Monday, August 29, 2011

Racial Tolerance

Last week, I had dinner with a friend who I have known for...well, forever, and we got to talking about racial ignorance, a topic that I feel like we've talked about on and off for years.  Coming from areas where various races are known to date and marry outside of their races, we have accepted the fact that judging a person by their appearance is unacceptable nowadays.  Not that it ever should have been acceptable, but I guess that's some serious water under the bridge. 

The reason why I bring this up is that we were talking about a former acquaintance of ours who was just plain ignorant and even more so when it came to race.  She made a comment on how she would never date, much less marry, outside of her race, especially a white guy.  Interesting.  Someone at the table called her out on this, which I hate that I missed.  Another incidence was shortly after the president was elected into office.  She commented on how his victory was one that should only be celebrated by blacks, not whites or any other race.  To this day, I disagree with every fiber of my being, because that is so far from the truth.  I had gotten so fed up with her "white/black" comments at that point that I tore my attention from the NBA game that had been on at the time and told her, "The election was not about white and black, but about people wanting a change from what we had been dealing with for the past 8 years.  That this was not just a victory for blacks, but for everyone, no matter the race or party."  More had been said, but either way, as soon as I had finished talking, I turned back to the game in progress, leaving her shocked beyond belief that someone had called her out on her inappropriate and even inaccurate comments.  By the way, she was also the same person who had not even voted in that election.  So does that mean that she really had no right to celebrate this victory?

The point that I am trying to make is that for this world, country, state, city and even our families to survive is to realize that just because a person doesn't look like us, doesn't mean that they may not be going through the same things we are.  That our intolerance for other cultures and races will hurt us more than help.  I know that we have a long way to go and its not going to happen over night, but it's something to think about.  I think Dr. King had it right.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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