We the people, for the people…

Racism, Civil Rights, Equality, Separate but Equal, Affirmative Action. What does all of this mean to you? To me? To anyone? I am from the South where I was raised on a farm, went to Church every Sunday and I’m white. Do these words have a different meaning for me than someone from Middle America or from New York or LA? And if so is that meaning more or less profound? I grew up with a good amount of white guilt. For me living in the country and growing up on a farm meant, for the most part, the only people I was close with were the workers that I saw everyday and their kids who were either my classmates or were my babysitters when I was little. The reason I am who I am is because of how these people treated me and how I witnessed their treatment from others. The problem with all of this as I see it is that there is not one “right way” to do things. What I mean is racism is only truly gone when we are free to hate whomever we want for any reason. Meaning if every time someone is discriminated against someone says racism or reverse racism, racism is still at the forefront. Now this is from an obvious reason but there in lies the problem. There is the correct rational way to solve this that is perfect if we all live in a vacuum and then there is the way we act once we personally embrace something based on upbringing and our value system. We should all have the same right to everything as one another. Voting, marriage, divorce, water fountains and restrooms whatever. America is based on the people. All of the people. Now we all do not have to like it or get along but in order for any of us to have the opportunities that we seek, every person must have that same opportunity. Now will people get in the way of that, of course. As it should be. We have all gotten ups in line, a little extra meat on our sub, an extra pour of wine etc. All of these things come at someone else’s expense. The next guy in line, the storeowner who is trying to feed his family with his profits, There is always someone at the end of the line who pays for the “gimmies” we all get. Now maybe you think you deserve it or you maybe think that the store doesn’t deserve it, either way you are all still apart of doing something that ultimately “keeps someone down.” Let’s get back to race. I guess I’m just venting here but I have seen white people bitch that blacks “this and that.” I’ve seen the exact same thing from black people. Both are wrong and both are racist. However, as whites, we did enslave black people and there will always be that. We can say that our generation didn’t do it but if you’re white and your mother and her mother and her mother all told you the same horrible stories why would you feel any different? You wouldn’t. Yes you should be smart enough to out think that old logic but what if no one in your family or anyone ever told you that you could do anything that you put your mind to? How would you know you could when all you have ever heard is all of the negative. This is where we get the two problems with one issue. If we all could start over today with a clean slate equality would work. However, we all have grandmother stories about something we cannot forget so that is impossible. So what is the answer? Compassion and consistency. If you have compassion it will go along way to understanding someone else’s point of view. If you are consistent in your love, or hate, it is all very good for everyone. As I said earlier, it is totally acceptable to hate. Just do it open and out front and be proud of it. Then simply be ready to accept new ideas if yours are old and outdated. People change and societies change but the idea of good and bad permeates through all of us and yes, we all definitely should know better!

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