This last year has been one of disasters and extremities. We see the world heating up in figurative terms and societies around the globe are in turmoil. Nature is in disarray. Earth is out of season and the planet we have known is no longer what we have anticipated. Something is different from what we have become accustomed. Pay attention !!! Unfortunately I feel these are harbingers of things to come.
A captain is called to the sea not to control it, but to guide us over its’ waves.
From the vast infinitudes of deepest space
To the infinitessimal confines of nothingness
Always salient is the thought,
the being, the presence
But a raindrop in the sea
A leaf in the forest
A breeze in a storm
Nothing is lost, nothing is forgotten
The mind of God fills the sea
The eye of God sees the leaf
And the hand of God catches the wind
It is all seen and all heard
We are but a letter in the cosmic books
A single letter in the library of time and space
Yet, all meaning is lost when we leave the page
Or, set out to make our own word
Recent events have forced me to address the issue of race relations in the United States of America. The NAACP has issued a resolution calling on the Tea Party movement to expel the “racists” from their ranks. Doing this without one shred of evidence to support their contention. Eric Holder’s , so called, Department of Justice has refused to prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation during the Presidential election of 2008 in Philadelphia. This despite the fact that there is video proof of threats being directly made by those charged. And, of course, the constant litany of the left that anyone who opposes President Barak Obama is a racist. If real racism is to be taken seriously the people levelling these accusations need to stop crying wolf.
Anyone who knows the history of this country knows that racism, prejudice, and sexism have played a large role in our past. Yet, the schisms we see today on this issue reveal how we in our various groups view the life of this country. On one hand we see the liberals which attribute every malady that affects any minority in any way to the injustices of earlier times. On the other we see those like myself who look to the continued inclusion and expansion of the places of minorities in our society. It is easy to drum up emotions about the hardships faced by various groups throughout our history, but that denies the progress we have seen over the last 234 years. That progress does not alleviate the sufferings of the individuals that endured them, but it does point to the fact that our society has grown ever closer to that clarion call of 1776 that we are ALL created equal. This is our ideal, this is what our country was founded upon, and it is the core belief that defines us as a nation.
Yet, there are those that cannot let go of years gone by. They define everything in our culture based only on our failings. Yes, racism exists today. Yes, the structures of power are still disproportionately in the hands of those who represent those who dominated in the past, but we would be foolish to even compare the year 2010 to even 1960. And, even more foolish to try to compare today to 1860 the year that Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States of America. The Civil Rights act became law in 1965. We have seen 45 years of legal equality at the Federal level and we can no longer look back over two generations to define what it is we see around us today.
Often when I am witness to, or am party to a discussion, on race relations a peculiar mentality of some of those on the left is revealed. They have a world view which is entirely constructed on the injustices of the past. They act as if the times we live in now have no difference from those that existed decades or even centuries ago. To these people every black person is still a slave and every women is still barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Every white man is an illustrious landowner given every privelege that society can offer. Every minority is still at the mercy of the whims of the elite who hold the reigns of power. Not only is this ridiculous, but it flies in the face of the realities that are our everyday lives. No one who truly is observing our current culture can honestly say that race, sex, religious viewpoint, sexual orientation, or ethnicity play but a small role in what we are able to achieve as individuals. Yet, racism and other prejudices are used time and time again by the liberals to attack anyone who holds an opposing point of view on any issue from them. This not only dilutes the validity of real oppressive acts, but it weakens the foundations for what they believe they are fighting.
Marc Lamont Hill, a black man that I have very much respect for, was recently on a television show discussing this very issue. He is a PHD and quite an intellectual. Yet, as is usually the case with him, he found his way to defending the indefensible. Rather than condemn the NAACP’s resolution against the Tea Party without any evidence he espoused a twisted path of logic to defend it. When he, and others like him, use antiquated aspects of our past to define our culture today they only serve to deafen the ears of those who are parts of these supposedly priveleged classes. According to him I am one of those who holds “institutional power” due to the fact that I am white, male, straight, and middle class. Wasn’t it he who was on TV? Isn’t it he who is having his voice heard by millions? If I hold so much power why am I not in his position? Simply put it is because he has done the things that it takes to get that kind of recognition and I am still trying to replicate similar efforts to achieve the same goals he has reached. So who has the power in this instance?
Similarly the administration of the first non-white President repeatedly defines everything by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religious belief. The head of NASA has stated that his main goal was to show the muslim contributions to man’s achievements in space. Arizona’s law respecting proof of legal residence in the United States is challenged by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice despite the fact that the law only mirrors Federal statutes that have been in existence for decades. And ending the military’s don’t ask don’t tell policy takes precedence over clean up from the Gulf oil leak. Who is it that cannot simply see us as individuals, but must always define us as part of some sub-category or group?
There is real racism. There is real inequality. There is real injustice in this country and the world. Yet, the constant iteration of our differences rather than our similarities only serve to divide us. They only serve to separate us from one another. The double standard that is so consistently applied by the left that allows certain groups, in their minds, to say and do things that another group cannot in open society stratifies us into different classes. It is the liberals who perpetuate this concentration on our differences. It is their focus on classifying everyone as a victim or an oppressor which aids in maintaining the microcosms from which we all come. Yes, we have different experiences, backgrounds, and oppurtunities, but aren’t we all human beings?