The Flight of Reason

Title From Paul Johnson's "Intellectuals"

Color Blind Can Mean Seeing Things in Black and White February 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — dinkerson @ 1:05 pm
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Before I begin, let me warn you, this is a troublesome subject that I bring you today; a subject that I’m reluctant to bring here at all. The topic is race. Yes, and speaking of such things is not a quick way to make friends. Perhaps you’ll give me the benefit of at least considering my thoughts. Please understand that above all, I seek to be respectful and reasonable, as well as open minded.

 

Also, I should tell you that I will be referring to black people as “black people”. I present two reasons for choosing the term. First, I’ve had many friends in the past who were black. Every one of these friends have told me that they would rather be called “black” than “African American”. Their reasoning was simple, and made good sense, “We’re not ‘Africans’”, they’d say. And in fact they weren’t. They were black people born in America.

Second, after Barrack Obama won the presidential election, Jay-z was quoted as saying these words… On second thought, I’ll not post that quote. It was a little out there. But Jay-z did write a “song” titled, “My President is Black”. Thus due to concrete evidence, I’ve concluded that black people in, general, are okay with the title “black”.

I didn't recognize until after I posted this that it was Nick and Jessica in the Photo. Lol!

 

I can assure you that what I will write on the subject comes from a completely racially unbiased mind. I am speaking as a white man, thus I’m aware that I may be the only race existing within the US that lacks the freedom to speak of anything race related, and still remain within the proper confines of political correctness. You see, if a white man acknowledges the race of a black man, or hints at having any pride in his own race, he is called a racist. Thus I clearly understand that, being what I am, this is a tough subject to breech.

If I were black, not only could I speak freely on the subject of race, but I could boldly proclaim tremendous pride in my own race, and our accomplishments throughout history.

Imagine if I, again being a white man, were to sit in a news studio in front of a national audience, and say that I glean some sense of pride from being a part of the white community, and that I’m grateful for everything that white men and women have done throughout history. How do you think that would fly? Yeah, probably not too well. What if I were to recommend that we begin a “White History Month”, during which we could focus on all of the great achievements, not of men, but of white men? Lol.

 

Alright, stay with me. I’m about to make my point

 

I was raised in Southern Arkansas, in a small community called Spring Hill. My parents taught me to be unconcerned with race when it came to choosing friends and displaying general kindness. I use that term “unconcerned” because they did not teach me to be colorblind. There is quite a difference in one being racially aware and one being racially biased. Black people were black people and white people were white. Simple as that, and there was never and skirting or dancing around the subject. After all, things are what they are. Consider this: Presently I live in a community where there are no black people. The ridiculous KKK’s headquarters is right down the road, thus most black people have left the area, or simply stayed away to begin with. Because my children rarely see black people, it stands to reason that their first sighting was a bit of an issue. The first time my inquisitive son saw a black person, he asked if the man had fallen into some chocolate milk. Is my son a racist? No, he simply calls things as he sees them. My response was something like this, “No son, he hasn’t fallen in any milk”

“Then what’s wrong with him?” Alek asked.

Now, in response to this question, I suppose I could either have been completely pragmatic or completely reactionary.

 

Reactionary would have sounded something like this, “Alek, you shouldn’t speak of things about which you are clearly confused. There’s nothing wrong with that man, and asking silly questions of that sort only serves to put me in an awkward position.”

 

Pragmatic would have sounded something like this, “No Alek, there certainly isn’t anything wrong with him. He’s simply another race. There are many races found around the world, the nation, and even this community. The existence of many diverse cultures is one of the many things that makes the world such an interesting place in which to live. Would you like to meet him? No? Okay.”

 

But, oh no! No, we can’t do that. For the good of our children, we must be color blind. But if we are to be color blind, you see, then that is something that will have to go both ways. And, in order for that to happen, I’m afraid that many of the things that have become an important part of black culture will have to go by the wayside.

Now, I recognize, acknowledge, and clearly distinguish (respectfully) the race difference between white people and black people. Also, I am a firm proponent of racial equality. Not race ignorance, but an acceptance and even a celebration of our differences.

What I’m not okay with is our one-sidedness on the taboo subject of race and “color blindness”. My issue is with the fact that we continue, as a society, to observe and make allowances for an overwhelming bias toward clearly racially biased events, programs and material.

I’m speaking of such things as Black History Month, The Black Atlas (my god, imagine if we made a The White Atlas!), Black TV, etc.

 

 

Now hold on, hold on. Don’t bail just yet. Remember, I said “a bias towards”. In other words, I have no problem with these black observances. What I do have a problem with is the attitude that the black race is somehow on a plane of entitlement above my own race. There is a bias here, and the bias is that only the black race is allowed to openly take pride in being black. You see? That is my point. Not that I want to end these observances; instead, I think that if they are available for one, they should be available for all. And if they are not available to all then take them away from the one.

Balance is what I seek, no more singling out and hammering the issue of political correctness.

What do you think? I have an open mind here. If I need to be corrected, feel free to give it a shot.

 

Or perhaps you agree?

 

 

 

 

55 Responses to “Color Blind Can Mean Seeing Things in Black and White”

  1. Kellie Says:

    I admire you for taking on this subject matter, knowing it is a lightning rod. I feel made worse in the past 3 years…not better, which is very sad to me. Political correctness has (in my views) become over the top crazy. But I have always felt that there are people of all races that are looking to be offended over just about anything these days. Having no children of my own, I can’t imagine having this conversation with my young child. No matter how the conversation goes with your child, it is going to seem racist to those who look for racism in everything that is said and done. I too grew up in a very white area of Southern California, with only a few races mixed in there. However, as I became an adult my network of friends grew. So did the mixes of races. I was fortunate, my core group of friends of different races were very open to talk about differences and had a wonderful sense of SELF WORTH. Always honest and open to discuss and make light of our differences in such a positive way. No body was a victim, everyone was on an even playing field. I am blessed to have such honesty,openness and most of all humor with all of them. Nobody was looking to be offended. Now a days, kids especially are being overwhelmed with political correctness. A shame, most will never experience the wonderful dialog I shared with my friends and coworkers.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Wonderful! What excellent thoughts you’ve added here Kellie. You know, this is the reason why I was excited when you began dropping in. I knew that you were capable of adding just these kind of well balanced thoughts to such difficult subjects as this one. Thanks for reading :-)

  2. The Hook Says:

    Very brave of you to tackle such a thorny subject, my friend! Well done!

  3. lolabees Says:

    So… you can always leave it to me to keep it light, but have you ever seen PCU? Great movie! We’re not gonna protest! We’re not gonna protest!

  4. rangewriter Says:

    As always, you raise troubling and important questions. And, btw, I think your parents must have been way cool in the way they raised you.

    I’ve struggled with some of these PC issues myself. It bothers me that we have to change team names and maps to exclude words like squaw. But, at the same time, I wonder how I’d feel if I were an native American…(they like to be called something else, too, but I’m not clear what it is) woman who’d had that word yelled at me in disdain by white bigots. Perhaps my feelings on the subject would be quite different.

    Some things I can understand as simply a cultural hunger. Black TV? Well, ya, it would be nice to see people like you in your entertainment and news. That’s like Christian TV. No problems there, right? If I’m not a Christian, I don’t have to watch that station. (But maybe I should because just maybe I’d learn something, eh?) Black History Month? Well, if we hadn’t spent the last 200 years ignoring or skewing the history of blacks, this wouldn’t be necessary. The only black person I remember learning about in my grade school history books were Nat Turner and Frederick Douglas and that’s just plain wrong. These celebrations have drawn attention to what we have neglected to think about.

    I do think we have plenty of white observances. We just don’t feel the need to exploit the word white because…frankly it’s implied. The 4th of July, President’s Day…(ah…now offset by MLK day…which is not specifically a black holiday, although it does focus on a black man and his historical context), veteran’s day, memorial day, … we have lots of holidays that have traditionally only represented white people. I think all the attention on “black” celebrations has been sort of a catalyst to get us thinking. Hopefully, in time, if enough people like you and I come to recognize that we are all just people and that what color we are matters little more than what color our eyes are, PC will cease to exist. And you are absolutely correct. This realization must cross all racial and color lines.

    Great post and great discussion. Glad you’re back! ;-)

  5. dinkerson Says:

    Great comment. I can truthfully say that when you mentioned Christianity, my heart raced. I’m just sayin’ :-)

    My parents are pretty cool. A little different perhaps, but they are sincere.

    I was surprised when you mentioned that about your history courses. My history books were unusual because they were faith based. But, I clearly remember learning about quite a few black, historical figures.
    It never ceases to surprise me when I find out yet another area in which my schooling was… different.

    Just so you know, I just typed up three paragraphs worth of a comment, and my pitiful computer messed up and deleted it. That’s my excuse for this short reply to a very thoughtful, and thought provoking comment.

    Thanks!

  6. Just wondering- are we all white people commenting? LOL!
    Okay, so yes I agree, and yes, I disagree.
    It wasn’t too long ago when a black man couldn’t eat at the same lunch counter or ride next to you on the bus. So I feel like their anguish and oppression is still healing, still rising and that’s the need for pride, ‘history month’, whatever. But now that I think about it- the Chinese, Japanese and Native American deserve the same thing since we pretty much messed them up too and marginalized them in our society through history. Although Civil Rights, was the integration of ‘colored’s and ‘whites’. That’s what the bathrooms said.
    It’s the same with women. We still are making strides, proving ourselves, it wasn’t long ago when we got the right to vote. So yes, white men have done wonderful things, but white men are the ones oppressing everyone else (in general terms I realize). They’ve had it easy. Set the rules, make the game, keep everyone in place throughout history… That’s why I see the need to disagree. Does that make sense? I mean good grief, we sold blacks as slaves, whipped them and hung them from trees. UGH.
    But you still write with heart and thought so that’s why I agree with you in ways too.
    I do hope that there will be a ‘color blind’ of sorts where people’s accomplishments will be based on the person, not ‘the first woman that won such-and-such'; or ‘the first black man to ever blah, blah, blah’. Right? Just people.

    • dinkerson Says:

      I hear ya. Kind of. The pendulum is a swinging device, thus when it swings too far out in one direction, it will inevitably swing too far the other way before it once again finds its’ balance.
      I sometimes wonder if I’m willing to accept that. I wasn’t the one who swung the bloody pendulum too far to begin with, thus why should I have to put up with the present day imbalance?

      Oh, and yes, you’re right that blacks were sold as slaves. Only… I never did… sell them that is. In fact, black people sold black people as slaves! That being said, the deed was done, and I think that it would be inappropriate to forget that. But is it not also a bit inappropriate for an entire race to carry a sense of entitlement due to their own treatment of themselves along with the treatment that they received from people who lived long before I was born? And long before they were born for that matter?

      I hate to cite Wikipedia as a source… but here is one of my sources. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery

      My other source is found in A Beka American History.

  7. suemacarthur Says:

    As the Mother of what some would call a mixed race family,I have to say, i have never seen colour, but i do see people, no one should get anything because they are Black or white or because there skin is any other colour, they should get because they have work for it or paid for it or what ever is the right way, and yes i know some time we all need a helping hand, but that should not go on for ever, no matter what country you live in, you should be all Aussie or Americans or so on,
    Do i think your a Racist? No i think your some what who say it how they see it, and that the way it should be!
    Take care
    Sue

    • dinkerson Says:

      Hey Sue. I was hoping to get an Aussie’s opinion! My reason was simply that I don’t know what the race situation is like in Australia, thus any input from there would be informative. You certainly seem qualified to speak on the subject. Thanks so much for being willing to weigh in with your valuable input.

      I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts here.

  8. aFrankAngle Says:

    I cannot comment on the black perspective, because I haven’t lived it – but I know that I never feel good when I examine our history. I also cringe when I catch myself using race as a stereotype or unnecessarily. Yes,true colorblindness is a two-way street, yet we forget about those who believe it and practice it. Then again, is something like Black History Month a small way of trying to reconcile with the past.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Frank, Good thoughts. Of course, I’m sure that when you examine our history, you make sure to keep in mind that the United States is certainly not the only region of the world to incorporate slavery into its system.
      Many countries of the world have had slavery in their past. Most races have at one time or another been used as slaves. To view the issue as “The US against Blacks in the 17-1800’s isn’t accurate.
      What I’m saying is that slavery has always existed and has impacted many races. Let’s not beat ourselves up too badly over it. Am I saying let’s forget about it? Hell no. But let’s not let it weaken our pride in our great history and our present strength. Evil has always been a factor with all things. Even all things that have been tremendously good. I choose to take pride in the good things while remaining ever aware of the evil that always lurks about.

      Your comment was in my spam box. Odd.

  9. I was about to leave a lengthy comment regarding political correctness, but this would have been the second one I’ve written in a few days, so I took the thought and transformed it into a new post that I’ll probably release sometime tomorrow

  10. Wow…what a heavy topic to handle, Nathan! I must say, as I was reading your post, I was curious as to how the politics between races may differ in the States versus Canada. Since I live in Toronto (the most racially diverse city in the world), I feel rather unqualified to make a comment on this issue that seems to be so prevalent in America (or perhaps it’s just as prevalent here?).

    I really don’t feel an unbalance between my race nor any other race here in Canada (perhaps others living here do?). I guess I feel as though, at least here in Toronto, because we’re so diverse,each race is a minority as well as a majority (does that make sense?), which, I suppose, means we have a rather balanced view of race (at least, I hope it does). No matter who you are or what you look like, if you live in Toronto, you will, at some point throughout the week, be asked this question: “So, what’s your background?” We’re all curious about where each other comes from, as there are so many people here who have a mixed background. I hope that, because of our curiosity, we have a true desire to learn more about each race represented, and I also hope that translates into having a balanced view of race.

    Again, I’m speaking as a white person living here; there may be many others from other races who have a different view and have experienced something different whilst living here. Perhaps I’m completely naive in my thinking…

    So, all that to say, do you think that the race perceptions in the US may vary from those in Canada, or do you think I’m just a sheltered white girl living in Toronto? (Not going to lie…that’s a strong possibility, I suppose. lol!)

    Very interesting topic! I suspect it’ll generate a LOT of discussion!

    • dinkerson Says:

      I think I get what you’re saying about each race being a minority and a majority. Is it that there’s more than just peaceful coexistence; there’s an appreciation for the distinctiveness of each race, yet each race possesses an equally strong voice? If so, that sounds wonderful! Lol, you may be a sheltered white girl too… I dunno. I really don’t know.

      Also, I don’t know much about the history of racial conflict in Canada; however, in the US, there are a couple of things that make race an unmanageable hot button.
      First, rather than smoothly transitioning into the modern school of thought on slavery, we had to have a civil war to move us there. The effects of a civil war don’t quickly pass after only a generation or two. Also, that other important political issues were being decided by The Civil War is a fact that seemed to make the slavery/race issue of the war even more inflammatory. I think that it’s possible that some people still lump the black race into their theory of blame for losing (almost said loosing ;-) ) state’s sovereignty.
      Second, the existence of political correctness acts as an obnoxious, bossy school girl back on the playground. The one whose mom was on the school board. You remember the type; don’t play by her rules and she’ll wipe her snotty nose on you. Push her too far and she’ll tell the teacher (I myself only know the type because I taught school for a little while). This type of bossiness pushes people to their edge. It can cause rage due to a perceived loss of control over one’s own thoughts. Does this make sense?

      By the way, I love that you (and those around you) feel the freedom to openly ask about race. I absolutely hate it when I hear someone say that to ask about one’s race is to cross the line of all things appropriate. Pretending that a person’s race could reveal nothing about themselves is foolish, in my opinion. Way to appreciate the various races, and way to feel the freedom to show it.

  11. Aaaargh – you make me want to know Jay Z’s quote! You shouldn’t hesitate to say it – it wasn’t your words, you’re just passing them along in relevance to your posting. Ugh, will have to try & google it.

    Well, brave one – the subject of RACE!! :) I get what you said about imagine if you proclaimed a White Month to celebrate the achievements of white men & women. I didn’t know they had such a month there in the US. Maybe it’s just the black folk trying to catch up in recognition, with the obvious cultural and historical recognition of white folks which is well established.

    Yet true, if you said you were proud to be white etc we’d quickly adopt the term “white pride” of you, which translates as Nazism. I personally am not proud to be white. I’m not unproud to be white either. I don’t think about the colour of my skin. Yet heritage, I would say I have some pride in my Polish roots, & my Irish roots – and, to be honest with you, an admiration (but can’t be proud because I don’t “own” it/it’s not my one) – for the Asian roots. As you will note, my son’s father is Indonesian-Chinese, so pardon me but I’m rather proud of his strong HERITAGE roots. Re the colour of his skin, phhhft, nothing to be proud of.

    I’m proud of these roots because the Polish & Irish are hard wearing people, have been through a lot… like black people have… like English people have etc – you get my point. So I think it’s harmless to have pride in your roots, to honour your roots – be you black white or yellow. But to be proud to be WHITE or proud to be BLACK, I don’t really understand that – I can’t relate to that.

    Wow, I didn’t know of a black atlas or black TV either! But to be fair, I do know of Asian TV – Japanese news channels, Chinese etc … though the black atlas I don’t understand. How is it different from the established atlas? Are the dimensions of any of the continents different? Whatever can be different in a black atlas? I don’t understand.

    Dinkerson, I think you should have – in fact hope you did – give your son the pragmatic answer. F*k society (I know you won’t have swearing on here so I respectfully censor myself ;) ). Seriously, say to your children the way YOU want them to grow up, not how society commands you should. I really hope you didn’t let society influence you there.

    Before I take up your whole page, in short: I agree. There is inequality as society has a fit trying to make up for PAST inequality. The pendulum has swung the other way. Balance is required, and in the seeking of balance, EACH INDIVIDUAL needs to know they have the right to fight for THEIR situation, if THEIR situation is unfair/unequal. But for a government to indulge any individual because of their colour & past mistakes, that doesn’t strike me as fair, no.

    Great post, N’h.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Well alright then. Jay Z was quoted as saying this,

      “I know ya’ll thanking a lot of people right now… I want to thank two people. I want to thank the mother****er overseas that threw two shoes at George Bush, and I want to thank the mother****ers who helped them move they shit up out the White House. Get it moving bitch! My president is mother****ing black!”

      Lol! And yet nobody calls him a racist!? A white man would be stoned to death!

      Great comment from you by the way. My response can do it little justice. A couple of thoughts though. Yes.. a black atlas, can you believe that!?

      Um… let’s see, oh, I get what you say about Japanese, Asian, or Hispanic TV. But those are for the purpose of language. Black TV is not. It is for the purpose of focusing on color, and being exclusive.

      I told Alek like it is. I always do. ;-)

      Again, great comment. You are always welcome here on my sight. Also, feel free to curse here. I do my best not to, but that is me. I’m a little inconsistent with that rule anyway… as you may have already noticed.

  12. PS I forgot to say, I admire you that after losing a bunch of subbers for being yourself, that you’ve learned your lesson… you’re still being yourself. :)

  13. You know what? I am really glad I DID come by your blog. My friends and I were just discussing such “equality” the other day and how we (as Americans) have completely reversed the scale instead of bringing it back to bear. We went from ‘whites are racist against blacks’ to ‘everyone is racist against whites’. The problem with the situation is that the first one was a crime and the second one is not considered a crime.

    I really think you have taken a big step here into opening discussion for a topic that truly needs more followers. People need to open their eyes and minds and think a little for themselves. Clearly that is what you are doing and I hope you can share your thoughts with many to help them think independently again.

    • dinkerson Says:

      I’m also glad that you came by. What a great comment! I’m really surprised and thrilled that this post has been so well accepted. People can be fickle, and God knows we all have our hot buttons, so you never know where a post like this is going to leave you.

      Yeah, I agree with you that it’s time to open the doors for discussion. We crossed the line of balance a long time ago, and we’re getting further away from it all the time. I say let’s hold up and try to get back to some sense of reason, rather than just keeping silent in effort to not offend anyone.

      Thanks again for reading and for commenting so brilliantly! Way to show me up with my quirky comment that I left on your site :-)

  14. suemacarthur Says:

    We cant change the past, and yes many many black people and people of other race where treated very badly, all we can do with the past is learn from it and not let it happen again, to me the people of each country must move forward as one,one people in one country working to keep it Free and alive for those who will come after us, be they Black or White or from any other country who come to live here, there should be not black or white Aussie, there should just be Aussie who are proud of our country and our way of live.
    Take care
    Sue

    • dinkerson Says:

      Thanks for weighing in again, Sue! Your thoughts are always valued, and you’re welcome here any time.

      You know Sue, this post is a small step – I know that -, but I believe in even the small steps. As long as those steps are heading in the right direction.

      Did you ever see the movie “Network” with Peter Finch. I love that monologue, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!!!”

      Sure it’s an overstatement for how I feel, at this moment, about this issue. But the point is that Finch’s character was encouraging people all over the world to stand up and shout that they weren’t going to take it anymore. He was encouraging each individual to use his voice to the fullest.

      Isn’t that what we do here? We use our small voices as well as we can. Well, we do our best anyhow.

  15. I just followed up with the person who was discussing this the other day……*drum roll*…….It was another blogger I follow.

    That makes me even more interested, because I feel like I could write my own blog to remind people that you and the other blogger who wrote about this topic feel the same way.
    (Find her here: http://hobbling.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/hobbling-around-the-issues-ethnicity-in-america/ ).

    We can definitely begin a discussion if we spread the word about our feelings on this topic. I may add that to my list of “blogs I must write eventually” and move it to the top of my priorities list. The others (which you voted on earlier, thank you very much) are all blogs I have interest in the topics for, but nothing particular to say about them yet. They all require research to some extent. This one, however, does not because I already have shared my thoughts with you and Hobbler and we can all continue the discussion on my blog!

    What do you think? Should I go for it?

    • dinkerson Says:

      I sincerely hope that you do.

      Isn’t it interesting how you think of one, two or three post topics for months – perhaps trying to piece something together in your head – then suddenly something like this comes out of nowhere and it takes only a matter of a few moments to organize thoughts and get it out there?

      I’m looking forward to the read, my friend!

  16. The Hobbler Says:

    Well said. One of my friends (who is black) works as a substitute teacher, but she could really use a little extra money. I asked her if she wanted to come clean my house. She did, and it worked out for both of us. I payed her and she helped me clean some things that I have a really hard time with (due to my disability).

    The thing is, before I asked her to help, the thought crossed my mind that she might be offended (the whole black housekeeper thing). Of course, it was just a brief thought because I knew she could use the money and I needed the help, but I think having things, good or bad, designated for a particular race, gender, etc. just reinforces the divisions that would otherwise be done away with.

    People also treat disabled people differently. Pretty much everyone is nice to me. My husband is another story. If we were to celebrate individuals instead of groups, I think our society would be much better off.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Hear hear! Great thoughts. I hadn’t specifically thought about this issue pertaining to people with disabilities, but this makes sense. Now, I do understand that certain courtesies should be extended to people, say… in a wheel chair, for instance. I remember reading a while back about a law suit because against a certain movie theater because the wheelchair “parking” was just beneath the screen. This placement was causing the folks in wheelchairs to strain their necks in order to watch the screen. It was a shame that a lawsuit was in order, rather than the owner of the theater simply displaying a willingness to be considerate.

      That being said, I’m all about getting over the stigmas and social issues when it comes to dealing rationally with these sorts of things.

      Way to not let the race issue get in the way of making a good decision; one that seemed to be beneficial to both you and the housekeeper.

  17. Java Girl Says:

    Interesting post and I agree with everything you’ve written. Being of a Latina descent, I have a unique perspective from a “minority’s” point of view (even though I am not Black). Even though I am an American Citizen and speak perfect English without a trace of an accent, just by my looks (tan skin and dark hair and eyes), I do and have been treated differently. But since I’ve lived most of my life outside of the United States (in Brazil), I find it interesting how race is very evident here in the States. In Brazil, race is not an issue, although discrimination between social classes is. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

    • dinkerson Says:

      Well said. Your perspective is certainly valid. This is, after all, a subject that transcends black and white. I’m glad to get a perspective both from a “minority” member and from another person having personal experience living in yet another country. I believe that this makes for input from four different countries thus far! Maybe not a big deal, but I find it rather cool :-)

      The class issue is one that I must say I’m proud of us, here in the US, for moving beyond. Yet I dare say that I find anyone who make too great a deal out of either race or class to be quite insufferable. No?

      Thanks Java G, for visiting, and for leaving such great thoughts.

  18. The Emu Says:

    You hit the nail right on the head there mate ,it seems we are being slowly deprived of our freedom of commonsense speech and the right to speak in an unbiased yet open manner , the same is occuring in Australia yet in a different way slightly , here we have a large influx of peoples from the middle Eastern countries settling here and demanding we allow them their mosques and we recognize their Sharia law , laws are being bent to accomodate these people in a harmonious and multicultural society yet the people born in Australia must bow to their demands so as to be non racist , can you imagine a white American or someone from the western world living in an Eastern country demanding the right to a Christian church and the right to have our western laws recognized , we would be beheaded yet on the opposite hand we are being nobbled by the do gooders demanding equality
    Some people do not have the wisdom to understand the concept of living in universal harmony and tolerance of each others beliefs and religions
    Cheers mate , feel better getting that off my chest
    Emu

    • dinkerson Says:

      Wow! I feel better after having just read that! Ian, there is so much I could say in response to this… I’m going to hold my tongue. I will say, though, that if I had a bucket of gold coins, I’d shower you with them. Yes, just for your honesty and your willingness to be sensible. My god, I’m having to hold back; your comment really got the blood flowing!

  19. It’s good to know that only a short time after you posted this, so many people responded so positively and want to be a part of the conversation. Now, if we could only act to start a discussion to facilitate a change, even if we just start with our friends?

    I love all the comments that have been coming up. You started a great thing here, Nate.

    P.S. We spoke of names and nicknames last time. Do you prefer Nate or Nathan? (Personally, I like Nathaniel, but your discussion about that part cleared up any curiosity I had that that was your name :) hahaha.)

    • dinkerson Says:

      Most people call me Nate. Most people on WordPress call me Dink. It’s entirely up to you :-)

      There really have been some good thoughts coming across the bow here. Your own certainly not excluded.

      During an election year, it could be too easy for us to get caught up in our differences; you know, partisan arguments like what to do with taxes, whether or not electric cars actually conserve energy, to eat or not to eat animals, what/when is a life, etc. It’s nice, for a change, to take a little time to look at these important issues on which people of many political persuasions can agree.

      I believe that these types of discussions can help bridge a catastrophic gap between us, and even help cultivate a level of respect despite any possible differences.

  20. aFrankAngle Says:

    Enjoy the comments about partisan arguments. After all, there is a difference between right/wrong and agree/disagree; thus people must be careful when blurting “You’re wrong.” Disagreements are fine too, but too many times it is the tone involved. For instance, I had a recent political discussion with a friend who was yelling at me. Needless to say, I learned that he wasn’t worth my time and effort, thus I walked away.

    … and I realize that I try to be respectful on the blogosphere and in person.OH well … Just wanted to share a thought that you sparked in my head.

    • dinkerson Says:

      And a very good thought. It seems like I remember you and I disagreeing on an issue before, and it ended well. Dogmatism and aggression may get the other guy to be silent, but it doesn’t bode well for one’s case. That may be the single most important thing that I’ve learned from being on WordPress.
      If you had stumbled upon any of my older blogs, I feel pretty certain that you would’ve shaken your head and walked away. It was Country Wife who was kind enough to intervene and set me straight.

      • aFrankAngle Says:

        Thanks DInk! Each of us have an edge, yet we have to control it. My posts usually aren’t too sharp, but I have one coming up that is – but I’ve tried to do in a pragmatic way – which means many on both sides get sliced and diced (well, in my mind). Oh well … good discussion!

      • dinkerson Says:

        Sure thing Frank! Yes it has been a good discussion.

        Can’t wait to read this upcoming post of yours.

  21. Androgoth Says:

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing my friend,
    it enables one to see the past for all of its
    weaknesses, and change the darkness
    into a glowing light of positive energy…

    A very difficult choice of subject matter
    and yet one that you have handled very
    nicely my friend…

    One cannot just dismiss the past but at
    least it offers a more optimistic future for
    all concerned…

    Androgoth

    • dinkerson Says:

      Yes Androgoth. And, of course, sometimes hindsight can cause us to overreact. I have a crazy sister… I mean, she’s just crazy. My Dad once asked me where I thought she was heading in life. I told him that it seemed to me that she paid very little attention to where she was heading, but instead focused all of her energy on running from the past.
      If we as a people choose to focus all of our energy on not being what we once were, then who’s to say what we will become.

      This would be like an art teacher who would like for her students to create a scene of The Garden of Eden. In order to achieve this, the only direction she gives her students is to tell them to not paint a wooden shoe on ice. You see, she has given them absolutely no commissive direction; instead, she has given them only omissive direction. What shall the end result be? God only knows.

      Our directive on race is omissive. It deals only with what we mustn’t do. We mustn’t be like we were in the past. So where should we go next?

      Thanks for reading Androgoth. I appreciate your time and your thoughts. What an interesting sight you’ve created over there!

  22. Cat Says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on this one. It’s such a touchy subject, because white people are screened for every little thing they say about race. But it is alright for a black man to say whatever he wishes without censorship.
    The election of Obama was seen as a great stride for racial equality, but such a big deal was made out of “a black man becoming president”, that we are kind of just aggravating the situation, no? If we want to reach a real equality (“color-blindedness”), then nothing needs to be said about his race.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Wonderful Cat. Very well said!

      My favorite line:

      “The election of Obama was seen as a great stride for racial equality, but such a big deal was made out of “a black man becoming president”, that we are kind of just aggravating the situation, no?”

      Many people did indeed make his election into nothing more than a race landmark. These were the same people who were claiming to be “colorblind”. I guess I just don’t know what the hell colorblind is. Can somebody explain this to me?

      You know, I’m prone to think we could reach equality (not colorblindness) and still recognize all the different races. I mean, I enjoy the fact that there are many different races and cultures in our society. Would you want to do away with our freedom to observe such things?

  23. Jezzmindah Says:

    Interesting topic. We face similar issues in Australia, but whereas the US imported their ‘black people’ as slaves we ‘settled’ their land, which is a very sanitized way of saying we stole the land and then raped, murdered and enslaved the people on it. Despite this fairly substantial difference, I’m sure both histories are similarly abhorrent and shameful and have lead to similar issues in the modern age. I feel a deep sympathy for the aboriginals of Australia and the end of my musings on this topic is that equality is not the answer. Respect and apology are the answer and from that will come something akin to equality. Put a man in a fighting pit, watch him survive and he will be proud to call himself a fighter. Call a people ‘less than’ for centuries and make them ashamed of the colour of their skin and when they finally live in a time that realises the depth of that lie, how can they not own that freedom by jutting their chin and being proud of their colour? They’ve a right to be proud of their heritage, of what they’ve survived. There are definitly things white people have to be proud of, we’re inventive and progressive, but we also have a lot to be ashamed of when it comes to the price we have made black people pay for our successes. So as to white pride…i think white humility might be more in order. Those are my thoughts, from my perspective, but I understand others mightn’t agree.

    • Jezzmindah Says:

      PS brave post, well written and I do agree with a lot of what is said. I think we are in a time where this topic needs to be addressed, it’s important that people discuss it, share their ideas boldly and help form the cultural response. Writing something like this is a good way to get hated on, so I really respect the courage it took to share your honest opinion. Really good thoughts in there :)

    • dinkerson Says:

      Hi Jezz!

      So, you’re saying that equality is the object, rather than the means. Equality is, in a sense, the result of the answer… which in your opinion is respect. Hmmm… I think I like it!

      I agree that trying to force someone to forget and move on is simply not the appropriate action either. They/I/we all have a right to be proud of our heritage. And, you know, shouldn’t we have a right to recognize the heritage of others as well, rather than having to pretend that we didn’t notice that they were “different”?

      Thanks for the cool comment. And, not to sound cliche, but I love your blog. :-)

      • Jezzmindah Says:

        Not quite, what I’m saying is I don’t feel comfortable with the term “equality”…equal opportunity is something I am definitly a fan of…but we are all so different and those differences are so intricate. My utopia would look a little something like a celebration of diversity, hence respect being the conerstone.
        Thanks for the blog compliment. It’s something I put a lot of love into so it’s always great to receive encouragement :)

  24. Nicely done.

    I worked in an inner city hospital and was routinely referred to as “white bread” by several of my black co-workers. Now, can you imagine what would happen to me if I decided to join in their adjective play?

    Nuff said!!

    • dinkerson Says:

      Thanks Beth! Um… Yeah.. I don’t think that would’ve gone over well. It sounds like you didn’t have a problem with them calling you by a race observant nickname. The problem emerges because you didn’t have the freedom to join in with that little game.

      Damn well said, my friend.


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