Colors of the World: UNITE!Ok… I got sucked in. I visited this blog, which led me to this site, which led me to this post, which prompted me to write this article in keeping with International Blog Against Racism Week {ends tomorrow, Aug 2}. When I say things about racial prejudice and the experiences I’ve encountered, I’m surprised to find that in most cases, people assume I’m only referring to racist white people. Racism, however, comes in all different shapes and sizes – and in this case, shades as well. I’m not going to post an article ranting about racial profiling {even though I’m sure I could construct a darn good one} or going through all the reasons racism is wrong. If you don’t know racial profiling exists, aren’t aware of the implications of it, and can’t figure out on your own why racism is wrong, then you’re obviously not intelligent enough to understand a post of that depth so my typing would be in vain anyway.

One thing of which I am sure in relation to the great racial debate – we’re NEVER all going to agree. One thing – especially standing in such a diverse country in 2009 – that we should be able to agree about is that racial injustice, prejudice, and profiling exists, is wrong, and should have an end. Sadly, we still have the Ann Coulters of the world who are so blind that they can’t see past their pointed little noses… and the Juan Williams of the world who have gotten so Washington-ized that they can’t even relate to their own people anymore. {Don’t start – yes I realize that phrasing it that way does illude to some sort of divide, but please believe I’m not placing any division there that doesn’t already exist.}

The fact of the matter is that we are all people. That’s nothing profound… it’s not a new revelation that anyone hasn’t recognized for themselves. You’re no better than I am just because you drive a Benz and I’m no better than you because I’m a white lady. All this social, economic, and racial classification is good for is distinguishing the ignorant and irrational from the ones who operate with common sense and decency. You know what God sees when he looks at each of us? The same image we were created in – His. What’s funny is that all the differences between us were likely intended solely for the purpose of Him seeing how we would interact with one another – what we would base our ‘hand-holding’ on: the inside, or out? When I choose to be someone’s friend, it’s not because they are a certain color, size, nationality, social class, or tax bracket. It’s because I have a genuine interest in them. That’s how it should be.

It disappoints me to hear of racial profiling, hate crimes, and other injustices relating to a person just BEING who they are. Whether it’s because of a person being a particular skin color, who a person chooses to marry, what a person’s sexual orientation may be, what country a person’s family originated from, or any other completely trivial matter – none of that should have any bearing on how we view THAT individual. A great deal of people seem to have lost sight of the fact that NONE of us are in a position to judge another person. Let that person who is without sin cast the first stone. {Yep – go ahead and put the rock down cause you KNOW that ain’t you! And yes I did just say ain’t. So sue me!} You don’t have to agree with a person’s lifestyle or even a person’s BLOODLINE… what you do have to do in order to provide a morally positive reflection of your own character is respect others for who they are, just as you expect them to respect you for who you are.

Much of what you experience is largely dependent on how you choose to look at it – your perception shapes your own personal reality. I can assume a person is staring at me because they are racist {I am a white woman with a black husband and five biracial kids} … but then again, I have to consider the alternative: they could be looking at me wondering how the heck I do it with FIVE kids; they could just like how I look {grin}; they could be wondering what my husband does that we could be so young, have so many kids, and still present ourselves positively; or they could just be wondering how much public assistance we’re sucking out of their paychecks {yes, I know people assume a lot don’t they?} … The truth is, I’ll never REALLY know why a person is staring at me. What I do know is that I know who I am. And to go a step further, I could care less if anyone else NEVER knows who I am. I’m still gonna be ME. I refuse to allow anyone the satisfaction of throwing me off my game by stealing my peace, joy, or confidence. Look, stare, gawk… I’ll politely smile, nod, and possibly even say a quick, “How are you doing!?” … letting you know that my love for myself far outweighs whatever you may think of me.

That being said, it’s a completely different issue when someone attacks or targets me because of who I am. At that point, we’re taking the ball game to a whole ‘nother level. We’re not just agreeing to disagree anymore. Now, it’s personal. The most frustrating thing is that every big case that comes up gets immediately shredded by the media bigwigs, discredited, and charged off as a hoax. Why? Because the ‘powers that be’ simply can’t handle admitting that it happens; that it’s real… Those in authority believe what they want to believe, and compile evidentiary support to back it up. Case closed. Say what you want about my opinion; it is what it is – and that IS what it is. Those crooked people in the justice/legal system are exactly like the leaders of religious cults. They use information derived from truth that has been taken out of context to fool a population of people into believing something that is a complete lie. I’m not going to get specific because this entry would become – shoot, it may already be - longer than anyone would care to read. But I will say this and leave it alone: The ignorant by nature can at least be educated. The ignorant by choice will forever be ignorant. If you can’t look at things in an honest light and be mature and compassionate enough to be able to admit to yourself that perhaps your preconceived ideas were inaccurate {at best} then you will always live knowing nothing of the truth.

Just because something hasn’t been proven to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Tell God to prove Himself to you by compiling scientific data. Knowing He will never do this for you, do you still believe? {That is, of course, not a question for the athiests among us… that’s entirely another issue} Prove love scientifically. You can’t? So, does that mean you refuse to admit love exists? Same concept with racial profiling… Just because you haven’t experienced something doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur. If you ask me about my specific experiences with racism, they will be much different than… say, my husband’s take on the issue. Furthermore, 99% of my dealings with profiling or experiences with blatant racism have taken place when I was with my husband, leading me to conclude that the black community does most definitely experience negative racially-related situations at a much higher rate than whites do.

I’m going to leave off on that note because I think I just actually succeeded in constructing an article about racism that isn’t at all controversial, and that’s saying a LOT for me. :)

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