Thursday, December 20, 2018


Over the years I've seen a lot of stories in the news that deal with or at least accuse others of racist actions or intentions. The definition of racism is: “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.”

I don't believe any race of people is superior to another. There are saints and jerks to be found among every kind of people. To assume an entire race is inferior is not only wrong, but it is just so lazy. If you were to get to know people of different races you would see that some of them are amazing people and others are maybe not so much. This concept extends from race and also applies to people of different religions, nationalities, political affiliations, ideologies, etc.

When talking about this subject I feel the need to differentiate between race and culture. You are born within a race. You have no control of what race you belong to or who your ancestors were. I am white. I am neither proud nor ashamed of my skin color.  I did nothing to determine my race so I have no guilt or pride about something I have no control over. However, I do feel gratitude and appreciation for my ancestors' sacrifices and accomplishments. 

Culture is defined as “the ideas, customs, and social behavior of a particular people or society.” I think it is fine when people of all walks of life honor their heritage, ancestors, and culture, but I am saddened when any culture promotes dishonest practices, corruption, laziness, ignorance, abuse, etc. By the way, no country or group is free from these problems. If I speak out against certain cultural practices I believe to be wrong, that does not make me a racist if some of those practicing them happen to be of a different race than me. It really bothers me when people play the race card for their gain.

I am troubled when I hear people attempting to guilt others for being privileged and seeking justice or reparations from others when no injustice has been done. I have never owned a slave. I’ve done my genealogy from both sets of parents back to the 1600’s. As far as I know I have never had an ancestor who owned another human yet there are people who say because I am white I am guilty of being privileged and owe some kind of reparations to someone who’s ancestors were wronged in the past.  I simply won't take responsibility for things that happened before I was born or to people I have never met or dealt with.  I may be guilty of many bad things but they all happened after I was born and were things I actually did.

Another thing about this topic that bothers me is the classification of Americans. I hate it when filling out government forms and we have to choose Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Native American, etc. How about just American? When we accentuate and focus on our differences it doesn’t help to unify us.

I think we often focus on the wrong things. People who focus on sickness instead of wellness get sick, people who focus on poverty instead of wealth get poorer, people who focus on race instead of unity become more racist. 

I admit racism has been and is still a big problem but I also think the media and many politicians love to push the racist narrative even when certain issues or stories are not really about race. I don't have all the answers but I know racism could go away if people followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remarks when he said we should be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. We are all family since we are all part of the human race. If we focus on our similarities and the things we have in common as opposed to our differences, we would live in a much better world.