Only those who chose their natural skin color are allowed to be racists, and only then if they also chose their natural physique and the innate qualities of their own mind. Concerning natural given characteristics where no one ever had any choice, it’s completely irrational to hold those things against anyone else. Life is like the lottery – when your numbers come up, or almost come up, you’re given no choices – you’re simply destined to be born with certain characteristics at a time and place, none of which come at your own choosing. No one made themselves, and no matter what or who you are, it’s less, and not more of your own doing.
Racial differences and advantages are one of the most divisive topics in America today. Some things are personally decided depending on what we want to believe or choose to practice. For some people, their given mind has dictated they never have been and never will be racists, while for others, their given mind dictates they will be racists no matter where in the world they are. Most everything humans do as individuals, and in our social cultures, is rooted in the ancient past, including racist and bigoted beliefs, emotions and practices born from instinct and human nature that thrived into the future surviving to this day. To think racism and bigotry has no connection to instinct or human nature begs the question as to why we can’t be rid of it? And the fact that we can’t get rid of it suggests, if not proves, it is an inseparable part of human nature or instinct on some level. I make no excuses for racism or bigotry here, but if we’re going to discuss these issues, we need to recognize they were with us in ancient times and have spanned millenniums across all continents and races while there is no time in history when they’ve ceased to exist. So when we talk about instinct and human nature or go off on what might seem a tangent, the tangent may be more relevant than it appears at first glance.
All through history people have endeavored to exploit others and it hasn’t changed to this day. While some people take advantage of anybody regardless, they may or may not be racists at all. Others may specifically target one race, or religion, or other specific group for exploitation. It’s no exaggeration to say there are some sick people in the world, some even take pride in abusing or taking advantage of others whether by trickery or treachery. We see this in our culture with certain “professional” occupations like ambulance chasing lawyers, Wall Street banksters, and police shooting first and never even asking questions later. There are plenty of inferior racists who just happen to be members of the privileged more powerful group. Racial injustice need not be based on any natural superiority, and if one chooses, any arbitrary reason for bigotry or injustice could suffice with nothing required except willingness and opportunity. The practicing racist may get a perverted sense of superiority, revenge, or sadistic pleasure, or they might even calculate that keeping others down will give their own race an advantage. Whatever it springs from, racism is a power trip – abuse of power. We have laws in the U.S. designed to eliminate racist practices and their effects on society. But the laws are selectively enforced, ironically sometimes by racists, this often means criminally ignored by those whose oath and duty is to uphold the law.
Racism on Turtle Island (the North American continent) existed in the form of slavery among Indigenous peoples before the Europeans arrived. The word racism in America today is most often associated with African slavery and white on black racism, and it seems many today think a person must be enslaved to be a victim of racism. But we know segregation and the denial of colored people’s rights were common practices which not only denied equal and general opportunity after abolishing slavery, but it also created undue hardships and injustices out of spiteful racial hatred after abolition. The racist culture demanded like stay with like, and social pressure coerced many whites to act as racists or tolerate racist practices even if they didn’t agree with it. Even the victims of racism often had no choice but to tolerate it or fight with considerable risk to themselves and innocent others. If not a racist, tolerating it is either a form of cowardice or pragmatic avoidance of creating problems for one’s self. Depending on the time and place in history, questioning authority or cultural practices could have meant certain death for anyone except those near the top of the social structure. For white people after the Civil War, questioning racism could have meant being an outcast in your own community and ultimately being discriminated against.
Most people don’t truly question our culture at all, they just explain it as “the way it is”. Even though people are constantly pointing out built in hypocrisies and injustices along with the costs to all of us, many prefer not to discuss or even hear about these issues. And while some are outright bigots or racists, others either don’t have enough facts to make an informed opinion or don’t recognize injustice and the damage it causes. As for selfish concerns, it may be some just don’t care about these issues unless it negatively affects them. But fatefully, racism negatively affects us all whether we realize it or not. Eliminating racism, or making it benign, would save untold amounts of human energy and financial expense that could be used for constructive purposes. And if not practiced outwardly, racism would seem to harm, stifle or limit only the racists themselves.
Police are no different from other people in the sense they’re afflicted with the same weaknesses as other human beings. They are different in the sense of having human weaknesses combined with government sanctioned power which creates a police subculture in which they and other government branches basically work to neutralize each other’s transgressions against citizen victims. People who haven’t experienced criminal police behavior first-hand are prone to give the benefit of a doubt while wanting to believe the system and the police provide unbiased justice and security. If you have seen police criminality first-hand, you’ll know the police have more power than they can control without the ability to resist abusing it at times, and for many if not most humans, power is intoxicating to where abuse becomes second nature and even a matter of official policy.
Of course experience is the best teacher. Imagine if we could educate white people by stripping them of all wealth and power for a few generations while having local, state, and national police along with the courts upholding discriminating laws and practices. We would impose segregation, deny education, voting rights, legal defense, equality in employment and pay, and just generally deny equality in all facets of life. And to boot, we’ll give all non-whites impunity from abusing Caucasians, including general terrorization and periodic lynchings. And while all of this is going on we’ll ridicule the white race telling them how dumb and lazy they are for not doing more to improve their own circumstances. Some humans are pretty stubborn and it may take a few generations for some white people to fully comprehend the injustices of racism. But it is certain in the end, those who get “educated” will have a different understanding of racism, and might even decide against tacitly condoning or participating in the blatant double standards that exist by allowing “authorities” to ignore the law, or misconstrue it to accommodate racism and bigotry.
Right or wrong, it seems the country took a severe turn during the Reagan years. Or maybe it was just a coincidence that came with Reagan’s election? All the sudden greed and exploitation were considered good and healthy. And from that point greed progressed to where the culture allowed Wall Street’s “deregulated” subculture with political protection, to rip off the entire world as it orchestrated the near collapse of the 2008 world economy. Many don’t want to believe the 2008 crash was one result of deregulation that Reagan and followers promoted, but denying that fact is fundamentally no different than denying Eric Garner being held in a chokehold contributed to the cause of his death, and is also equivalent to denying that cause of death was an indictable homicide – these are all consistent with being flat out denials of the documented physical facts – and with the absence of indictments, the fact that pertinent laws as written are being ignored. Reagan’s policies of deregulation, trickle-down economics, and the Cocaine Contra affair simultaneously conducted with the war on drugs, are all consistent with being blatant hypocrisy in stated purpose verses actual effects, and they also are a disregard for the rights of individuals and groups in their failure to provide equal liberty, justice and opportunity. And this general attitude has metastasized to where there’s no concern for the politically disadvantaged, weak, or poor members of our society. And at times we even reward lawless exploitation and the abuse that has emerged and crept into all aspects of our society.
I can’t help it here because all things are connected in this world. And what we do domestically affects our attitudes concerning what we deem acceptable in foreign affairs, and vice versa. And this general attitude of disregard was most blatantly paraded onto the world stage when certain groups, in and outside our U.S. government, were promoting the devaluation of human rights and lives by telling the lies which led the U.S. to invade 2003 Iraq – a crime under U.S. and international law – to deceive the county to war. No one has been held accountable for the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi and American deaths, along with a greater number of physically and psychologically wounded which directly or indirectly, all resulted from the illegal invasion. Some fine example our “leaders” are setting; showing the world and U.S. citizens how we hypocritically disrespect human rights and life through wanton disregard for law. Then we discovered G. W. Bush’s administration from the top down ordered and contracted people to torture prisoners in the “war on terror” – the same “war on terror” that was largely self-created and has grown as a direct result of our own illegal actions. Just as the number of enemy combatants grew with the torture revelations abroad, so did the number of protesters grow in the U.S. with the failure to indict those responsible for unjustifiable racial profiling and homicides by police. Just as we saw officialdom trivialize the lives of black people by failing to indict perpetrators, over the past few days the likes of Dick Cheney and CIA apologists have been given airtime on national TV complaining and begging to argue that it would be an injustice to prosecute those who broke the law by torturing human beings. And while the undeniable truth is, young black men are dying of prosecutable homicides which don’t even bring an indictment, and “we tortured some folks” in the Middle East – while there is no legal exception in U.S. or international law for torturers or unjustifiable homicides. So the world’s self-proclaimed leaders of freedom, equality, and justice, have committed the most heinous crimes imaginable – torturing some to death. Insidiously, there has been an existing campaign to demonize the Arab race and Muslims in the U.S. media and entertainment industries which has been ongoing for decades. And of course no one guilty would admit demonization was intended, but the media bias is evident and has had that effect. The point here is simple – the most militarily powerful country in the world cannot go around diminishing the value of anyone’s rights or lives without diminishing the value of all human lives – and not prosecuting those who blatantly violate the rights and lives of others is tacit approval promoting more of the same in foreign as well as domestic matters.
We rarely see our societal hypocrisies specifically spelled out on the evening news. They are typically framed as a controversial issue rather than the blatant legal violations and hypocrisies they are. With the press giving airtime to demagogues who condone our foreign or domestic violations of law and our hypocrisy, this is an indication of the media bias on display by allowing illegitimate arguments to be made by perpetrators of crimes or their biased supporters. This denial of factual reality, and lending of false legitimacy by the press, can embolden true racists or bigoted criminal behavior, or it may influence those who, due to lack of information or ability to reason, don’t perceive reality for what it truly is and thus support racist or bigoted illegalities. This demagoguery in contradicting undisputable facts can incite violent and criminal acts, which itself is a crime as defined by law. There is a collective psychology that’s relative to all of these and similar matters which explains much of our willingness to allow or join in with these overall deceitful violations of morality and law. The mainstream media networks are an extremely large part of the problem in the U.S., manipulating the overall public attitude without providing full understanding.
Not to pick on anyone here, but the conservative mindset has taken over the country, and more often prefers stability or familiarity to the risks involved with social change even if it means upholding the law as written. This adversity to change and risk also includes the fear of losing favorable bias for the conservative himself as perceived to be derived from the status quo. But if the status quo does not provide the chance and opportunity for everyone to have equal liberty, opportunity and justice, then it simply is not justice and not legal under U.S law. Where race is being targeted and excluded from having equal justice and liberty, and being mislabeled as “protecting and serving”, this brings us right back to hypocrisy in action, Ronald Reagan conservative style.
In today’s reality, in terms of U.S. law as written, racial injustice often comes down to an illegal abuse of power as we see those obligated to serve all citizens, and empowered to enforce the law, systematically subvert the law while working to protect the very system which now disregards the rights and lives of everyday citizens. And while our collective culture and subcultures are unwilling or unable to hold our government accountable, we are collectively in foreign and domestic matters devaluing human rights and human life itself.