My Thoughts on Racism
This is a loaded post. I can already tell you that. I vacillate between being scared of being viewed as a racist and being scared of not being heard or understood correctly. I spoke in my recent post about Trayvon Martin how I didn’t feel this shooting was a racial issue; that by saying it was done because of the color of someone’s skin we MAKE it a racial issue. We call attention to race. But in my heart, I don’t care what color someone’s skin is, it’s wrong to hurt or kill another human. That’s it. Pretty easy.
Now this is not to say that racism doesn’t run rampant in the US and across the globe. It does. So does sexism. And ageism. People kill each other over sexual preferences and religious views. To deny that is to be blind and not exactly a well informed member of society.
I guess my avoidance of calling the shooting Trayvon Martin a racist incident is that I strive every day to not focus on the color of one’s skin. In the words of the great MLK, I choose to focus instead on the content of their character. I don’t want racism to exist so I do MY part by not allowing in MY life. And I don’t allow others in my life who have negative opinions of entire groups of people for something so trivial as the color of their skin or the sex of the person they fall in love with. That’s bigotry and I simply have no room for that kind of hatred & ignorance. It’s completely intolerable. But I have learned it’s not so easy changing people’s minds. I know this first hand as I’ve struggled to educate people about diabetes for more than 6 years now and some still just scratch their head, don’t get it and continue to tell me I can cure it with cinnamon or if I lose weight it will go away
While I suppose there are those of you that feel my viewpoint is apathetic, that’s fine. We’re all entitled to our opinions. However as I stated, no matter how much I argue and provide evidence, it’s not easy to erase or negate stereotypes that people have had for their entire lives (especially when said people grew up in the deep south during segregation for example). What I can do is surround myself with like minded people. What I can do is teach my niece & my nephews to be kind and tolerant to ALL people. I can teach them that love is stronger than hate. I can teach them that we all hurt the same, no matter the circumstances that hurt us. I can teach them that we are humans. And we are equal. I can teach them that anything less than a universal love for our fellow mankind is simply not enough. That is the extent of my ability and I will continue to exercise those abilities for the rest of my life. xoxo
PS – I am not saying that we should ignore the arguments regarding racism & gun control that have popped up from the Zimmerman trial. Indeed now is our chance to make some changes to those very issues that have been hotly debated in recent times.
PPS – I have never been afraid of a person or avoided a person because of the color of their skin. If I’m afraid of someone walking behind me after dark, first off I wouldn’t be able to see their skin color if they’re behind me and also? I’m plain scared of the dark – forget about someone walking up behind me!