying to protect himself. Basically, Brown was trying the take the policeman’s weapon. The media, however, went overboard to try and prove Brown was a victim of police brutality. We were suddenly subjected to concepts like systemic racism. Once again the Obama Administration inflamed the situation by harping about Blacks being targeted by the White authorities. There was absolutely no attempt to tone down the rhetoric and bring some sanity to such a volatile event. The policeman was cleared by a courageous district attorney in St. Louis, but Attorney General Eric Holder, a Black man, proceeded to place all blame on racist policies in the Ferguson Police Department.

Ferguson was followed by incident after incident of Blacks supposedly being hunted down like wild dogs by racist policemen. Police departments across America were suddenly singled out by the Justice Department for civil rights violations. All the harmony and goodwill between the races I had witnessed a few years before was all down the drain.

2020 had three high profile racial events in Minnesota, Kentucky, and Georgia. These resulted in mass violence and demonstrations across the entire country. At one point the White House itself was in danger of being overrun. We were told that the United States was founded on racism. Rather than being tossed into the ash heap of history, Black slavery which existed in America until the 1860’s was now our original sin and would be with us forever. White privilege was labeled as the enemy, and the only way to correct the problem was through diversity, equity, and inclusion. Things have moderated some since then, but the country is still a racial tinderbox. The Trinity guest speaker was wrong; it will take more than two generations for the ideal to be reached—many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I received a bachelors degree in 1967 and a masters degree in 1971 from Western Kentucky University. I taught school for 44 years. One year was spent at Fordsville High School, 17 at Ohio County High School, and 26 at Trinity High School in Whitesville. The subjects I taught were government, history, and English. At Trinity I also served as coach, athletic director, and dean of students. I fancy myself a fairly good writer, and my main interests are sports and politics.

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