Thursday April 24, 2014
Cameron Whitten Responds to Racist Attacks on Hunger StrikeCameron Whitten for Salem-News.com
The colorblind mentality adopted by a number of members in our society is the bane of racial harmony.
(PORTLAND, OR) - I am now on the twenty fourth day of my hunger strike, sitting mere inches away from Portland's City Hall. I faithfully embraced this sacrifice in advocacy of three resolutions based on the subject of housing justice, to provide essential relief for the homeless, poor, and working People during these hard economic times.
To the dismay of my efforts, a website was discovered which violently disgraces my own character and that of the black community, who are reduced to niggers and the "it" pronoun. To this blatant form of racism, I only offer humor.
Many People will visit this site, and it might reinforce their claim that racism still exists in America, despite living in a post-segregation, 21st century with a half-black President. In all honesty, such examples of verbal racism are the least of the colored persons' troubles. The engine of systemic racism is powered by economic oppression. Racial disparities exist in employment, education, incarceration, sending earthquakes through our neighborhoods and children's future. Affirmative action and exclusive scholarships are only an aversion to the elimination of all poverty.
The colorblind mentality adopted by a number of members in our society is the bane of racial harmony. Those who attest that all races are considered equally dismiss the reality that Latinos and Muslims are scapegoated for our societal woes, such as were the Asians, Irish, Jews, and Blacks before them, some of whom can still feel the echoing disparities today. We need our allies to realize racism, and join our struggle against it.
A dear friend wishes to launch a campaign, asking People to change their profiles to my image in support of overcoming this cowardly act of racism. I support this, because no activist involved in non-violent civil action should ever suffer attacks on one's basic existence. The truth is that all races hunger for justice.
There is no determined end date for my protest. I am not a masochist based off of individual choice, but I am a reflection of my species, which has proven to be cannibalistic through its constant greed and apathy. I cannot prepare to nourish my physical body until my soul is sure that a thousand more minds have become awake.
Our system is not working. Our skies and waters are poisoned with fossil fuels and manufactured chemicals, even though more Americans are relying less on electricity and automobiles. American forces occupy foreign lands and extinguish diverse cultures while our families are starving and falling to illness at home. We are consumed by the flirtations of Hollywood productions and recreational luxuries while our moral foundation crumbles to dust. They say we have to lose everything in order to cherish what we have. I reject that myth.
I know that we can re-focus our priorities. We do not become a strong nation through warfare and imprisonment, but through education and social uplift. I hope that the People who read this letter will be inspired by the freedoms that they do have and become champions for universal freedom, based off of love and tolerance.
With all humility, I call on you to join my struggle. Take accountability for the apathy and insecurity within yourself, and you have already committed a great deed for humanity.
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