racism \ a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce and inherent superiority of a particular race (Webster’s New collegiate Dictionary 150th Anniversary Edition)
The Trayvon Martin case has once again prompted a call for a dialog about racial profiling. Usually this means that the black community wants the white community to understand that they find profiling to be demeaning and sometimes potentially dangerous. That is understandable. Profiling in its most basic form is a kind of stereotyping. Many cultures and subcultures are stereotyped in derogatory ways and when a person of a certain culture, especially one who is aware of the stereotype and works hard to overcome it is, however judged in that way, it is insulting and demeaning.
Any truly productive examination of profiling however has to look beyond the rhetoric, to seek the real reasons why certain groups of people are profiled. More often than not, it has nothing to do with skin color; rather it is a reaction to the behaviors of a large portion of people within a particular group. We all profile to some degree. Anytime we approach a person we don’t know, we subconsciously size them up to determine whether or not they are a threat to our safety. If that person appears by his looks or actions to be a threat we will behave in a defensive manner.
That is not racism. It is human nature. Black people are not the only ones who deal with this, Many Muslims who choose to dress in the traditional Muslim fashion are also profiled because of the terrorism committed by Islamic extremists. The main reason why black people, particularly young black males, are often looked upon with suspicion is not because they are black, but because young black males commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes. These young men usually dress and behave in a way that is meant to be provocative, (baggy pants with underwear showing, hoodies and jackets during the summer). When young black males who are not out looking for trouble choose for whatever reason (usually because they think it looks cool) to imitate the troublemakers they will be perceived as being part of that group. After all, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. In fact, young white males who choose to dress and behave in this manner are also looked upon with suspicion.
Most white people want unity with black people and are able to look beyond skin color to see what’s inside. We are bewildered, saddened and insulted when we are accused of racism when it is so obviously not the issue. The black community needs to realize that more often than not, they are being judged by the content of their character and that character, for some in the black community is being found wanting. The people to blame for the mistrust between the black and white communities and the tragedies that result are not the so-called profilers, but the black hoodlums who terrorize not only whites, but their own neighborhoods as well. Beguiling their little brothers into a life of easy money, and wasted lives. Those law-abiding black people who have worked hard, educated themselves, and have become productive members of society who are tired of having to live with the taint of the hoodlums, need to understand that these problems will not be resolved until they look to the inside, of their community. Work with law enforcement and openly condemn the gang culture, and the entitlement culture and come to accept that maybe it isn’t about race after all.
When it comes to fairness in this country it seems we have come full circle. We have a black president. Hispanics will soon be the majority in this country. We have doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, policemen, firemen, politicians and astronauts of all races and genders. So who is really discriminated against anymore?
I have come to the conclusion that, the most discriminated demographic in this country is…….the white heterosexual male. I know a lot of you are thinking, whaaaaaat? But before you get David Duke to come and fit me with a sheet hear me out.
Yes, once there was a time when being a white male gave him an unfair advantage, regardless of his wealth or social status. But those days are over. Now you have the NAACP, the National Black Caucus, The Hispanic Chamber Commerce, NOW, the League of Women Voters and The Gay Straight Alliance. Our society considers these organizations to be progressive and enlightening. They are not presented as discriminatory. What you don’t have is the NAFAWG (National Association For the Advancement of White Guys), White Voters United or The White Guy White Gal Alliance. Organizations such as those would immediately be considered discriminatory even though they would exist for the same purpose as the before mentioned organizations. To unite people of a specific ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
There are no scholarships set aside only for white guys, yet there are numerous scholarship opportunities exclusively for blacks, Hispanics and women.
There are no start-up loans for white guy businesses even though being a white male doesn’t automatically grant you a higher economic status. There are however, loans for minority businesses.
White guys have no rhythm or sense of style, they can’t dress and Lord knows they can’t dance.
Affirmative action doesn’t apply to white guys. They have to get a job or promotions strictly on their own merits and work ethics.
White guys have to endure being called crackers, gringos, chauvinists and homophobes. But heaven forbid they call a woman “sweetcheeks”. Uttering the highly forbidden “N word” could get him sued or fired.
The time has come for a truly level playing field. For all forms of public financial, educational, and employment assistance to be color and gender neutral and be based solely on need. So that all persons regardless of their gender, race, or sexual orientation, can have the freedom to pursue the vocation of their choice and to live by the consequences of those choices.