Black Men in Diversity – by Nardia Ingram

Diversity is an aspect that all people should look for in their everyday life, however, that is not always the case. When it comes to diversity, some people feel the effects of the world more than others simply because they are being marginalized, and that produces a racial inequality that almost all members feel. One particular group of people that have always had problems with diversity and racial inequality are Black people, especially Black men. Black people are continuously being racially targeted based solely on the color of skin despite the several movements that have paved the way for such occurrences to not happen. This racial profiling is exceptionally rampant in the way Black men are viewed on social standards. Typically, these views are very stereotypical and degrade Black men in such a way that they have to be a shell of themself in order to not be seen as a threat or physically harmed. 

The lack of diversity that Black men experience is a problem as so many men are grouped together and given a negative image that is widely accepted across social norms. This is a problem that many people, not just Black people should care about. I care about this problem because I worry everyday that my Black father, brothers, nephews, cousins, and the list goes on, would someday be the target of racial profiling that could end with them being seriously harmed or slain. This is a very real and rational fear, not just for me, but for others that are confronting that same trepidation as the days go on. The fear is so dreadful that it makes you want to bubble wrap the ones you love the most and keep them sheltered inside from all of the ‘what-ifs’ that constantly run through your brain with less than satisfactory endings. Revealing the racial disparities for such groups is enough motivation to preach how such toxic views are detrimental to not only physical beings, but their mental state as well. 

A close family friend of mine was racially profiled by the police near his home in the late afternoon in a predominantly White area of Mississippi. He was driving when he suddenly got pulled over as he was talking to his cousin through the phone by using the bluetooth device to have his hands free to drive. He tells his cousin that he is being pulled over and to stay on the line since he was not doing anything out of the ordinary and did not know why he was being pulled over. The officers approach and ask, “Where is your license and gun?” He calmly states that he has his license in his wallet and he is also carrying a gun that he has a permit to have. 

The problem is that the officer immediately assumed that a Black man driving a flashy sports car would have a gun on him. Even though he was correct, it was ill-mannered of him to make such an assumption when it was not needed. When the officer was made aware of the gun, he asked my family friend to step out of the car. Luckily his cousin continued to stay on the line because there could have many outcomes that came out of that situation, with a not very good ending being the one that immediately came to mind. 

Though the family friend’s encounter ended on good terms, that is not always the case when Black men get pulled over for traffic violations. Many of them lose their lives over the smallest of movements or assumptions. This is a problem on personal and societal levels. Across America, there have been more than a few occasions where Black men have lost their lives when it comes to dealing with police over miniscule things with many of them being with or on the phone with family members. 

Being a Black man in America comes with different hats that one has to wear in order to not draw too much attention in a crowd. To overcome the racial disparities in diversity, first, one must realize that stereotyping a person does more harm than good. Stereotypes open the door for opportunities of hatred, hostility, and prejudiceness toward a certain group of people. These are used to keep groups of people together in a box even though they may not fit in it. Another way to overcome racial disparities and problems in diversity is by educating people on the differences that one may encase. Everyone is not going to be doing the same thing, going to the same place, or act and react in the same way. Realizing that stereotypes are harmful and educating people on how to comprehend the differences around them and how those differences are seen to others may not have the same reactions. 

Nardia Ingram
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