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Posts Tagged ‘burning Missouri’

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bone of Contention.”

Today’s prompt has us defend the side that is opposite to our own opinion in an ongoing controversy.  I would like to tackle racism.  My personal belief is that there are no separate races…we all of us represent gradual, regional differences of the same human race, and that to label people as being of this race or that has been the most self destructive adventure we could possibly have invented or invited upon ourselves.  Once again, the words that follow would be in defense of the OTHER side–in defense of the racist…

Give it up already.  You call me a racist?  Why then do you band together to counter me, as if you have only one mind among you?  Do you really have only one opinion–that you all agree that so and so was innocent, or that you all believe that the President is doing a really good job?  Those things aren’t–if you pardon the pun–black and white issues…they are gray areas to which even thoroughly informed juries and political analysts…or future historians…have no simple answers.

You, who take offense at my freedom of speech, are the racist.  “Ignorant cracker skinhead,” you call me from your anonymous avatar.  “Corrupt infidel,” you label as you target my most vulnerable relatives.  “Thieving paleface” you cry as you relive crimes committed by ghosts.  Get over it already–that’s what’s wrong with you people.

There, I said the dreaded phrase.  And you will remain “you people” rather than the equal individual as whom I should be treating you until the day you interact with me as an equal individual yourself.  If I am a frightened little mouse with a swastika armband, show me how a growing mob is not the enemy.  If the only Arabic name I have read is followed by “current whereabouts unknown,” then you come out of your community and show me how you are even more horrified by those headlines.

Show me the ultimate gift, you stingy bastards:  the uniquely human power to forgive.  Forgive the slave owner you see in my aloofness.  Forgive the crusader you hear in my default setting of rote.  Forgive the monolingual truant of history you read in my border guard mentality, who captured the Spanish empire but then refused to even acknowledge our new citizens…inventing yet a fourth, new race for “them” instead.

I am you.  A race of skinheads?  Really, could there be such a thing for very long?  Honestly, we turn on ourselves whenever that gets even close to happening.  Don’t label me anything except misguided.  Suggest that there are no races; there are cultures, in which we can each be proud and of which we should all be proud.  Teach there are hard-fought struggles that are rightfully remembered.  Celebrate that there are different skin tones and variety among appearances that add to the splendid palate that needs to be as broad as the world it paints. In other words, forgive my ass, move on to more important matters…and invite me along on that journey.

Because I have already demonstrated, already cried out in fear, that I have nothing better to do on my own.

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