Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Philosophical Debate on Racism

Black people have been complaining about racism for years. White people say blacks are being ridiculous. As a white person who has been listening to these complaints for decades, I’d like to put an end to the argument right now – racism IS alive today! Need evidence? Think of Ferguson, Missouri. Think of the recent bus incident from students at the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE). 

WHY is racism still so rampant, though? At one time, Americans hated the Japanese. Another time, they hated the Irish, even though the Irish were white. Polish taunts were common. And let’s not forget the Native Americans whose land the white people stole from beneath them. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can hate another human being for no reason whatsoever.

After Martin Luther King, Jr., so valiantly tried to end this unethical behavior back in the 60s, after the tragic ending of the life of the teenage boy, Emmett Till, who merely whistled at a white woman, here we are, 50 years later, still dealing with something so incomprehensible to me that I wonder if I’ll ever see an end to racism.

Sadly, I doubt it. For reasons that remain unknown to me, we have put aside our hatred of the Japanese and the Irish and the Polish and the Native Americans, but we still have a seething hatred for black people. But ask any white person outright if she or he hates black people and you’ll hear, “No, I have friends who are black.” 

Really? Sneak into a room filled with only white people and you can hear racial slurs and almost see the ugly virus that spreads throughout that room. Add a black person to the room and all the white people put a veil over their hatred and prejudice, so they can pretend it doesn’t exist. But WHY does it exist in the first place? Do we carry over the guilt and shame left over from our predecessors who ignorantly brought black people from Africa as slaves, because they thought they were stupid? And why did they think they were stupid – because they didn’t speak the same language? Maybe the real target of our hatred is our ancestors.

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