Racism Part 2
It is not a surprise that the topic of racism was presented to the candidates for President, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, at the beginning of Monday’s (9-26- 2016) presidential debate. Racism is boiling and roiling in the melting pot of America. There is nothing that the policy solutions of “law and order” and “stop and frisk”, proposed repeatedly by Donald Trump, will do except fan the flames under the pot. The mending of relationships between law enforcement and communities that Hilary Clinton speaks of, especially within the “African-American” (a misnomer) communities across the nation, is true and necessary. But the reason for that is that law enforcement, especially in urban and suburban areas, over decades of time, has evolved largely into protection FOR White people FROM Black people. If anyone thinks that increasing “law and order” through continued profiling and policing of Black people and that “stop and frisk” will get the guns off the streets and serve as a preemptive strike and submissive reminder to Black males, then the very thinking generated to solve racism is racist in itself. Solution does not begin with the behavior of Black people. It begins with the behavior of White people who have historically sustained the power base in America for themselves. Responsibility for solving the oppression and discrimination that are the ingredients of racism cannot be put on the shoulders of the very people being oppressed.
I offer, again, the following which was part of Post #6, Prejudice ≠ Racism. Racism is a collection of behaviors with a deep historical perspective of relationship between White people and people of Color. Simple admission, without guilt, of the extraordinary benefit that White people experience in this country simply because of skin color is the first step to bringing justice to this situation. Not policies that prevent an entire people, Black Americans, from receiving these same benefits. The benefits involve economic and social opportunities which are fine in itself. Except, these are not exclusive benefits belonging to one color. The benefits belong to EVERYONE because the human race is self-governed by equity and not a particular skin color and culture. We are all in this together. There is enough to go around. That is the law of abundance.
Let’s face it…when we choose that we are one race, the human race, racism will not have definition or form. Choose better.
From Post #6 Prejudice ≠ Racism (excerpts on racism)
It is a natural tendency of the ego to push a person to have preconceived notions of others until that thought of “more than” or “less than” becomes an action that produces a harmful outcome. I believe that when, we, as the human race, can insist that there is enough to go around is when we will find a path to acceptance of our natural tendency to use prejudice to shore up our fragile egos, but NOT subscribe to its unreasonable, fearful certainty. It will allow a more creative and appreciative construct of differences.
So what about racism? Is it prejudice and nothing more? I think not. The affect of racism has created a systemic, oppressive effect fueled by power and privilege for the advancement of a specific race, White people. I listened to W. Kamau Bell recently as he answered Stephen Colbert’s question, “What unknowingly racist behavior is most hurtful?” His reply was that it is the statement, “I’m not racist, but….” Meaning that when you try to pretend, especially as a White person, that you do not benefit gain from the effortless opportunity and privilege afforded to White people in this country, when you create exception for yourself, that is a mean lean towards racism.
Can we add a few words to the statement that can set a white person free from this condition if they so desire? “I know and admit that racism has created opportunity and benefits for me as a White person simply because I am White.” I conjecture that there is not a White person in America that does not know the advantages bestowed by checking the “White” box for designated race on any census form. Or when one subscribes to the melting pot theory that makes a whole bunch of different people equal and the same? That plays out when a White person says, “I don’t see a person’s color when it comes to people.” Or, “I don’t see black, brown, white, yellow, or purple striped for that matter when it comes to kids.” Why in the world not? Those statements are racist and infer that there is something wrong with a person’s color. Or that color is not real by inventing a new one, purple striped. White is white and Black is black including all the hues of those skin colors. The color of the skin is the color of the door that opens to cultural similarities and differences. There are beautiful, real differences to be recognized that can make a colorful tossed salad of different cultural ingredients instead of a weak ass melted mess that demands that only one culture and color is blended from all and designated #1.
So how does this play out in our everyday lives? How does it look? Well, what White person has been relegated to fame as long as it is connected to sports and music? What White man is profiled as incessantly as a Black man is and fears being stopped for a busted headlight on a dark road? What White person lives with the gnawing fear of discrimination when they leave their house every day? What brilliant white educator gives a speech and is noted by a relieved School Board member for their acceptable grammar and “White” pronunciation rather than content? What White person is referenced to a rapper when holding a microphone in their hand in a newsroom before a taping? All real instances. If you are a Black person in America.
The crucial part of the definition of racism that makes it different from prejudice is the belief that one’s own race is superior to another’s and, thus, allows conduct and the perceived right to dominate another racial group with indifference and intolerance. Racism has everything to do with how White people conduct themselves towards Black people; in speech and deed.
Interestingly enough, W. Kamau Bell also offers the idea that racism is nonexistent among minorities because there does not exist a similar power base based on supremacy to generate racism towards White people. True ‘dat.
Most men and women have experienced a prejudicial attitude of some kind directed towards them and perhaps a discriminatory action. But who can really bear the racist conduct of White people? The constancy of it, the history of it, the mean ignorance that infuses it. Yet in 2016, from any black child to the President of the United States, it is a cross to bear every day in the life of America. And holding the constant prayer that a cross not be burned on one’s path. Or the yard.
There is benefit to being White in this country. Admitting and saying it, without guilt, begins to bring justice to this terrible condition and promotes right thinking. We are all in this together. There is enough to go around. That is the law of abundance.
Let’s face it…It will take all the love and anticipation we can muster to fix this. We can “aks” or “ask” for the resolve, conviction, and tenacity to do it. Love doesn’t hear the difference.