Race Relations in America

There is a place where racism does not exist. A place without color or class, prejudice or position. Every person is completely equal. It's called a graveyard. If you are ahead of or behind the person nearest you it does not make you evil. It is simply an indication that you are still breathing. We begin life as equals and we all end up the same way. What happens in between is largely a matter of choice.

In 2008, America elected a black man as President. The election was historic, just as this next story was historic. In 1954, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. It was previously agreed that running one mile in less than four minutes was physically impossible. Doctors the world over emphatically stated that the human heart would explode before it could be done. And then one day Roger accidentally did the impossible and survived. Once runners realized that breaking the four minute mile was possible they began racking up the numbers. It is now the standard for professional middle runners. Some runners have actually run one mile in less than four minutes over one hundred times.

What does that have to do with Obama becoming the first black President? Just because he is the first that does not mean he will be the last. Actually, I fully expect to see a number of black US Presidents in my lifetime. His accomplishment will always be historic and special and no one will ever take that from him. God bless President Obama for what he has accomplished. But let's not go into convulsions every time he makes a mistake and a white man dares to talk about it. We are mature enough to handle that, are not we?

The word racism has different definitions and various implications, but for the purpose of this article I will simply use and refer to this: "the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that one particular race is superior to others." Yes, racism exists, but it is not present in each person or in every comment. Flippantly branding someone a racist because you disagree with their opinion is not an attempt to identify deficiencies in order to propose corrective actions. It is an attack, a bully tactic intended to intimidate someone who is possibly trying to use logic and reasoning.

Playing the racist card often achieves the desired effect of compliance but it comes with a price. That price is resentment. In America, we do not like bullies. We fire them, abandon them, chastise, ridicule, vote them out of office and in extreme cases, mobilize and attack them until they surrender unconditionally. I prefer to spend time with people who lead certain lifestyles and exhibit predictable behavior. If you are a member of a college sorority, Elks lodge, book club or cancer survivors' forum you probably feel the same way all the while criticizing others for similar actions and feelings. If you do not like me because I am predominantly white that makes you a racist. On the other hand if you prefer to not spend time with me because I am quiet, keep to myself and am a lousy conversationalist then you are merely holding me accountable for my anti-social behavior. The words we use and the way we treat each other will shape the lives and attitudes of our young children and to a lesser degree, their offspring. Please think before you speak.

If you believe that you are being oppressed in America, ask yourself this question: if I were a free person living in a free country, how would I behave differently? Sleep on it. Then tomorrow when you arise, begin living as if that were true. Or do not. That is your choice. What happens after your next decision is what is commonly referred to as a consequence. Try something new. Rather than searching for differences in people try instead to look for agreements and commonalities. Replacing a bad habit with a better one seems to be much simpler than merely eliminating a habit thereby creating a void.

Forced multiculturalism drives people apart, not the other way around. When you hear the race card being tossed around indiscriminately chances are pretty good that you are being manipulated, not informed. Political correctness is little more than instinct override. Trust your instincts, you have them for a reason. I do not judge people based on the color of their skin. Racism is a calling best left to the professionals.