I’d like to address the topic of (race) as in the ethnic sense.
In my short time on this Earth I’ve been exposed to, lived with, and befriended many people from many different cultural and economic backgrounds so I don’t consider myself sheltered or ignorant on the subject in any way, even if my evidence in some cases is anecdotal, it is evidence none the less.
I’m going to appeal to the “if you want to ignore (race) you are part of the problem”
“There is no such thing as being colorblind”arguments.
So I’m going to have a discussion about (race)
I’d like to start off by saying these two premises are just false.
Let’s universalize this way of thinking and see if it applies elsewhere
-If you don’t drive a car you are part of the problem in regards to car accidents car accidents simply can’t just be ignored.
-If you don’t engage in partisan politics you are part of the problem. You must vote for one of two carnival clowns you don’t really identify with or its your fault the country is the way that it is.
*Not engaging in a particular behavior or discussion is also known as passive resistance which is still resistance. Historically passive resistance has been arguably better than the bloody revolution method.
Just something to think about.
I’d like to give a brief history of my childhood to help lay out some perspective.
I remember as a kid having plenty of White, Hispanic, Native American, Polynesian, and a couple of Asian and Black friends in my younger years. None of this really seemed to matter to me I never really remember thinking about how “different” any of them were physically, or culturally. Of course some of their parents spoke different languages than mine they maybe looked a little different than me maybe even ate food I had never heard of, but for some reason this was no more a difference than my neighbors dad driving driving a Toyota and mine driving a Plymouth, me having brown hair, and neighbor having red. I had heard all the stereotypes growing up and just never really understood what all of it was really about. These kids went to my school played at the same soccer, and baseball fields as me, rode their bikes on the same streets and trails as I did. It just never occurred to me that they were of any real significant measurable difference. In short (race) just didn’t matter to me I didn’t discuss it because it really truly didn’t matter.a
So was I part of the problem?
I’ll fast forward to my middle school years where I first encountered real racial tension, and I will say it was extremely disturbing and earth shattering in a lot of ways to me.
We moved to the Midwest when I was about 11 years old to a lower income working class neighborhood that was adjacent to what most people would have called the ghetto. This was in the mid eighties at the height of the crack epidemic so there was and lot going on at that time to say the least. The school I attended was about 60% “black” maybe 30% “white” and 10%minority of other ethnicities thrown in. Immediately I realized there was a tremendous amount of tension and animosity between the black & white students, and there was a very cleary defined us vs them pack mentality. Now pick a side! YOUR WITH US OR THEM…
I’d been introduced to real live raw racism for the first rime in my life far beyond a few off color jokes and stereotypes. I very quickly developed stereotypes, hatred, and fears of people who didn’t look like me. Many of which I felt were totally warranted due to the things I was witnessing daily. The racial brawling, figuring out which streets you could walk down without suddenly feeling the pavement, name calling, people ridiculing one another etc.
My point in saying all of this is I had to be taught racism the thought never occurred to me until I was brought into an environment where it thrives and permeates the mind of nearly everyone around me. In retrospect I think I was more scared of walking alone in what was good and right than I was in walking as a collective in something that was very wrong in so many ways. I think this is how many start out on their path to bigotry of any sort.
I will say unapologetically it has been a couple of decades since I started on that path to racism and am thankful to be walking further and further away from it every day.
When we are cornered up and compelled to pick sides in any issue this is where we must ask ourselves.
What if both sides are wrong here?
What if my response to “black power” isn’t “white power?”
What if I make a decision to not engage in any of this because it is nonsense?
What if I chose not to hate somebody based on their skin tone or nationality while simultaneously refusing to apologize for mine?
What if my discussion about (race) involves the human race and I don’t really dont care which piece of dirt your ancestors were born on, and expect you not to care which piece of dirt mine were born on?
Suppose when I see you I just see a man or a woman not a ______ man or woman?
Does that mean I am a part of some sort of problem? I can’t honestly see how.