I Say Potato, You Say Racism
That is the most inane comparison anyone has probably made in the history of the world. But there are those who choose to live daily in that world, so they must be shown the error of their ways and the folly of their belief. The following information must be shared with them immediately so they can rejoin the universe of rational thinking human beings once again.
To start the transformation certain character elements are required. Among them and possibly the most important are honesty and courage. Without courage, how will you deny false accusations of racism or blanket statements which stereotype groups of people? Without courage, how can you defend against your detractors and express your worth as an equal member of society? Without courage, will you be able to resist the call for a “group think” mentality in matters concerning race and race relations? Are you honest with yourself in matters of race relations? Are you honest enough to discern the difference between false accusations of racism and negative stereotyping? Are you honest within your circle of friends and acquaintances to speak against them when false statements are made? These are only the basic tenants of the beginning steps necessary to for one’s conversion. Time and space does not allow a list of all requirements, but from these basics, the journey to becoming intellectually honest is short. To get there, it is best to use real life examples.
The most notable examples, but certainly not the first, are from the presidential campaign in 2008. During the campaign, any criticism of Senator Obama was considered to occur only because of racism, while the same critique of candidate Romney was just normal politics and therefore warranted. Since his election the current president has that same protection regardless of the reasons given for the disagreement on policy. The previous president, G.W. Bush received daily criticism and again this was considered normal and warranted. However, this phenomenon is not limited to politicians. Any action which does not coincide with popular opinion in what some call “black culture” immediately falls under the umbrella of racism. One real life example is asking pedestrians to use the sidewalk instead of the street while walking through neighborhoods. The moniker of black culture has and is being used to excuse many behaviors which are sometimes contrary to good social conduct, and with an unintended consequence which is detrimental to that same community. Demanding that politicians and educators overhaul public education and allow ‘choice’ for parents and students is somehow considered racist. How is that possible with the simultaneous cry for better education for ‘our kids’? The bottom line to be stressed is get over yourself, no one is “out to get you.”
The dichotomy does not end there. The demand for everyone else to do something for “us” is deafening. What other ethnic group could dare make that demand without starting s civil war? Certainly everyone is aware of the injustices committed during the days of slavery and segregation, and they should not be discounted. The phrase which keeps those sentiments at the fore, “progress has been made, but we still have a ways to go”, is over used and needs to be retired. I suggest replacing it with “It is up to me to honor the sacrifices of those who made my opportunities possible by living an honorable life”. Again using the real life example/phrase, “I don’t want nobody to give me nothing, open up the door and I’ll get it myself”. (James Brown circa 1972).
So now will you display the necessary courage and honesty required by you to reach the goal of equality? It will not happen while you wait for your friend, neighbor, relative or the leader of a movement to go first. You are the leader of the movement and keep in mind if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. Just as you feed yourself when hungry, feed your mind and soul as they also require nourishing. Remember, when you hear someone speak listen to what is being said; not what you think you heard.