Thursday, October 28, 2010

United? States

I may step on toes here, but this has been bugging me for some time.

Minority? Majority? Black? African American? White? Racism? These terms have no place in modern times. When I meet a person, I don't see there color except to identify them. Yet if you ask me to describe them and they are of color, I hesitate to say so. Why? Because I am afraid it will offend someone. Why should that be?

I don't know what it is like to be black anymore than a black person knows what it is like to be white. What we know of it is what we learn from pop culture. But that shouldn't matter. Why do we still have "black" and "colored people" organizations if we can't have "white" or "Caucasian" organizations? I can see how that was necessary for a time when wrongs were being righted, but now? Doesn't it just keep the divide open? White's won't always be a majority, so is it wise to continue these kinds of minority groups? What about affirmative action? When the goal was to try to lessen the disparities, sure I can see it. But what about now when everyone is really beginning to be color blind? Doesn't that just keep color in the line of sight?

I am not saying there is no more racism. There is racism ON BOTH SIDES. There is discrimination in every part of life. It is impossible to stop that. But aside from being able to see it as a "feature", like blue eyes or a pert nose, color is fading very quickly. Isn't it time that colored people let it go too?

Be proud of who you are, yes. We all have a culture that is unique. But while it DESCRIBES us, it shouldn't DEFINE us. I have a little Irish or Scottish and a bunch of German in me. That fascinates me, but I am American. Not White-American. Not German- or Irish- or whatever-American, Not even European-American. I am not hyphenated anything American. I am American.

Obama is the President. Do we need to see him as a Black President? Isn't he the President of us all? Unfortunately, I don't think even he sees it that way. Instead of Uniting our country, he continues to blame and point fingers and now even makes reference to a dark time in our history by saying Republicans have to stay in the back. This was no doubt a reference to the days when white people banished colored people to the backs of buses. Aren't we beyond that now? Shouldn't that metaphor be put to bed with the awfulness that it was? Shouldn't the President be a uniter rather than relegate a segment of society "to the back"? For anyone who says the Republicans are the party of no, let me ask this: Whose responsibility is it to reach across the aisle? The Representatives? No they are supposed to be the most like the people who voted for them. We want them to be idealogical and hold their groung or persuade us why we need to change our minds. The Senators? Maybe, they are supposed to have cooler heads, but still, they represent the people of thier districts and should have their interests at heart. I say the President has the full responsibility to lead. He is the one who should facilitate compromise. He is the one who should have EVERYONE's interest in mind. He is the one who is responsible for whatever division there is in the land. He is the one, who if an unpopular decision is to be made, should take responsibility for it. He should not blame others, he should not make fun of the response of the opposition. He should be sensitive to whatever the results are and to the people who are affected adversely. And should it come to it, he should gracefully accept the blame.

How does that apply to the race issue? I think that the President should be the FIRST person to drop labels and speak to Americans only. Not to Republicans, Democrats, blacks, whites or hispanics. Just Americans. He needs to be the one to unite us. He needs to be the one to stand up and say he will not use the race card. He, whoever he may be over the next decade or two, needs to say, "NO", when any group tries to accuse another of racism. Predjudice occures. It is natural. I have them, you have them. They are not necessarily based on race. Mine is based on an entitlement attitude and it fits whites, blacks, hispanics, rich, or poor. I despise when someone thinks something is owed to them without doing anything to deserve it. I hate when people on welfare think the government owes them money, I hate when movie stars think they are above the law, I hate when famous people think they automatically get to speak out even when they are stupid. I hate when rich people think everyone should get out of their way and they can treat people however they please, and yes, I hate when there are black organizations and whites have to allow everyone in their organizations. It's not that I think there should be white organizations, it's that I don't think there should be black organizations either. What gives black people a right to exclude? How can you possibly expect racism to go away, when you support it yourselves by singling yourselves out and excluding everyone else? Just who is it that is being racist?

I resent that I even have to resort to saying this on such a low key venue because I am afraid I will be labeled a racist for it. Is my opinion any worse that the NAACP labeling a stupid factious group, like the Tea party, racist? That doesn't even have any basis! How can you expect me to not see color, when you are still holding it up as a banner?

I will step off of my soap box. I'm sorry if this stepped on toes. This is directed at no one except maybe Obama for the president part. I do have friends of color and they know how I feel about such things. One of them said, "you don't know what it's like to grow up black" and I simply said to her that it shouldn't be that different for any child. She agreed to that and we both understood that this isn't an ideal world. It's up to us to stop drawing those lines of distinction. We are people, human, Americans. Life is different for each of us. But it doesn't have to be because of the color of our skin.

That being said, from my perspective, desegregation was the best policy ever put in place. It has been the slow way to change things, and bussing was a horrible disaster, but desegregation did what it was supposed to do. I was in on of the first generations to go all through school with it being desegregated. With that exposure, some of the fear and curiosity was laid to rest. The next group was even more accepting, and on and on. My kids' groups of friends are all mixed up. They get along with each other well and no one thinks twice about black, white, hispanic, or even middle eastern. They seem to actually enjoy talking about each other's cultures and don't mind asking. My generation didn't like to ask, but we learned about each other just be being together. Kids the age of mine don't even seem to see differences in the way they look. They tease each other about stereotypes, but it doesn't seem to bother any of them. The fear for them is just not there. I know this isn't common in every school district, but I think if we as adults were to stop the segregation in our own lives, our children would follow suit. It has to stop somewhere.

I would be interested to hear from other people on this. You will have to email me at though becasue I don't want random angry posts on my blog. But if you email me with a thought out response, I might like to post it here. I just won't tolerate anything hateful.