Thursday, July 10, 2008
The "race" issue
With the Obama candidacy, race has taken a front row position in the minds of the media and voters alike, whether consciously or not. It seems every day, Don Imus, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, athletes, musicians, pundits, somebody is saying something racial. The question is, are we a post-racial society like we pretend to be, or does race continue, for better or worse, to play a major role in our perceptions, interactions, and decisions? Contributor Reid sent me this article exerpt with his commentary the other day with his permission to present it on TRR. Give it the once over and let me know what you think in the comments thread....
Ed, yesterday, I came across a piece that seems to encompass a huge argument that will be playing out in the upcoming Presidential campaign. The issue is Race. I found the article disturbing; I found it to be potentially racist in its own right, but it does have a thread of truth and accuracy running through it. I am not a racist. I judge men based on their individual merit and their character. I am acutely aware that this is a hot topic and ones ideas/thoughts can easily be misconstrued simply by poor communication or misrepresentation. Bias creeps into all of our lives. It, however, does not have to be along racial lines. The article, then my comments:
There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, Native Americans, etc., and then there are just Americans. If passed on the streets of our cities, sneers come out as “whitey” ,” honky”, “cracker”, etc. The world accepts that as okay. However, when words such as “nigger”, “beaner”, “chink”,”towel-head” etc. are used, they are racist remarks, unless they are used within the same ethnic group. Why are people moving out of the inner cities to the suburbs? Minority people want to start a new life and to escape from the ghetto/drug violence. Robbery, carjacking, and murder are daily occurrences in our world, yet when a Black felon is shot by a white police officer it makes all the national news wires as a racial attack, instead of applauding a civil servant for doing his duty, he gets a paid leave until the department reviews the instance. If a minority officer shoots a Caucasian felon, no one looks at it as a racial shooting at all. There are Hispanic and Black Chambers of Commerce that are restrictive and exclusive in membership. There is a Chamber of Commerce that is open to all. Why the duplicity? The United Negro College Fund exists and nobody says anything, but if a White College Fund existed, it would be racist. There are over 60 openly proclaimed “Black” colleges, yet 0 “White” schools exist. Members of various ethnic backgrounds stand up daily for their heritage and pride, but if a Caucasian starts this, it is racist. Why, why, why, I want to know why?
Racism exists. It always has, and has always been a two-way street. I believe in 1 America. It is changing at a rapid pace. I must adapt or I will be left behind. I cannot allow old thoughts to persevere, just because they did. We all must learn to get along, to co-exist, and to find some mutual respect and common courtesy for one another. I find it bothersome when I hear blacks refer to each other with the “N-word”. I wonder why that is acceptable and it isn’t for me. Bill Cosby espouses that until this word is eliminated from all Black-speak, it cannot be removed from all others.
There are points made above that are accurate and true. The UNCF does exist. It serves a role to help get young people in schools. There is no other program like it, that I am aware of. Does that make it bad, no, but it can be construed as racially divisive. Statistics indicate that the largest percentages of violent crimes are committed by black people. The overwhelming majority of police officers are white. Therefore, it stands to reason that a police being forced to shoot at a fleeing felon, may be a “white on black” shooting. That does not make it racial or the shooter a racist. This is just simple math. Sometimes people try to invent something that is simply not there. While I know I will come under attack and scrutiny for this post, I hope it is taken in the spirit intended. Simply thought provoking and a discussion point.