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    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    Facing Racism

    Excellent article on the racism that the Obama campaign is facing behind the scenes.

    Now let me ask a question and I'm really going to try to keep things friendly here.
    In the article linked above several people express that they would never vote for a "black" person. My question is this; if you are someone who feels this way, what does that say about you?

    You see, I would argue that if you really feel that you cannot vote for a person based solely on their color (or gender for that matter), that you are really quite backward and out of touch with reality. I would further argue that you are not really an American at all. This country is founded on the principle that all people should have an equal opportunity. This kind of fear based, anti-reasoning, ignorance and prejudice is not merely wrong (and it is! and you know it!) but it is also, quite simply, laughably out of date.

    We have learned, on several different fronts (anthropologically, genetically, and so on) that the whole racism thing is, and always has been, a lie.
    We are one species, one race; Human. Whatever our visible or cultural differences, this is the underlying truth. We are one people and this applies to all humans - everywhere.
    Everything else is mere tribalism, regardless of its scale.

    Do you really feel that the lives of children lost recently in China or Myanmar are somehow intrinsically of less value than the lives of children recently lost to tornadoes here in the states? Or is it only the "white" children recently lost to tornadoes here in the states? And how do you define white? Is a child's life less valuable because one of it's grandparents or great grandparents was part African or Asian. Where do Spanish or Indian or Native American people fall on your 'color to value' chart? How many generations backward do you look? (Because if you look back far enough, you're in for one hell of a surprise.) Have you ever really given any thought to your position at all? Must our country be denied an American President with outstanding character, who stands up for reason and integrity, simply because you are afraid of people who don't look enough like you?

    I urge you to really think about the cost of such a world view to your own well being. What kind of person are you? What kind of person do you aspire to be? Is this really the limit of your understanding, your compassion, your humanity?

    Perhaps it is not entirely your fault. Perhaps you also do not believe in evolution. Perhaps you are also against gay relationships, sex for pleasure, a womans right to her own body, and so on. Perhaps you are the victim of your local environment, caught in an echo chamber that tells you that it is acceptable to hold these views.
    If that is the case, I have some bad news, you are wrong - on all counts.

    You see, the world is rapidly changing and, to borrow a phrase from some popular books you may have heard of, you are the ones in real danger of being "left behind".

    I urge you to reflect on these views most seriously. Consider their implications to you, and to the children in your life. Reach out beyond your current, limited experience and educate yourself as to the true nature and beauty of the world, it's people and the universe at large.

    1 comment:

    Lance said...

    A very interesting, telling, and quite sad article overall.

    When people--especially those representing one of the supposed "good guys"--say things like "He's a half breed and he's a Muslim", it shows racism for what it truly is; a state of absolute ignorance.

    Frank, I have to say that your blog on this subject is the most profound, heartfelt, moving and intelligent thing I have read so far in relation to the Obama-Clinton race. You should have worked on the campaign trail; you'd make a great orator.

    The only things in my mind that will help to eliminate racism are friendships struck up between people of different races, the examples of intelligence, elegance and eloquence of people like Obama, and the eventual dying out of those older members of the populace who still harbor such limited world-views.

    And then maybe finally, people will be able to view others of different races and beliefs for what they truly are...just people.