Racism Ascendant?

What truly is the meaning of the word “racist”?  Does criticizing–or simply disagreeing with–someone of a color or ethnic group different from one’s own–merit the charge of racism?  Or, do valid definitions of racism proceed from any aggrieved party’s perceptions at a given place and time?  Is it possible for someone other than a “white”[1] person to be guilty of racism?  Has racism been increasing in our time?  How can we know?  Is the “race card” a legitimate political weapon or social shield?  Does racism have an antidote?[2]

 

Not for a millisecond could we rationally deny that countless hosts of people from all over the world have been severely mistreated and disadvantaged because of persecution and neglect by persons considering themselves both different and superior.  And, history clearly teaches that some identifiable groups have suffered far more and far more frequently than others.  Furthermore, human beings are innately selfish and self-seeking[3] and whenever there’s an apparent advantage to be had, people naturally take the bait.

 

And it is bait, of course, because it is a trap.  Every diminishment of others diminishes ourselves, and if “power corrupts…”[4] immorally manufactured advantage–political, economic, social, etc.–imprisons.  It’s high time for shouting and name calling to be put aside[5] in favor of candid, respectful and well-informed strategizing.  Where is YOUR place at the discussion table?  What will you offer for admission?

 

 

[1] The shifting definition of “white” among human beings in history is further obfuscated by biological diversity that often goes undetected in society.

[2] At least one contemporary linguist has suggested the word itself–“racism”–be retired from our language as useless.

[3] That’s just a small part of the universal phenomenon the Bible calls “sin.”

[4] “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” British historian John-Dalberg (Lord) Acton, 1887.

[5] “Come now, let us reason together says the Lord.” (Isaiah 1:18 ESV)

1 thought on “Racism Ascendant?”

  1. I feel that much of society would have me be ashamed of being born white and that I should accept the condition of “white privilege” as an inherent part of who I am. I believe that there is nothing I can DO or say to defend the fact or validate the fact that I was born white. My parents were bigots. They were prejudiced against Roman Catholics, Italians, Hispanics and Blacks. A couple of years ago, I would have proudly professed to be tolerant of any & all. My kids grew up in a home where ALL were received and welcomed. They’ve exhibited this grooming as they, indeed, have friends covering all spectrums of color & gender. Today’s society paints me as being in denial, wants me to admit to deep seated subconscious racism. THEY KNOW that I am a racist by the simple color of my skin. If THEY only knew of my conservative values/beliefs- I’d be held up to public ridicule – which confuses me. I don’t understand today’s society and find myself wondering about and questioning whether or not I AM a closet bigot. Who AM I in 2019?

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