I’ve found myself contemplating this often (usually every 4 years, funny how elections seem to bring this issue up) and I’m not sure it will be answered in my life time nor my childrens. Whether you want to call it racism, bigotry, bias, bullyism (yes a real word, I looked it up) or hatred seems to be a interchangeable label these days. But I do have a lot of thoughts on why it won’t be answered.
I think a part of my problem is trying to answer the question “Can we actually remove this part of the human condition?” Before people get their panties in a bunch, let me explain. As a species we are naturally attracted to those in our immediate surroundings. Now the more diverse your surroundings are, the less likely you are to carry some of these burdens. But it happens in every culture, on every continent and in every country. It’s been happening since before the written word. One clan doesn’t like or respect another clan, because they “didn’t plant their crops in the correct order” or one group didn’t like the way someone from a different group “looked at them in a disrespectful way” or “look different than them”. How do we stop that? Close everyone’s eyes? I don’t think it would help any. I mean someone will dislike someone’s voice and off it goes again.
Do I believe that racism is alive and kicking? Sure do, but I also believe some of those who pull it out the race card (like a little boy finding his penis for the first time) are as much a part of the problem as the actual racists.
Seriously, we’ve fought a civil war and people died from all walks of life, color, creed and religious belief, just to try to make this country a better place, but I should feel responsible for oppression of a group of people that happened before I was born? History is history, we can learn from it or be forced to repeat it. I’m not taking away the atrocities that happened to a race of people, brought here and forced to work just to be able to stay alive. But enough about the Irish (not a joke, but a point to make that it just wasn’t African people put through this) nor am I excusing the bullshit of a nazi agenda that tried to remake a world of clones. But I can’t and won’t apologize for something I can not change. It happened and it didn’t happen to you, so please try not to guilt me for it.
I treat everyone as a person and judge them on the kind of person they are towards others. Every group of people (race, gender, heritage or religious belief) has assholes. It doesn’t mean they all are. Judge the person and nothing else. It should be that simple. And sometimes you may have to just except that the person you’re looking at is just that, an asshole. Accept that about them, avoid them and it shouldn’t bother you.
Was this country taken from a native race of people against their will? Yes it was, as was every other land grab on this spinning rock since the dawn of humans. Do you think the Scottish were just sitting around when the English came in and said “You’re ours now” and they said “Oh, ok, thank you”? No.
Also, why do I never hear outrage for Canada? The French/English weren’t there before the Native Americans, where they?
One group of people decide to take an area away from another group of people and there is a change of power. This has also been going on since before the written word, but because the USA has been more successful and boisterous about what we have built from that, we are the worst ever? Seems sketchy to me. We have done what has always been done, we scratched, clawed and killed and worked to cut our little piece of the pie out, and have defended it (well I might add) to keep it. Why is this bad?
Bullyism (yeah still wrapping my head around this as a word) has been brought to the forefront of “social justice warriors” topics of interest. To be honest, I’m on the fence of “bullying” as a crime. Yes, I understand that times have changed and the “bullying” that I underwent as a kid isn’t the same as it is now. In a recent discussion of this topic with a long time friend, it was brought to my attention that “when we grew up, you went home and the bullying stopped, now these kids go home and it’s continuing online, in chats, 24 hours a day“. But I don’t understand how this is any different to when we were kids. We had party lines and just because you left the situation didn’t mean it was right back the next day. I really think it’s become a parenting issue, nowadays parents don’t seem to want to get involved in their kids lives or just want…
(to be continued, because life happens and it’s not all about the internet)