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Where does racism come from?

Posted: September 7, 2017 2:56 p.m.
Updated: September 8, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Where does racism come from? Some say it’s been around forever; and, you’re not going to change that. Now, that’s a discussion stopper! If we say we are not racist in any way, shape or form, we’re only kidding ourselves. Racism is alive and well. It lives on a continuum from minimally racist to extremely racist. If you ask a class of school children, “Where does racism begin?” They’ll tell you, “At home, parents, family, the neighborhood, the playground.” Out of the mouths of babes! Are we hard-wired to only be concerned about our own? We can do that; and, we can continue to do that; or, we can choose to change. If we choose not to look deeply and honestly at how we think and behave toward those we don’t like and disapprove of, we will not begin the process of changing. Think about this: “We cannot change unless we survive; but, we will not survive unless we change.” That quote came out of the anti-nuke movement. Today, I see it applying not only to the oxymoron-thinking that we must have nuclear bombs to survive; but also, to climate change, racism, xenophobia and the militarization of Planet Earth. Some will tell us that ISIS is our biggest worry while ignoring the fact that we Americans are killing ourselves and each other at an accelerating pace. 

If we want peace, work for justice. Without justice, no peace! To have justice we need laws that protect all living beings and are enforced fair and square. The US of A calls its self a Christian nation. Well, what happened to the “Golden Rule?” What about the old saying, “Walk a mile in another person’s shoes?” How often do we actually try to put ourselves in the place or position of another person especially when that person does not appeal to us? We might think those shoes don’t fit; plus, I’m too busy walking my own mile with my rose colored glasses, blinders and ear plugs. Too often self-centered thinking becomes, “I’m focused on what’s ahead of me and buddy you got to take care of yourself.”

Here’s how it may work for some. You’re white, all white, all the way back to the Mayflower and 100 years before; you’re straight and want to believe that you’re heritage has never had LGBTers; of course, you want find a person of color or a criminal when you go to your You live in your own bubble and squeeze in those like you. You’re proud of your bubble. Your bubble is exclusive! You do all the “right” things to keep your bubble’s boundaries strong. Your bubble may be elitist, only the best.

The bubble-way-of-life in America has no rules, nothing’s written in stone. You can be a bubble-of-one. Or you can join a bubble like a sorority or fraternity. You can get voted in or out. You don’t have to be rich, educated, law abiding, church-going, straight, LGBT, or anything to create your bubble. Now, that’s Real Freedom! To top it off, you may begin to believe that only your bubble and bubbles like yours deserve justice. Some bubbles want to apply their own kind of justice with the long gun. That kind of thinking is taking the US of A into the kind of behavior that leads to anarchy. In order to survive, we must change. Let’s spend some time outside our own bubble. Stepping out of your bubble may be so foreign that it’s like going into outer space! Don’t worry; you can take your umbilical cord. Let’s figure out ways that bubbles can talk, discuss critical matters in a civil way without yelling or threating each other.

We must work on better understanding each other. Our survival as a civilized society may depend on it.


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