It has been a while since I studied anything about racism. These comments are just some stream of consciousness thoughts on the subject - some things that come to mind.
One concept that is foremost in my mind at the moment is institutionalized racism. I just got 103,000 hits on google for that subject. I liked this one that gives this definition: The term "institutional racism" describes societal patterns that have the net effect of imposing oppressive or otherwise negative conditions against identifiable groups on the basis of race or ethnicity.
There is no doubt that we have come quite a way since the '60's when Stokely Carmichael coined the term. However, it is nowhere near being eradicated. Certainly individual aspects of racism have been toned down, but it is the institutionalized part that is more prevalent now. We need only look at the "birthers", a state congressional member looking for another "white hope" and others who immediately play the "race card" when things seem to be going against/for the target group. Members of all races can be guilty of practicing it. However, the predominant power group has the most responsibility to change, by virtue of its positon.
There is a plethora of sentiments currently passing through cyber-space, among other places, that are prime examples of institutionalized racism. I just deleted one concerning some nonsense about Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma becoming a separate nation. It even gave some citation from the US Constitution. It cites the supposed goal of President Obama to establish a socialist nation of the US. This is only the latest one I have seen. I'm sure that the next time I check my email there will be another from some "well meaning" person who thinks that it is amusing to make such comments. To some it is. As for me, I am not amused. I am saddened because folks feel a need to project onto others their own fears.
"Jokes" that put down another group just because they are of that group are not funny. It is just another sad example of people talking without thinking of the outcome of their words.
We ALL share more commonalities than differences. We would all be better off were we to focus on the commonalities. Those who choose to belittle, subjugate, treat badly, rape, maim and kill others because they are different do so because they are frightened of losing whatever positional power they believe they have. All they are doing is projecting their weaknesses onto others and castigating the others for that weakness.
Well, enough of this rant. It seems to be getting perilously close to being incoherent. I leave you to think about it. Hopefully, it will awaken us all to the ideal that it is love, not hate, that makes the world a better place. Please give it some thought and take some action in your own sphere of influence.
Senator Ted Kennedy understood and did something about it.
And remember to...
Serve with integrity, care about those you serve and share the love in your heart/soul.