Yes America You are RacistAmerica

Andre Powell
June 02, 2020

In every aspect of my life I have seen that the American dream is only a fantasy for others America, if you are my racist family member I love you, but I cannot support your hate for others. I’m good.

I do not believe that as a country that we are ready to deal with racism. I am more optimistic that we will find a cure or at least a therapeutic for Covid-19 in 18 to 24 months. Racism is alive and well in the United States of America and there is no corner it has not reached. As a father I want to be optimistic and hopeful, but I just can’t say that I am. As a child and as a man I see that we do not have the courage to actually change, but I will not stop trying where I can. For my family, friends and for me.

The impact of George Floyd’s death beyond our borders ( UK, New Zealand, and around the world) is different. Black people have been not just marginalized but murdered without recourse for years, but I have never seen the outrage spread so loudly and quickly. There are still people who think this is an isolated event and some that even say this doesn’t happen as much as portrayed. The killing of non-whites in America is not a recent phenomenon, but both an epidemic and the symptom of the bigger problem. America is racist.

I know that is a broad stroke to use, and I am not calling every individual a racist, but the whole. If the transmission of your car fails your car is broken. While other parts of your car may function, the whole is unusable. You have that part repaired, or the car is effectively useless. In all phases of my life I can relate to my brothers and sisters and I want this to change for my children.

I Have Done Nothing Wrong - I Am Just A Black Teenager

When I was younger, like most people, I was well - different. On a Saturday night after having a “disagreement” on Friday with an off-duty bouncer (who later saw things my way) I needed to recover something I lost in the club. Well, that would not be so easy since he refused my re-entry. I asked him several times and let him know that I just wanted to grab it and then I would be gone. Nope. I followed his eyes as he looked to his left and saw the four PD walking down the sidewalk and immediately knew what was happening next. So, I walked over to the wall and assumed the position.

The arresting officer thought it was necessary to throw me to the ground and then cuff me. One of his partners thought he needed help and thought his knee would help the situation along. Once we entered the patrol car I asked, “Do you feel better?”. After being released, my mother suggested I get a defense attorney, but I told her no. I had done nothing wrong, but was detained unlawfully.

During my trial, I defended myself. When I had the chance to cross-examine the “arresting” officer I led with these two questions 1) How much do you weigh about 235-240? 2) When you approached me, what was I doing? He weighed 240 lbs. and described the fact I was not in a confrontational position. Long story short the case was dismissed. I realized when talking to my sister about this how blessed I am that this scenario did not go south. I am grateful that it did not end up like some many recent cases in our country. As I watched the video George Floyd I realized that could have been me.

I was once picked up from work and questioned for six hours about a string of robberies that happened in a neighboring city. Since I was never given the date in question after hours of being interrogated I asked that one very important question. The answer pissed me off. The night that whoever I “fit the description of” did whatever they did I was at work. The detective could have asked me at work, or at least did his homework before I was embarrassed. Besides, I have done many things but I do not steal. If being black is not a crime, then it at least affords you the knowledge that innocent until proven guilty is not applied equally. As a minor and never afforded the opportunity to call my mother to let her know what was happening for six hours.

Work Hard and Get Your Piece of the American Dream - We Will Just Question Everything You Do

My parents served in the military and my mom is an ex-cop. I come from humble beginnings, having to work for everything that I have, just like many others. I have been pulled over for driving while black enough times it makes no sense. Whether it be for the vehicle I drive or the neighborhood I live in. Can you imagine?

Hard work and strong work ethic - American Dream. Why? Well, I want my children to achieve their goals. I have sacrificed so that my children can obtain their dreams. But can you imagine your neighbors suspecting why you are in the neighborhood, even though you lived there before them? I am tired of dealing with situations like this.

We Believe In Diversity At Our Company - Bring Your Whole Self To Work

I do not believe in Affirmative Action; I have seen and heard how this has been bastardized and corrupted for years. I believe that you should hire the right person for the job no matter what. I would rather have enough of the right people than too many of the wrong people.

Corporate America does not like black people. I worked for one of the largest companies in the world, and I learned a very important lesson. Marketing provides the demographics of who will spend money and a company will hire people that look like that demographic to get that money. Simple right. Start looking deeper at commercials. As an employee, they do not value you. You do not have opportunity to grow unless having your face in a certain spot is beneficial.

I was once offered a job in a market because “We have never had a Black person there”. I declined the job. I was spoken to like a child in front of my peers and believe me, I spoke up. My colleague who worked in HR spoke up because he knew it was wrong. I would not fall in line with the discrimination that occurred in performance review roundtables, and I paid the price for it.

Either Change Yourself Or Change Your Situation

You see, I left the big company because I no longer believed in their mission. I would not take part in their system anymore. But what sector likes black people? Tech maybe? I spent almost five years in what one would assume is a progressive thinking environment. An environment where you could go to lunch with the CEO and where you could see your ideas implemented.

Since this was a smaller company I thought it would be better. It wasn’t. Like I said racism has touched every corner. On one occasion two white co-workers during a game of Cards Against Humanity wanted to “get a rise out of me” (in their own words) and decided that filling in these blanks would be their best bet. ___ would be great if there were no __ . America would be great if there were not black babies. America would be great if there were no black people. It took every ounce of control not to react. You see if I reacted on my impulse I would probably have been fired and arrested. I’m exhausted from dealing with this.

A white co-worker wanted to share a video that he thought was funny, but the disclaimer was (paraphrased) “... this is might be a little racist.” Yeah, no. But this kid showed me, anyway. A tortilla playing on a record player. My wife and three of my children are Hispanic. I almost reacted, but I just told him to leave. He later returned to tell me all the reasons he is not racist. Yeah, no. I am losing my patience with our society.

You, maybe asking so did you report any of this? Short answer no. The long answer is I had already seen how whites were treated differently when it came to discipline. To be fair to the former CEO and President always seemed to listen, but I have learned over the years that whites change quickly when it is one of their own.

2019 Was Painful But Liberating

In 2019 my tolerance for racism was gone. I had to hear the challenges that my children faced in high school and college. All the work I had done to protect them could not protect them. And now it was time for America to remind me again that I am a second-class citizen.

A former co-worker and I had a disagreement that led him to pointing his finger in my face, talking to me like I was a dog. Yeah, no. I would respond to this racist POS. Things went south, but there was no violence. The next day we spoke with my manager and what came out was what I was afraid of.

“I am afraid of you.” I didn’t understand, so I asked him to explain. “Look at you, you are a big black man.” I knew what was happening. I was angry. All the lies that this country tries to sell about its values, just that lies. Sound familiar?

My grandparents fighting for civil rights did not matter. The fact my parents signed up to protect this country did not matter. My mom did the safe job of joining the NYPD in the late 70s did not matter. None of it matters. I am just a nigger.

Later, we were both questioned by HR. I did not hesitate to explain that he acted with racist motivations. Human behavior kicked in. “No, not X he couldn’t have meant it that way.” _No, he acted that way because I am black he admitted it. “I understand you are upset….” _ Needless, to say the company needed to gather more “facts” and we were both put on administrative leave.

To add insult to injury, the “exploration of facts” was a sham. I had the burden of proof. Even though I expressed time and time again, his actions were racist, no one was hearing it. You see, when I worked in CA I gained experience with what should happen with discrimination. For almost two weeks I thought about what would happen.

There were two possibilities. They could fire him and move on while I would have to walk on eggshells the rest of the time I worked there. In this scenario, they would have to wait at least six months before firing me and come up with a “reason” to let me go. Second, they could fire me and open themselves up for a lawsuit. But, I would have never expected scenario three, they'd keep both of us.

They asked me to come in to get their decision. I arrived and was told to wait in the lobby like I didn’t belong. Later, I was told that was a mistake. For the record, I did not believe it. I will only share this about the conversation - they made the decision to protect the company interests, and it reminded me that white people make the rules. Those rules do not apply to all. Six months later, they found their “reason”. America, I am exhausted.

White Privilege Does Not Exist , But Racism Does

In every aspect of my life I have experienced racism (even with people I love). There is no escape, and I did not list every issue because this would be a book. But we have to stop repackaging every damn thing to make it more palatable.

Within every community there are haves and have-nots. I understand that. But if you are not white, you have a mountain to climb to get where you want to go. That is not privilege, that is racism. I reject the notion that “white privilege” even exists.

The irony is that people are constantly talking about white privilege. People wear it like a badge. What you are acknowledging is your acceptance of the racist systems. You are telling me you see it, but will not address it. That is a shame. You bought into the new commercial. You like your flavored cough syrup. The funny thing about cough syrups is that they don’t cure you of your cold, they only give you relief. You still have a cold until it passes your system.

America, you must do the work. We will have this sickness, this virus, until it passes or we find a cure.

America I Don’t Know What To Say But I Will Try

Trying to get my thoughts together is more for me than you. I hate to see where we are as a country. I hate the fact that I can no longer defend the American myth. I hate that we have the burden of proof of talking about racism. I hate that I keep seeing people murdered and there is no justice. I hate that worrying about my children being safe because of the color of their skin. I hate crying month after month and year after year. I hate having to remember that my white brothers and sisters may not be part of the problem. This hurts. It’s different, but I am not hopeful it will change, at least in my lifetime.


Vote and screw the politics, focus on the policy. We have to key in on leaders that will make changes and if they don’t they are out. I am surprised how many black voices I agree with once I remove the political differences (Charlamagne Tha God, Don Lemon, Spike Lee, Magic Johnson and many more).

We have to change the laws even though the symptoms hurt. Police brutality, redlining, etc. result from terrible laws. The people in power have hedged their bets we are not paying attention to rules of the game. All of them. None of them are exempt. They believe that we, all of us, have a short memory. I have tried to play by the rules in my life, but the board keeps changing.


Stop giving the systems that oppress your money. We are a capitalist society. Let companies fail (from media to grocers). Strangle them with your dollars.

Understand and believe me, read the small print in the advertising. There are few and far companies that really practice what they preach. We have to understand the hearts of these companies and demand that they show us. No more lip service. We must vote with our dollars. Don’t break the windows or burn down the building. We might own that building once they leave. If in the end the company doesn't get it and we need that good or service let's build our own.

Be Honest

Racism not privilege is the problem. Call it for what it is. One of your own may be a part of the problem, that is not a reflection on you. I have seen and experienced this so many times. People often defend a racist because they are questioning themselves and they don’t want to believe it. I get it, but it is wrong, and it is damaging.

Often I talk about my distrust of social media and rarely use it. But I kept hearing about a social media phenomenon that still goes unchecked by most people. I am open about my bias, prejudices, and my flaws with me first so I can be better. Can we not do better and influence the people around us and change? Can we not be bold? Will we not decide that when they are committed to that path to walk away?

White America Let’s Keep It Real - You Have Taken Our Kindness For Weakness

To Dr. King, Mrs. Parks, Malcolm, Bishop Emory Bivins, Michele Bivins and the pioneers of the Civil Rights movement we let you down. You fought hard as hell for us and we have realized part of your dream. Schools are integrated and some of us even moved to the suburbs. But, we got complacent and in doing so we put down our cross and let down our guard.

Non-whites in America see the hell that is part of our communities. We as a country have watched our president go unchecked as he locked children in cages, called white supremist “very good people”, turn the country against Asian-Americans, stifled peaceful protests, and escaped removal from office. We as a country are complicit in our own destruction. We as a country have done too little to expect or demand a different outcome.

We as a country have believed the lies of most politicians when they say they will make changes for “all” of us and filled the swamp. We as a country have watched our brothers and sisters be killed. We as a country have watched our brothers and sister be left behind. Non-whites have watched our “allies” do nothing. America, enough “happy talk”.

I am afraid that if this case does not receive justice, the nightmare we are living in is just phase one. I no longer hope in man’s ability to be just or man’s desire to do the right thing. It was wrong for me to be so naïve. I only hope and trust in God for justice. In doing so, I have accepted that in doing so it does not mean it will be easy or even swift, but it will happen in His timing. While I actively wait, I will do my part and try to remain a true Christian by any means necessary.

In every aspect of my life I have seen that the American dream is only a fantasy for others. America, if you are my racist family member I love you, but I cannot support your hate for others. You have told me that you would change, but prove it. Until then, I’m good.