As a 36 year old, white man who was raised in a middle class home, never wanting for anything… the epitome of white privilege (in italics for emphasis, not to de-legitimize the reality of it)… you might be wondering why I am bothering to write a blog post about civil rights and racism. Well kick off your shoes and set awhile, because I’m about to tell you. Yes, the title is a plug from one of the most famous civil rights speeches of all time; and, yes, I know that because I’m white what comes next better be damn good. I hope I won’t disappoint you, or the memory of the late GREAT Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are in a bit of a weird spot right now as a society. I’m just barely NOT a Millennial and just barely a Gen-Xer. Regardless, most of the Gen-Xers were truly among the first to have parents who didn’t have racist thoughts regarding other colors of skin. When I was a little boy, a family with African ancestry, a black family, moved in across the street from me. To my parents, this was something to talk about. Not out of racism, but curiosity. While they talked about how a “black family” moved into the neighborhood, it was because they were the only ones, they were different in their looks, not worth less. For me, all I saw was that they had a little boy the same age as me. His name was LeAndre. He became one of my best friends. Most of us were never taught as a child that one race was better than another. Heck my mother was a hippie, free love, drugs and rock n’ roll. My father was a police officer and later a human resources manager, who never uttered a racist comment that I EVER heard. I’m fairly certain that the parents of the Millennials were even less inclined to do so. Regardless, I can say with fair certainty, that neither generation hold nearly the racist tendencies that previous generations have.
This then, is why I am scratching my head at my fellow Gen-X, Y, Z-ers and Millennials who are all up in arms about the Oscars. This is why I get so upset at the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Not because black lives don’t matter, but because today’s society gets it, and I don’t think that the lack of black actors nominated for the Oscars has ANYTHING to do with race. Marches and mass, violent, demonstrations don’t fix the current problems. YES, we have an institutionalized privilege issue; but it isn’t just blacks who are affected. Every minority, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, women… every one of them is underrepresented in every aspect of commercial, government and political systems. However, there are new systems being put in place every day that are affecting more and more change. Ultimately, though, these groups are still truly minorities. If we have equity amongst races, then, in reality the minorities will be OVER represented.
Why am I upset? Because, like I said, we get it. Today’s generations are changing the landscape, drastically, every stinking day. These changes, take time… this isn’t an excuse, it’s fact. Look, I don’t know a single person, not one, below the age of 70 who honestly believes that one race is superior to another. Does that mean that they don’t exist? Of course not, there will always be a few total idiots in society. What I am seeing is a minority rising up against a majority that believes in their cause, because of another minority. Let that sink in for a moment.
We, and I mean the collective we… as in ALL of us. Are truly one race. The human race. The amazing thing is that most of the Western World gets this. In our drive for equality, we are pushing beyond equality and now demanding equity. Don’t believe me? Look at Bernie Sanders’ polls. Look if you like Bernie, I get it. You want something better for this country, and some of his ideas sound fantastic. I don’t want to get into a political discussion, but what Bernie represents is a perfect example of what I am pointing out.
We live in an age of ultra-sensitivity. People aren’t allowed to feel pain anymore without it being a huge moral and ethical tragedy. Heck, if I don’t feel guilty for being a white, middle class, Christian male, then I’m an insensitive prick. What have we become?! I have served in the military for over 16 years now. I joined because I love this great country and everything that she stands for. I believe, with every fiber of my being, that this country is something worth fighting for. Heck, just the fact that I can type this means I am free. Except, I’m not. We have gone so far beyond equality, that we are now making it white people’s fault for the inequity in America.
Look, I’m not dismissing the fact that less than 100 years since the abolishment of slavery that there are still issues to overcome. What I’m arguing is that EVERYONE that really matters, knows. Let’s stop fighting about it, and work together. Isn’t that what equality is all about? It’s not about everyone having the same things. It’s about everyone having the same chances. At the end of the day, if everyone wins, then nobody wins. Equity, is the enemy of a fully functional society.
So… once again, I Have a Dream:
I have a dream that every man, woman, and child will be seen as a human being, equal, regardless of skin color or sex. We are all one race, the human race.
I have a dream that we will stop expecting the government to help us, or help others, and we will all reach out and lend a hand, or give when we can.
I have a dream that those that succeed will be praised, rather than scrutinized. That we will stop judging someone’s harvest before we take a look at what they have sowed.
I have a dream that EVERY man, woman and child will be treated the same, and judged based on merit, rather than forcing a quota based on skin color or sex. That “participation trophies” will be thrown in the trash where they belong. This means that the best comes out on top, regardless of color or sex, without riots and boycotts seeking to create equity. Life isn’t fair, and when we decide that it is, we will always be disappointed. We are raising a generation that will be so weak, and sensitive, that it won’t be able to face the real world.
I have a dream that whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics in will come together to help decrease crime in the whole of society, most of which occurs color on color. There is no denying the numbers.
I have a dream that we will also embrace our own uniqueness. Once upon a time, all of mankind spoke the same language and had the same culture. In the Bible, this ended with the Tower of Babel. While the new covenant means that we ARE meant to live, love and grow together, we aren’t meant to throw off our heritage and culture. This melting pot we call the United States would be nothing special if it weren’t for our many personalities. Our differences make us great.
Ultimately, though, I have a dream that we will conquer all of these things with love. For Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. And in love, neither will we.