Win Lose or Draw’s take on Racism

Win Lose or Draw’s take on Racism

In the far dark recesses of human history the goal of all labor was sustenance and survival, and all men and women were laborers. In the more recent dark recesses of human history some people were able to divorce themselves from their role as laborers, but they did that largely by metaphorically climbing on the backs of others. Sometimes it wasn’t so much of a metaphor as a reality.

The ancient Greeks, who are so much admired in Western Culture, were slavers. So were the ancient Romans, and slavery has a long history stretching back long before either the Greeks or the Romans.

It can, and has been, argued that slavery was the economic engine that drove the expansion of the colonial powers of Europe.  Therefore, slavery may be seen as the most salient precursor to the modern age.

Thankfully, slavery is mostly a thing of the past in most of the modern world, however, slavery and racism are two distinctly different topics. They are connected, because the legacy of slavery here in America and elsewhere often generates symptomatic instances of racism.

I recently watched a docudrama entitled All the Way about President Johnson’s fight to get the civil rights bill passed. As portrayed in the movie, the white Southern Democrats who fought so hard against President Johnson’s civil rights initiative were in denial about their own racism. They would have been hugely offended to be called Racists, but that is what they were. They may have been kind to little black children. They may have employed many black workers. They may have rationalized their attitudes as pro-white, not anti-black; but they revealed their Racist tendencies every time they expressed their high levels of anti-black bias.

Any malicious word or deed that leads to harm of another race is Racism. However, the problem is much more widespread than that because any expression of a negative racial bias will be perceived as racism. Many whites and blacks and people of other races are in denial about their racism. They feel they should be able to express a racial bias without being labelled a Racist. They are wrong about that. People whose words imply that any race has better people are racist at their core. We can complain that America has become too “politically correct,” or we can stop hiding behind that complaint. What we say does matter. It very much matters how we represent ourselves.

As implied a few lines back, Racism is not a monopoly held by white people against blacks. There has been far too much racial bias expressed. When Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand for the National Anthem, he is not protesting Black America. He is protesting White America, and he is revealing a racial bias. He has the right to protest, but he is protesting America when he should be protesting the small percentage of bigoted white police officers who sometimes perpetrate injustice and feel somehow justified in doing so.

When someone on television says, “Black lives matter,” some white people in their living rooms or on different network shows may answer back in a blustery sort of way, “All lives matter.” Yes, black lives matter and all lives matter. Let’s change the dialogue. As a nation, we need to find a way to speed up the elimination of bigotry in American law enforcement, and we need to make it clear that we are all behind it.

What will solve the problem of Racism in America? I guarantee that “cracking down” on dissent will not be the solution. If “Make America Strong” means “Make white America strong by reasserting white dominance,” I’m not voting for it. All of our citizens of every race and color need to feel happy and secure to be a part of the American community. That can only be accomplished by some national initiatives to demonstrate our respect for all our citizens.

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