What is racism? What is a racist? We are being programmed that rasism is a thing that is said or done. If a person does not do or say certain things then they are not a racist but if they do then they are racists. Racism is not a thing. Racism is not a word. Racism is a state of heart. Racism is no more a thing than generosity being when a person gives to a charity. If a person is going to donate to a charity and makes a big production out of taking out their wallet and waving around a $10 bill before giving it is not being generous. They are being an egotist. A person who quietly gives 50 cents might be more generous than someone who gives $50. But our present definition of racism is simply indicative of our society that loves to blame an object rather than the individual. America does not have a gun problem. America has a people problem. As long as there are people who believe they can demand their rights and always get their way then there will always be a means by which they use to force their will upon others.
I grew up basically a Southern, (which I say proudly). While I was born in Chicago my dad and mom were from southern Indiana. Dad’s dad was from Kentucky. We were raised with southern values such as your word is your contract and a gentleman treats a lady like a queen. I remember one winter morning asking my girlfriend at the time if she would go out and start the car so it could start warming up while I finished packing. We were visiting home during college break. My dad told her to stop and for me to get out there and warm that car up myself and never to do that again. I was informed that was NOT the way to treat a lady. I remember listening to people talk. I had an aunt who was as gentle as could ever be. She used expressions typical of ‘southern’ jargon. My dad used jargon typical of the south as well as of Chicago pertaining to particular races. Neither of these people were a racist. Dad had many ‘black’ friends whom he respected because he qualified a person’s character higher than the color of their skin. But if we are able to place the blame of social ills upon things and words then people are able to go “scot free”. It will only be as people begin to take internal looks and inventory that social ills will be addressed.
People do not want to look at themselves. Too many people in our society are so narcissistic that they believe they are incapable of having any wrong attitudes. They see themselves as perfect little shining examples of personhood who are the remaining few capable of judging others. Now I do not know about other people but I know that I have more than enough issues going on inside myself to keep me busy correcting my own wrongs that I do not have much time left over to judge other people. Maybe if we start looking inside ourselves we would not be so busy screaming racism at someone who has a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or who likes black jelly beans over other colors. I grew up when we did laundry we separated the whites from the colored. It was referring to cloths, not people. I grew up preferring chocolate milk over white. These are preferences and not indicators of racism.
Christmas is a time of gift giving. But just because someone gives me a gift does not mean they like me. Just because someone compliments you does not mean they are your friend. I learned a long time ago to beware of the person who sings your praises the quickest because they just might stab you in the back the fastest. I went to a very conservative Christian college. There was nothing wrong with the college but I remember listening to some of the other students condemn people who ‘went to movies’. (Yes, there are some people who still see going to dances and movies as ‘evil’.) I was never impressed with the attitudes of those people and their self-righteousness. I was grateful that I grew up working in a Salvation Army rehabilitation center learning that not everything was as it seemed. Just because someone looks like a raging drunk on the outside does not mean that there is not an extremely talented individual hiding inside.
It would be a curse upon our society if our children buy into the idea that evil is a thing and not something found in the heart of mankind. Once they do that then it is easy to believe that as long as you do not do certain things then all is well. Just because I may not see cancer does not mean that it is not killing me. There is an old Indian folktale of each person having two wolves hiding within and are at war with each other. One is good while the other is evil. The one that is fed is the one which would conquer the other. Only as we teach our children and society that it is the heart of the individual that must change and the acceptance of personal responsibility for one’s actions that there will ever be real change.