Friday, December 7, 2012

My Problems with Racism and Anti-Racism

                Racism is an issue. However, I think it’s been blown out of proportion on some sides. One thing you hear complained about is how black people seem to be the only ones suffering from “racism.” Some people point out that “racism” extends beyond blacks, but also whites, and Asians, and Hispanics, and pretty much anyone.
                The question is, does what makes something racist based off the intention behind it, or the word itself? What I’m thinking is that anything bad about racism stems from the intention. Most words have nothing wrong with them in themselves, but then become “racist.” I know some people get angry at being called, “black” and others hate being called, “African-American.” I think I agree more with the latter. Not everyone who’s black is from Africa. At the same time, by placing the word “African”, we are taking away from the idea of that person is “American” and probably has no connection or desire for Africa. We are giving them a different country or culture as if they are outsiders.
                Back to the original issue, what I think needs to happen, in order to fix racism, is to eliminate the “racist” status of most words. I have seen too many occasions where someone uses a term they did not know was “racist” and get devoured. The sad part is, that means there was no racism in the terms of insulting or meaning anything bad! Yet, that person begins to obtain those feelings because he or she was unjustly attacked and was “racist” towards. Yes! Racism is being caused by people who claim they want racism to stop! All because some group decided a word or symbol, which has nothing wrong in itself, is “racist”.
                People are refusing to talk to each other and examine their point of view. The funny thing is that some of these people are the ones who advocate “everything is relative.” If someone raises a confederate flag, he or she will be demonized quickly without any attempt to find out why. Most of the time I’ve seen it, it’s for Southern Pride, or Rebellion against the Federal government. After I looked through the civil war, I would agree that those are appropriate meanings.
                We tend to think that the civil war was fought just for slavery. That argument cannot hold water. There are too many holes and problems with that idea. Slavery was just part of it that has been upscaled. General Lee fought for his State, not for Slavery. It addressed whether or not States had the right to secede and Bill of Rights. Note that Delaware still had slaves after the war but fought for the North.
                People can argue that anyone who raises a confederate flag is not thinking, but I leaning towards they are the ones who are thinking further and deeper. We need to stop judging too quickly because we think something is offensive. I say the best method is for everyone to eliminate the “racism” of a word. We need to stop taking offense because someone said something, even when it wasn’t directed towards us. Note that a word that helps distinguish an individual should be something that celebrates his or her uniqueness. Otherwise we’d all be just the same not special at all. Technically, that is racism at its worse.
                Let us address the causes, not the symptoms. If we fail to cover all of the causes, then we will never be free of it. If the true evil of racism is the hatred behind it, then let's address the hatred, and not attack those who don't bear it.

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