Serve with integrity. Care about those you serve. Share the love in your heart & soul.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

#633 Random thoughts about Racism

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.



Hale McKay said...

As long as there are those who have ... and those who have not, racism will permeate society.

It's the itch that cannot be scratched, not because it cannot be reached, but because it is in a place where we don't want others to see.

Puss-in-Boots said...

As long as there are humans, there will be racism. Some people revel in abusing others either verbally or physically. It's a blight on society and hopefully one day, those who practice racism will come to see the error in their way of thinking. Having been subject to racist comments once or twice, I can't feel angry or upset, just extremely sorry for those who feel that way.

Good thought provoking post, Jack.

Skunkfeathers said...

Racism is with us. Even if MLK's "dream" could come true, there will be those on both sides of the aisle (out on both fringes) who will continue to seek to use the term to undermine the commonality, and use "racism" to make their own marginalized notions seem valid.

And one more thing: don't forget the media's role in perpetuating racism. We had a good example of that in the past few months, and the leader of our nation was sadly and ineptly involved. Racism crosses the aisle.

Paul Harvey used to say "it is not one world". I don't expect it to be in my lifetime, no matter how much one tries to "imagine" it otherwise. Life is what it is, and human nature, too. I've said it before and I'll say it again: until Man's wisdom achieves superiority over his more primal instincts, the battle of good vs evil will go on. When the fight will be won, I can't say, and I don't expect to live to see. But the fight can't be given up.

My two cents, Jack. I know you and I don't agree on all things politically; but I reckon we agree that civility, decency, honesty, integrity and ethics must survive and perpetuate, if civil society is to do so.

Jack K. said...

Hale, I didn't think you were such a defeatist. lol Your comment does make sense, but I'd like to think the MLK's comment about "We shall overcome" is still a worthwhile goal. Those of us who become disenchanted with the way things are must muster our strength and resolve and do our part to make the change. It always has to start with me. I am sure you will stand with me and do your part too.

Robyn, you reminded me of the time my father was stationed in Hawaii. We joined him there. It was interesting to be in the minority as a white person. Fortunately, we kids (I turned 12 there) didn't let skin color get in our way. It takes eash of us to do our part make change happen. Thanks for your efforts.

Skunkman, I heartily agree on the concept of civility, honesty, integrity and ethical behvior. There is certainly room for lively debate. I have little time or respect for loud, raucous shouting. However, I do understand the frustration of those who are doing the shouting. Most of us will complain about the failings of the Congress, yet we keep on voting for our Rascal. Don't you just love America. I do. Thanks for doing your part.

Karen said...

With the help of the Internet, sadly, racism seems to be escalating since Prez Obama took office.

Merle said...

Dear Jack ~~ I just typed a comment and lost it, so will try again. I thought that racism had been
better in the laast years, there are entertainers and mixed marriages, even a President who I hope does well once this recession is over.
I was so sorry to see where Ted Kennedy died as that family were so special, all of them. Glad he is at rest with Jack and Bobby.
Thanks for your comments and glad you liked the pics of Peter and myself. We all must try to treat others as we would like to be treated.
Take good care, my friend. Regards, Merle.