A few weeks ago there was a “White Power/Anti Racism rally in my city.
This is an annual event at which a small group of our finest citizens proudly march around while proudly carrying banners that proudly proclaim the superiority of their “whiteness,” and proudly muttering something that sounds either like “white pride” or “wash with Tide.”
So proud are they of displaying their pride that they hide their faces from view lest we mistakenly confuse their pride for arrogance.
And every year the media cover this event giving our proud demonstrators exactly what they want – to see their (masked) faces on TV and in the newspapers.
Kind of like their own personal annual fifteen seconds of infamy.
I have often wondered what would happen if the media didn’t show up?
I realize their job is to report the news, but really guys, this isn’t news. They held the same rally last year, and the year before and the year before that. Perhaps the first time they showed up it was “news” but now its “olds” and not worthy of coverage.
I have a hunch that if the media didn’t show up, the White Pride parade would be taking place in a basement somewhere while the members watch Sesame Street.
We need oxygen to sustain our lives and would die without it. They need media exposure for the same reasons.
The dictionary defines racism as;
A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
We have extended that definition to include gender, religion or any identifiable group to which we may belong.
And now the words racist and bigot are used interchangeably.
For example there are probably folks out there who hate others simply because they are left handed.
Well, get over it. We are better and brighter than you.
I grew up in a country that not only practiced racism, it legislated it. Racism was mandatory and jail time potentially awaited those who thought otherwise.
In the South Africa where I was raised the colour of your skin determined everything:
Where you could live.
What schools you could attend.
Where you could work.
Which hospitals you could go to.
Where you could sit on a bus.
Which washrooms you could use.
Which restaurants you could patronize.
Who you could hang out with.
Whether you were good enough to vote.
There was even a law, called the “Immorality Act” which made criminals of those who had sex “across the colour line.”
Fortunately, almost twenty years ago mandated racism was swept away and today the type of racism practiced there mirrors the racism practiced here and everywhere else – the type whose flawed thinking leads adherents to believe in their own superiority or who direct massive hatred towards identifiable groups whose sole crime is being different.
I don’t understand it, I just don’t get it.
I understand dislike. I even understand hate.
I get that you can hate me for some real or imagined slight, injustice, crime or other misdeed that I may have levied against you.
That part I get.
Even though to know me is to love me
But to hate me simply because I belong to some identifiable group?
And I don’t understand it because it defies comprehension.
You hate everyone with green eyes.
You don’t know me.
I have green eyes.
You hate me.
That’s just sad.
And those who do so forever rob themselves of the opportunity of experiencing magnificent relationships with other members of the one race to which we all belong – the human one.
Pathetic, don’t you think?
About two years ago the world watched in fascination as the United States elected its first ever black president.
And, it seems to me, there was more discussion around his pigmentation than his qualification.
I hope it never happens again.
I hope they never again elect a black president.
Or a white one.
Or a green one.
Or a blue one.
Or a boy one.
Or a girl one.
Or a Christian one.
Or a Muslim one.
Or a Jewish one.
Or a Budhist one.
Or a Zoroastrian one.
I hope that in the future they just elect presidents.
Who win the presidency for the sole reason that voters believe in their vision, values, ideology, integrity and ability to deliver.
And no other reason.
There is only one thing that unites us as human beings.
And the same thing divides us.
It is what we uniquely and individually believe to be true.
And because we believe something to be true, we view it to be a fact.
Irrefutable, undeniable fact.
Not just an opinion that might possibly be flawed.
And when we impose negative, hurtful, damning and critical beliefs on an entire group, because we truly believe those beliefs to be facts, then we are really just telling the world how limited we are in our own capacity to think.
And I don’t just believe that to be true. It’s a fact.
And if you think like that then you are, as my good friend and laugh therapist Gary M would say, “dumber than a chicken.”
Which, Gary, is a rather bigoted comment to make about chickens.
So if you are one of those who happen to belong to that sad, pathetic group who hate all stunningly, good looking males?
Well, I guess that means you hate me.
Till we read again.
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