Monday, April 02, 2012

Is Racism Ever Accidental?

In a recent conversation with a local businessman I heard the comment, “I’ve never had dealings with a nigger who didn’t do me wrong.”

I was shocked and responded: “I have. Assuming that you are using this term with reference to a person’s skin color. I have known many very fine black people.”

His response was, “Well then, you’ve been fortunate. I never have.”

I did not press the matter, but it disturbed me greatly. This occurred before the Trayvon media out-lashes. This was before the NBC deliberate falsification of the 911 recording. This was before the racist so-called reverends began their campaigns of hatred and violence.

While it is a tragedy that Trayvon was killed, is not the greater tragedy the deliberate falsification of the event that the media and hatemongers have perpetrated?

NBC even went so far as to edit the 911 recording so as to present an entirely false account. This is reported at NBC to do ‘internal investigation’ on Zimmerman segment and THE TRAYVON MARTIN OPERATION.

Here is what the NBC Today show presented of the dispatcher call:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

Here is the transcript of the actual flow of this part of the call:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.

Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?

Zimmerman: He looks black.

The two articles proceed to demonstrate the deliberate attempt by NBC to present a false scenario that would move racial tensions to explode in Sanford and throughout the country.

Does this sort of thing happen by accident?

During my one year residency in Detroit I had the wonderful opportunity to be with people who had lived in that city for many years. I was very naive and some of these dear folk looked after me. My neighborhood was quite rough. There were crack houses on our block. Gun shots could be heard every night. At least two drive-by shootings occurred during my time there. At least one elderly man was knifed to death for drug money. But the neighbors, especially the next-door neighbors looked after me. I think that they figured I was a very naive white fellow. Regardless, they were very kind and they did look after me.

From the people with whom I had regular daily dealings, love was the primary interaction. Of course, most of my dealings were in the congregation and its school. Certainly many very bad things were being done all around me everyday, but not by my brothers and sisters.

Some of them shared stories about how racism was deliberately promoted in the city, especially by real estate profiteers. They shared how the media and fire department and police colluded to make the riots appear much worse than they actually had been. My understanding of the deliberate promotion of racism in our nation was greatly expanded by their testimonies. They educated me regarding many issues.

My point in sharing this is that racism is not accidental. has these as the two primary definitions of accidental:

  1. happening by chance or accident; not planned; unexpected: an accidental meeting.
  2. nonessential; incidental; subsidiary: accidental benefits.
From both perspectives, racism is not accidental. Racism is both planned and essential, meaning that it is taught and that it has deliberate influences and effects upon those who experience it. Racism is ugly. Racism is evil. It is shameful that we even find it necessary to have such a word in our vocabulary. There is only ONE race. All humans are of this same race. We share the same Father. He is a loving Father. His will is that we live together in His love. Why do people imagine that this is a difficult thing? Why do people follow frauds who teach that racism is something that must be overcome and that must be controlled through various laws? The only law that has the power to eliminate racism is the law of love.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
Racism is not accidental. It is a choice, a choice that is taught and propagated. People are reactionary. They react to various differences and misunderstandings, often with fear and distrust. When people both react to one another in this way, and when they teach this to others through rumors and other slanderous talk, it becomes amplified. Yes, people often do wicked and evil things, sinful things against others.
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

If we want to have peaceful relations, we need to understand that they begin with the forgiveness that flows from charity, that is agape, Love.

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Canadian Atheist said...

Racism is not an accident and it should be confronted every time it rears its ugly head.

Thanks for standing up to the racism displayed by the guy who used the 'N' word. If more people stood up to racism, there would be far less racism.

Not Alone +++ PAS said...

Hi Canadian!

Thanks for the word of affirmation.

However, I did not really “stand up” to the gentleman regarding the racial prejudice, but rather responded to his misguided perception with the truth. I suppose that could be called “standing up,” but racial prejudice and prejudice of any kind is really an expression of ignorance that needs to be kindly shown for what it is.

One of the sad facts about prejudice is that it has a genuine basis. People have experiences to which they react with judgment. That judgment is often extended to a point of misplacement upon an entire group of people unfairly. This, then, is taught to others through judgmental reaction.

As an example, my best friend going back to kindergarten used to be a prosecuting attorney. That experience caused him to be exposed to the reality that a much higher percentage of people committing certain crimes is found coming from certain groups. In his experience, the majority came from certain black groups. His perception was greatly swayed by this so that he extrapolated this to blacks in general rather than to those who committed crimes. He was regularly exposed to black criminals and the natural reaction was to see black from that perspective. It was not correct, but it was natural. One’s perception is based upon what one experiences unless that experience is shown to be erroneous. My friend is no longer a prosecuting attorney and thus he has seen beyond that experience.

Such prejudice is not limited to skin color and ethnicity. It is experienced in many areas of human interaction. It is especially prevalent in circumstances where some form of abuse or other misconduct has been experienced. The fearful reaction to such experience is often extended to people who have something in common with the abusers, often something that is easily distinguishable, such as language or culture or food or vocation or religion or age or gender.

The people against whom we truly need to stand up are the people who teach and propagate such prejudice for their own gain and to the great harm of the general good. People who play the race card especially should be held accountable for doing so. Such people are not acting ignorantly, but with very crafty and wicked intentions. They play ignorantly misguided groups against each another.

I believe this to be an important distinction that should be addressed in this very serious issue. Otherwise, those “standing up” to racism and other prejudice will actually become guilty (or victims) of that which they oppose.

Canadian Atheist said...

The people against whom we truly need to stand up are the people who teach and propagate such prejudice for their own gain and to the great harm of the general good---->Amen, NA. I couldn't agree more. Keep up the great blogging. I always enjoy reading your stuff, even if I don't always comment.