If you regularly come around to my website, you’ll notice that in the midst of the recent weeks of racism charges for anybody and everybody that I haven’t commented. I simply feel like the current spate of calls of this or that group is racist is simply much ado about nothing.
Racism is a serious charge to make and should be done so with the most clear of deliberation and thought. Throwing it around as casually as some have done is like throwing a grenade in a crowded theatre. It’s something that a vast majority of people just wouldn’t do, and for good reason. Calling someone racist when they are clearly not is nearly as bad as discovering someone is racist because both keep the problem in the forefront for far longer than should be. Calls of racism from the NAACP about the Tea Party and the recent Shirley Sherrod video and subsequent wrongful firing are just a few examples of how calling someone racist when they are not can be damaging. Add to it comments from Howard Dean, who over the weekend called Fox News racist for not doing the background work they needed to do on the Sherrod video before airing it, and you have a gathering storm that doesn’t need to be there, just simply because some people chose to pull the race card rather than calmly survey the situation and come to a better, more reasoned conclusion.
Dont get me wrong. I am not saying that real racism doesn’t exist. It does and as a society, we should definately challenge racist attitudes and thoughts. I believe that the best way to challenge such ideas is to point out what makes people of different color alike rather than play up differences between us. Many of us have a lot to learn about people of other backgrounds if we would just take the time to do so. I include myself in that group of people that could learn a thing or two and if we really take the time to think about it, we all could.
Racism itself will still exist no matter what efforts we make just simply because people are prejudiced about all sorts of things in all situations. How many of us can look at someone and immediately prejudge them for their looks without finding out what they are all about? Racism is simply another level of judging someone by what they look like rather than the content of their character.
All of that brings me back to my original point of bringing false charges of racism and how dangerous it is. If we are to learn to live together as people a little better, it starts with not prejudging and that includes false charges of racism. Clearly the Tea Party is more about going back to the idea of limited government rather than the failed ideas of those of another race being considered less of a person. It is also clear that Shirley Sherrod was mistreated for the way that she spoke about reforming her views from two and a half decades ago. Everyone involved has dirty hands here and the best way to overcome it is by calling a truce with the false calls of racism and instead taking the time to reason together and look at the person rather than judge them on the surface.
Racism is such a real problem. Why should we exasperate it further by screaming that it’s happening much more often than it really is. I believe instead let’s take the time to know one another and find out what we have in common. Then we might be able to teach the next generation a better way than what we have lived with thus far.