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 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 broach.
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 being racially aware and being otherwise 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?