Racism

I had a dream.  A week ago I dreamed about waiting for a cab as a black man.  It was a brief but very powerful dream that gave deep insight.  Standing on the corner, I waved my hand to flag the taxi down.  The driver looked at me like I was a criminal and drove right past.  In the dream my heart sank, it truly hurt.  Being a Western European white male makes racism hard to understand.

In the dream I was very hurt. I felt like the whole world was against me when that cab driver snubbed me.  The pain I felt inside was so different than the same experience as a white person.  In real life if the cab driver passed by me sticking his nose up, I’d laugh at the missed cash the next guy is going to make.  Part of today’s racism problem might be a mutual misunderstanding between both parties.  It can be hard to understand the hurt inflicted by other people, but it can also be hard to understand the hurt that you are causing people.  I walk as if the world is my oyster, opportunities abound, and there isn’t a single name that would hurt my feelings.  Literally call me anything you want and I wouldn’t care.

“For the white man to ask the black man if he hates him is just like the rapist asking the raped, or the wolf asking the sheep, ‘Do you hate me?’ The white man is in no moral position to accuse anyone else of hate! Why, when all of my ancestors are snake-bitten, and I’m snake-bitten, and I warn my children to avoid snakes, what does that snake sound like accusing me of hate-teaching? ” -Malcolm X

What if wolves stopped eating the sheep and instead farmed them for labor, keeping them enslaved?  When the sheep was done being useful, the wolf would eat it.  What could the sheep call the wolf to hurt its feelings?  Would the wolf simply chuckle right before he chomps off a leg?  I think this very scenario has made racism hard for Western Europeans to understand the pain others feel.  Western Europeans have a penchant for violence, and it’s enabled us to dominate the world through our command of guns, germs, and steel.  It sucks that people with the strongest penchant for killing end up running governments and establishing the ideological framework of the societies that follow.

During the age of exploration, Europe sent ships all over the world using guns, germs, and steel to spread their ideology and sphere of influence.  Columbus invaded the Americas in 1492 and almost immediately the differences in ideology with indigenous tribes started conflict.  Guns, germs, and steel prevailed, and the great land grab ensued.  White males (many slave owning) started a government of their own to prevent the flow of resources to England.  For hundreds of years white males ruled the land, determined all laws and rules, and controlled much of the resources.  Indigenous people were slaughtered, land and rights of self-rule were taken at gunpoint, and Natives were confined to reservations.

People are demanding change.  Blacks and minorities have fought hard for the right to vote, and the government has resisted relinquishing discriminatory laws .  The same people who are willing to kill for power are not going to give it up easily.  About every ten years, those who seek to govern others in the United States have shown their willingness to order the deaths of others to protect their interests through war of varying scale.  They’ll send tanks, planes, warships, and bad ass Marines all over the world to further agendas and dicate allocation of resources, exemplified by protectionism of crude oil.  They have nice press releases and package up the killings with a pretty bow, but control is always the end game.  People who are willing to kill for that control are not going to give up power easily on any front.  It seems very dependent upon resistance.  For instance, a black that spoke out against the law in 1940 would have been hauled off to jail.  It wasn’t until they had the strength in numbers, plus the added diversity of those against racist laws, that government rescinded controls targeting skin color.  Look at what a fight they had to put up for change, again because the people that will kill for power won’t give it up easily.

Today the united states government is headed by a man of African descent. Does this mean we’ve eradicated racism?  39% of prison populations are black.  Does this mean African Americans are twice as likely to be criminals?  I believe the answer is a resounding no.  Is that number a reflection of government instead?  Is this criminal status a reflection upon genetics OR is it a reflection of socioeconomic status?  Police officers were predominantly white enforcing white rules.  White rules written by those with the most cash.  Who gets elected without “donors”?  Do donors pay millions to politicians without expecting a say?  If a politician votes against Monsanto are the donations going to keep coming?  Can a politician get elected without big money donors?  Politicians sacrifice huge amounts of time, resources, privacy, and many other things to get into office.   The resources used to get elected have increased, leading many to be focused on donors instead of constituents.  What kind of person subjects themselves to run for public office today?  What skin color dominates the top income bracket, the very bracket a politician would get re-election resources from?

America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

I look to my own life for why I believe racism will die.  I look at the experiences that would have been missed if I didn’t associate with people because of skin color.  It’s honestly awful to think about how shallow a life this would have been for me without my many friends of color.  People with hate in their hearts essentially are only hurting themselves.  This life is too short not to seize every opportunity presented to you.  A cake shop that doesn’t serve blacks hurts who?  Sure it makes you a jerk, but the cake shop that serves the whole community will eventually make more money, sell more cakes, and overtake you.  Racism is essentially self hate reflecting back at people, and real life isn’t much different.  Hate hurts others, but in the end it hurts you most of all.  People who open their hearts to others will be rewarded with a fuller, richer life.  With our time here so precious what choice do we

 

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