In 2009, it is not uncommon to hear the mantra of "racism is gone" uttered as whites reminisce and reflect upon "those days, back then" and pat themselves on the back for having so benevolently and altruistically changed their ways and "stopped being racist". It's also not uncommon to hear African-Americans complement those truths so worth celebrating saying, "things haven't been racist since Dr. King died" and other such sagacious, thoughtful statements.
Unfortunately, anyone who feels that racism has been eradicated is either uneducated, blind, mentally retarted, or perhaps a combination of the three, because everyday life in America demonstrates to us that racism is as alive and well as it has ever been. Furthermore, one must understand that eradicating racism isn't about ensuring that people don't go around calling others "niggers" on account of their skin color and cultural affiliation. It's about restructuring the government, economy, and social attitudes of the United States which were all originally constructed and desgined to benefit white people the expense of other races, especially black people, and still unfairly benefit white people today.
The improvements and strides made since the Civil Rights movements are largely superficial and really don't have a lot of depth as far as efficaciously and effectively solving the problem of racism in the United States. We may have elected Barack Obama, but seeing as Barack Obama's campaign was funded by white Americans who sought to employ someone who would advance their white power agenda and was supported by a media that also advances this white power agenda and always depicts blacks as miscreants, social deviants, and social parasites, we cannot cite the election of a mixed-race President whose policies and approaches only serve to further advance this white supremacist power strucuture as evidence that the beast that is racism has been slayed.
Anyway, on a more superficial level blacks still have to worry about white Americans attacking them and murdering them on account of both their aesthetic and cultural qualities. In October of 2009, Anthony Rice was a victim of intentional vehicular homicide when neo-Nazi skinheads affiliated with the City Nights strip club tasered him and his brother, threw stones at him, and capped off their racist assault by hopping in a truck, driving after him, and brutally running him over.
Being a 98% African-American jurisdiction, East St. Louis wouldn't be the most likely of places to harbor a white-only strip club. City Nights defies that assumption. Further, considering that the city has legislation in the books barring "sexually-explicit businesses" from holding liquor licenses, it's a wonder how City Nights managed to defy two legal obstacles.
Anthony was out with his brother, Aubrey, celebrating the birthday of the latter when they were enticed by neon-signs flashing, "Beer" and "Hot Girls". They didn't observe any "White Only" signs and henceforth had no cognizance of the threat that loomed ahead:
"The Rice brothers were turned away at the door and taunted with racial comments by the manager at City Nights and club bouncers who attacked them with tasers." The son of Woodrow and Gail Allen, owners of the club, was a Nazi skinhead, featuring a tattoo on his neck, who then, Taser in hand, chased the brothers from the front of the club and proceeded to get inside of his truck and barbarically run Anthony Rice over.
East St. Louis mayor Alvin Parks Jr. did move to close the bar on the same night that the murder occured but would not definitively state that the murder was an act of racial prejudice. Its evident that his adminstration and his poor leadership permitted this travesty of law to take place at all. Obviously Mayor Parks did not enforce his law and did not thoroughly examine all "sexually-explicit" institutions to make their their operations were in accordance with legislation. Poor black leadership yet again.
The occurrence of this situation demonstrates that a black man can still be a victim of racial violence anywhere in the United States. Even in such a municipality where nearly 100% of the residents are black people, whites will still find a way to inflitrate and express their bitter animus through violent mediums. Blacks, guilty of nothing, demonstrating no hatred or hostility, and having never found themselves resorting to violence against whites to vent their frustrations, which are many, are still killed in cold blood, ran over, because of who they are. Two African-American males, having absolutely no clue as to what they were getting themselves into, got themselves into a whole lot of trouble although they transgressed against no one and did no injustice to anyone, and one of them paid the price with their life. That's the price of being black in America.
Sounds like the history of America.