I would like to begin this article by stating clearly that I am opposed to any racially inspired activity. I feel that a mature intellect should be able to rise above his her her racially motivated inclinations and make decisions with a minimal amount of bias. I truly feel that all individuals should be judged based on their own merits.
That said, it is not my intention to write a popular article. Indeed, I intend to be bluntly honest about this topic and to give voice to views which, while I feel we are all aware of them, are shunned by most who discuss the topic. Even if this article offends you, I hope it will make you consider your own motivations and convictions.
Racism exists. It is not going away. It is hardwired into our psyche. People make judgement choices constantly; the more familiar something is then the more likely we are to accept and trust it. It is a survival instinct that thankfully has been a part of our evolutionary process. Another term for this process is “tribalization”, people tend to congregate, commune, and trade more fairly with people who are like them. This is human nature and it is not going to disappear anytime soon. All cultures, ethnic groups, “races”, are guilty of this behavior to one degree or another, often to an extent most would not like to admit. This process even extends to geography; people trust people from “the neighborhood” more than they trust an outsider. Biologically, this is a sensible solution to many potential problems.
Where the conflict arises is when we, as a society, have established a set of rules and behavior paradigms which cross all sub-groups within that society, yet we as an individual organism fail to choose intellectual imperative or our biological one. Regardless of “race”, ethnicity, culture, or geography, a civilized society exists when a certain homogenization of behaviors and values exists throughout. A person traveling from the East Coast of the US to the West Coast can expect that many of the values and laws familiar to them continue to exist. A Muslim is still expected to adhere to the same general standards as a Christian, a Caucasian ideally is held to the same laws as a Hispanic. When we allow our biological bias to influence our intellectual decision making without rational cause, we commit “racism”. This, too, exists in all cultures, all ethnic groups. Being white does not make one immune from the pains of racism.
We, as a society, need to come to terms with racism. The concept of making it “go away” simply is impractical and goes against our very biology. A baby clings to its familiar mother while shunning those who are unfamiliar. That kind of behavior cannot be trained out of a person. Instead, we must be aware of this biological urge on an intellectual level, tolerant of its effect on our decision making and the decision of others, and we must seek to instead judge individuals by their own merits. We each must make the conscious choice to ignore our biology and rise above our instincts. As creatures of intellect, this is well within our grasp.
The process, of course, cuts both ways. Just as we seek to judge others based on individual merit while minimizing regard to race, we must also seek to reduce our individual participation in the “stereotypical” behaviors that have come to color our ethnic groups in a negative manner. This is the stumbling block our society continues to fall upon when dealing with racism. The society works at cross-purposes. It tells one side of the issue to be ignorant of race, to set aside racial prejudice, to be tolerant and “blend in”. At the same time, it tells other groups, typically those considered “disenfranchised”, to revel in their differences, to hold true to their ethnicity, that they are special and deserving because they are persecuted. Society can not move past this issue while it is in conflict with its self on how it deals with the issue.
This idea of being judged based on one’s own merit is a threat to far too many individuals. This is a sad state of affairs in our society when you consider our history of self-sufficiency, internal resolve, and creative innovation. It has become too easy to cast blame on circumstance rather than accept responsibility and recognize one’s own short-comings. Yet, being equal means being prepared to be judged based on what one can produce, what one is capable of, and what one has proven in the past. Being equal means that you are responsible for yourself, just like anyone else, with no one to blame for your failings and no one who can take from your successes! Yet, there are individuals who would rather wallow in poverty as long as they are given just enough by government mandate than to actually take a stake in their own success. There are groups that exist only to perpetuate themselves through the suffering of others by ensuring that they always feel trodden upon, even when society has long since put forth its hand in brotherhood and equality.
We, as a society, need to accept that their are differences between us. We may belong to one “species”, but just as is found in any other animal, we are of different breeds. Each ethnic group has adapted itself to some evolutionary function which continues to distinguish that group from all others. Humanity is wonderfully adaptable and wonderfully diverse. While that biological diversity is essential to our continued survival, just as with any other species, it should not impede our interactions as a society. Socially, we need to move away from race as an issue, we need to finally decide that the issue of race is below us. We need to choose to stop defining ourselves along racial lines; no more “African, European, Asian, Mexican” (or whatever) American. We need to be American, a functional member of our society first, and our ethnic distinction second.
We need to accept that we will be measured and weighed based on our own merit, and be responsible for ourselves as individuals. Gone are the days when an individual could blame history for their current state. Gone are the days when a person could point to the advantages of another as the cause of their own short-comings. And why have these days moved passed us? Because we can choose to make it so! To cling to the issues of race must make us all pause, and question why? What motivates that person, that group, that culture, to say they are persecuted? From where does this persecution arise? Is it because they refuse to join the rest of society in our common rules, our common values, and our common behaviors? Is it because they refuse to mature intellectually, and instead wish to wallow, child-like, demanding to be nurtured by others rather than standing on their own?
What do we say of the groups that refuse to relinquish their racially motivated values? The white supremacist is a perfect example of what happens to a “racist” in our society, and how they should be handled. They become pariah, shunned by their more enlightened peers. They find themselves regulated to minimum wage employment, unable to benefit from the opportunities around them because they cannot get beyond themselves and join the greater society. And when they cry that they are being treated unfairly, we ignore their hypocrisy! This treatment needs to extend to all who cling to the old ideas of race, regardless of the ethnicity of the source. All should be required to join the mature society, encouraged to regulate their cultural differences to only those venues we as a society deem appropriate. No more tolerance for abhorrent behaviors simply because they are committed by someone deemed “disenfranchised” racially. No more unearned advantages to those who would profit from “racial guilt”. Any who demand equality while insisting that their ethnicity affords them special consideration should be shunned for their hypocrisy!
And, while this practice of demanding equality while insisting to refuse the responsibilities inherent in being equal is often most observable in certain individuals, we must be ever vigilant as a society against those elements we have embraced in brotherhood who would use just such circumstances to their advantage. We must insist, as a society, that one cannot require equality when also demanding special treatment or refusing to extend equality to others. Religions who demand equal position and opportunity in our society while persisting in their own racially motivated programs and practices should be shunned! Cultures which insist on equal privilege who then demand to refuse our laws as recognition of their culture should be ostracized. We must cut away racism, regardless of its form. We must demand that our society take priority.
We must make peace with our racial bias. We must recognize what it is and why it exists. Then, we must choose to be citizens of a greater society and not limited to our ethnic predestination. Being black, white, Asian, Hispanic, or whatever is a simple matter of circumstance. We must choose to be racially responsible and socially respectable. Being human is a matter of choice, and we should stand together, appreciate our biological differences, aware of our diverse cultural heritage, and still staunchly in support of being one humanity.