-------- Original Message --------
My topic this week speaks for itself. I'm sorry I felt that I needed to write this, but frightened people in our midst are too often determined to be impressed with the kind of commentary this person sent me. Hence I needed to offer my perspective.
Racism exists in every country in the world and is practiced by every creed, color and political ideology, but no, the antidote to racism isn't more racism let alone defensive racism.
Your comments are always welcome whether pro or con.
Again, thanks for being one of my readers!
MONDAY, JULY 20TH, 2009
PROUD TO BE WHITE? HELL NO! THATS JUST LUCK
BY EDWIN COONEY
I try to be upbeat about most things, but when I receive a piece of writing such as the one sent me a few weeks ago not only justifying white pride, but also its accompanying license to racial and ethnic slander, it seems to me that American civilization is closer to the dismal swamp than the heavenly stars.
This piece purportedly represents former standup comedian Michael Richards righteous defense in court in the wake of his November, 17th, 2006 Laugh Factory tirade against blacks. It is a fraud on its very face. Mr. Richards never went to court as a result of that infamous occasion. The point of this piece of internet garbage is that our rights are being endangered due to our unwillingness to stand up and be proud of being white.
I bring this to your attention because I deplore racial prejudice and hatred as a vehicle for political success. More to the point, name-calling is juvenile and any defense of such name-calling is even worse. Sadly, too many Americans are willing to be energized by rabble-rousing pieces such as this one. The strategy is victimization: beware -- somebody scary is out to get you!
It is true, especially over the last eighty years, that politicians of all stripes have appealed increasingly to our victimhood rather than our pride. Its also true that at some point in all of our lives we are in fact victims: victims of disease and disability, victims of exploitation, victims of crime and discrimination, and, finally, victims of pride itself.
Every potential president from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama has offered his personal service to the American people on the grounds that he will free them from exploitation by some entity whether it be corporatism or big government. Its perfectly true, of course, that both of these forces have (when insufficiently regulated) overstepped their boundaries. However, we all learned back in grade school that liberty requires eternal vigilance. Whats even truer is that were too often willing to victimize ourselves.
The main question raised by this piece was whether the _expression_ by whites of pride in ones race can legitimately be called racism. My response to that question is that as long as we consider our race a sign of superiority over those of other racial and ethnic groups, then, of course, such pride is racism. The next question this piece raises is whether blacks and other religious and minority groups by creating such organizations as The United Negro College Fund, the Congressional Black Caucus, and BET (Black Entertainment Television) are themselves indulging in racism. To that question, I reply absolutely not.
In other parts of the world, different races and power groups practice racism. The fact is that had Catholics, Jews and others been welcomed into American society, there would have been no need for such institutions as Catholic schools, the United Negro College Fund, or even Miss Black America. What puzzles me is why this reality isnt obvious.
Human frailty is an equal opportunity tempter. Therefore, blacks, gays, the disabled, and other traditional minorities are perfectly capable of racism, ableism, and ethnismalong with other isms yet to be identified or categorized.
Although my vote for President Obama last November was largely for his inclusive outlook rather than for him as a black man, Im sure a large percentage of black Americans voted for him primarily because he is black. Does that make them racists? the emotionally insecure author of the piece Im referring to would invariably ask. Answer: individually perhaps, as there are black racists among us, but as I see it, the black vote for President Obama last November was an affirmative vote for one person and not for racial dominance!
No, you are not a racist for being unashamed of any aspect of your God-given being. Be proud of your associations: your parents, your friends, your religious faith, or your commitment to secular ideology. Those are emotional, spiritual and intellectual achievements. Also, be proud of Americas achievements, principles and ideals. However, if you are forced to be proud of your disability, your gender, your race, or perhaps your criminal nature, then you are a victim of your very being.
Race, gender and disability are, of course, beyond our individual control. How we process and internalize the worlds response to that which is beyond our control depends on our individual capacity for perspective.
Magnanimity in ones perspective is invariably a key to personal superiority, not race. If you were born white in America, it isnt an achievement to be proud of you were just damn lucky, thats all.