Prejudice still with us

Lo and behold, there are white people today surprised and shocked that racism and bigotry still exist in America.


Someone please get them Kleenexes and large cans of reality so they may taste sweet bitterness.

This country has, from inception, embraced separation, segregation and discrimination along with white supremacy, threat, intimidation, violence and a disdain for change.

On the surface, freedom and liberty are inherent to all citizens. Covertly, white privilege and racism is embedded in every aspect of American life, to the point of disappearance in plain sight, and it’s taken for granted.

The recent manifestation in Charlottesville, Va., is but a glimpse at the very large, very real underpinning that upholds this broad society. The bigots and idiots on the fringes are disavowed by those respectable law-abiding white folks who don’t mind “living-and-let-living” as long as it’s not near them.

Look objectively right here at home and we find our richest neighborhood in Edgefield, S.C. – Mount Vintage Plantation – doesn’t display a “whites only” sign, but a price tag sign that says essentially the same thing. Come closer and pause at the Sweetwater community, and anyone black or brown there better be working, and not after sundown.

Let me illustrate a dichotomy of importance. Look at streets such as Buncombe Street, Columbia Road and Penn Street, where stately mansions and nice homes, almost exclusively white (one black family). They’re routinely cleaned by taxpayer funds. Now look at the neighborhoods of Mims, Gary or Brooks streets, where black folks live in greater numbers. The black communities are closer to town, yet I believe are overlooked by city services. Blatant discrimination.

Even in illustrious communities such as Stonehenge Circle, where our state senator resides, the only thing black there is the road, and you better not get off it if you get lost.

Privilege, power and prejudice continue to evolve and plague us, with no solution in sight.

Tunk Martin

Edgefield, S.C.