So Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks thinks we need to start a conversation about race. Just where has this man been? The discussion of race is everywhere, TV shows, mainstream media, talk radio, the classroom, the pulpit, the street corner. My suspicion is that the #RaceTogether campaign is nothing more than a clever marketing ploy, glomming on to the latest social issue to draw attention to the company and there by driving up sales.
If Schultz, and all the others that keep racial tension at the forefront of our collective conscience, really wanted to foster understanding and unity, they would be addressing the real cause of societies’ downslide.
The conversation should be about character, accountability, personal responsibility, and good old common courtesy. The lack of these, is evident everywhere, from the checkout counter, to the highway. Right and wrong are malleable according to the situation, our behavior is never our fault, and for every injury or insult against us, someone must pay. We continually cry out for “justice” when what we really want is vengeance.
This isn’t a black vs white, rich vs poor, man vs woman, Democrat vs Republican issue, it’s an American issue. We have bought into the “it takes a village” ideology. We believe that it is the “village’s” responsibility to take care of us and our children rather than assuming that responsibility ourselves, and have thereby become a self-centered nation of victims. Always ready to demand that we be treated the way we want to be treated, but never willing to look deep within our own psyches and our communities, to correct the bad attitudes and moral deficiencies within ourselves. We must have the courage to stand up for right and justice, but we must also develop the wisdom to know when a grievance is really worth taking a stand for, and when we should just toughen our skins and walk away. We should be willing to accept the truth, even when that truth is uncomfortable to face and puts us or our loved ones in a bad light.
Homophobe, Islamaphobe, intolerant, racist, bigot, woman-hater, backward, ignorant, redneck, cracker. If you are a white, Christian, Conservative, you have probably been called at least one of those words, or something worse. Here’s a word for those who are quick to throw out the aforementioned terms, hypocrite.
I don’t know about you, but I am getting weary with being told what I think and how I feel from people who have no idea who I am or what I stand for. People who are content to be told by the entertainment industry what to think, not how to think. People who are too quick to believe what they are told, by a media more concerned with pushing a social agenda, than seeking the truth.
I watch everyday, on the news, on the web, and I am astonished that people blame racism, and bigotry in all its forms when they are faced with the consequences of their behaviors. Common sense and civility have been driven from the public square, and I shake my head and wonder, at what point did the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment, become so twisted and perverted that it is now the instrument by which I am stripped of the very rights it was meant to preserve?
Conservatism has always been about protecting the rights of the individual. Every individual, no matter what your personal philosophy. In spite of the picture painted of us, Conservatism is about compassion and compromise, within a framework of self-determination and personal responsibility. It is clear now however, that the Progressive movement, in spite of the narrative pushed for it, is not about compromise, it is about control.
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.