Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Please put your race card back in your pocket.

The tendancy for Americans to immediately throw down the race card really pisses me off!  And, again, I place a large portion of the blame squarely on the US news media for continually stirring the pot and fueling the fire. 

We're a constantly evolving, progressive society of mixed races and ethnicities so how about we stop playing the race card every time a black person gets injured or killed by someone who has a different skin color.  Better yet, how about we do away with the "black" and the "white" labels that we Americans like to try to squeeze everyone into. Slavery was abolished here in 1865. Between 1955 and 1970, there were great strides forward in the advancement of equality for all in this country and, even though racism and bigotry can still be encountered in a percentage of the less-evolved, refined, and educated members of our society, a majority of us get the whole concept of equal rights, tolerance, and understanding.  Most of us, anyway.

We need to remain vigilant against those members of our society that subscribe to the notion that any skin color, race, religion, or ethnicity is superior or inferior to any other.  To this day we have measures in place (affirmative action) to guard against such notions.  And we teach our children about tolerance and equality based on the hard and sometimes horrible lessons that history has taught us.  We've come a long way as a nation -and even as a civilization.  But here in this country, for as much as everyone is supposedly against racism, it is ALWAYS the first thing that comes up whenever a crime occurs involving different skin colors - especially if it involves a "black" person and a "white" person.  Black and white... where the hell did we ever come up with two such incredibly insufficient and misleading terms?! I am neither color -and I can't say that I've ever met a truly white or black person in all my years on this earth.  I guess we humans like to label everything so we can place it in a nice neat category... Black, white, yellow, Republican, Democrat, straight, gay, blue collar, white collar, liberal, conservative, progressive. As far as I'm concerned, I don't want any labels attached to me -and I think we'd all be a whole lot better off as a society if we did away with all these labels or at least stopped analyzing everything based on them. "Black people are 35% more likely to..." or "50% of white voters..." - Until we stop using colors and labels to group everyone in our society, we're doomed to keep falling back on the race card that is so easily played whenever something goes wrong in this country.

I get that some folks' ancestors were slaves -and others slave owners- in this country but I had nothing to do with that.  I learned all about it in school and determined right away that that was very wrong. Every day I run into people of every size and color that are WAY different than me but I try to at least tolerate them all -even if I don't understand why they are the way they are.  It's a challenge sometimes, sure.  But I know there's people looking at me with the same puzzled look and I'd hope they'd give me the same equal opportunity to coexist with them.

It all boils down to tolerance and understanding.  We have way too little of those two things in our society.  Instead, we fall back on fear and accusations.  Instead of trying to understand our differences, we fear them and, instead of tolerating each other and our differences, we accuse.  We're all so quick to judge and so quick to accuse.  It seems we're relying less on common sense, logic, compassion, and understanding as we quickly jump from conclusion to conclusion.

I don't expect us all to share the same opinions or views, but rather than vehemently fight against each other, can we find a way to Compromise?  It seems everything has to be black or white, yes or no, this way or that way ... there's never any movement toward a common ground.  Instead, we seem to be heading away in the wrong direction.  For all our technological advances and claims of highly advanced human intelligence we're still pretty dumb when it comes to being duped by the media and being sucked into this very unproductive "herd mentality".

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