The Race Issue

selma3bridgeIn a recent interview with The Grio, Anthony Mackie, star in Captain America; The Winter Soldier, had some interesting thoughts on Selma’s Oscar Snub and the recent injustice of black men being murdered.

In reference to the snub, Mackie said, “People are just tired of being bombarded with race right now. So everybody is shying away from certain topics and certain movies. ”

What Mackie fails to realize is, race will always be a problem in the United States. No matter how much white Americans try to act like it doesn’t exist or black celebrities living under the “new black” experience pretend we live in a post racial U.S. that is not possible.

Race will continue to be a problem in the U.S. until Black Americans are treated as full citizens. As long as Black men continue to be murdered under suspicion and their killers go free, race will be an issue. As long as black mothers serve jail time for having their children wait in a car while they go on an interview and white women go free after killing their children by forgetting them in the car, race will be an issue. As long as black girls are suspended and reprimanded at school for their “exotic” hair, race will be an issue. As long as police officers receive paid vacation for killing unarmed black men, race will be an issue. As long as there is a strategic amount of black people on television and in the box office, race will be an issue. Need I go on?

In reference to the protests against racial profiling, Mackie said the issue deals with the way one looks. He indicated that if one wears dreadlocks and looks like a criminal then they should not be surprised when police say they match the profile of a criminal.

The fact of the matter is, to many white Americans, black people all look alike. Changing one’s hair and wardrobe is not going to solve the problem, it only makes the enemy stronger. I refuse to make myself look a certain way to prove I am not a criminal. While clothes can sometimes “make the man”, police officers who take a pledge to protect and serve the masses should not have the right to take lives they cannot get back simply because they are scared and empowered by the justice system.

Mackie’s latest film Black or White hits theaters nationwide January 30. The movie is about a White grandfather attempting to raise his biracial granddaughter on his own. Mackie plays a lawyer defending the Black grandmother in a custody battle over which side of the family the young girl will live with, the Black or White side.

I wonder if this movie will be nominated for an Oscar.

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