The breaking news is that five Black Lives Matter protesters have been shot in Minneapolis by Neo-Nazis. Source 1, Source 2
I predict this story makes much less headlines than the Refugee issue or what the Kardashians do. Cue ominous quote from Heath Ledger’s Joker about things going according to plan…
American citizens kill each other by the thousands each year. If one refugee shot five people–which none of the thousands of refugees already here have–it would scare us much more than the usual five or more people being killed each day. And these people have only been shot; they luckily have not died. I’m not making an argument about the refugee issue. I unfortunately don’t have much time for that in a world where 18,000 children starve to death everyday. Rather, I’m making a point about the nature of our fear.
Racism engenders violence.
The stunning irony of that engendered violence is that it’s usually local and usually not interracial and not inter-religion.
Most Muslims are non-violent. Their religious text simply does not order them to indiscriminately kill non-believers; that’s a falsehood like conspiracy theories that say the German Holocaust didn’t happen. When these non-violent, peaceful families of Muslims are killed, they are usually killed by other Muslims–the few violent extremists. When Muslim terrorists kill someone, they by far predominately kill other Muslims.
To address American issues, black people simply are not genetically predisposed to committing more homicides or more crime.
When the few violent maniacs of any group kill people, they usually kill the people who happen to be around them. When a white American gets killed, it’s five times more often by another white American.
The same generally goes for any group. The violent, hateful maniacs of any group kill the other people in that group.
As I already stated, American citizens kill each other by the thousands each year. But like any other group most of us are peaceful. We are just families, families who hate to fear for our loved ones’ safety. Fear is a powerful emotion but it’s not a very reasonable one.
We–and I don’t mean just Americans or just people of one race or religion but rather the peaceful people and everyday families that make up the vast majority of each of these arbitrary groups… WE cannot afford to let our fear drive us towards racism, xenophobia, or hate.
We cannot afford to have any less compassion or love for some humans simply because they are not in “our group”. “Our group” is not our group.
Our group is peaceful people and everyday families, not terrorists.
When we let fear drive us to racism or xenophobia or hate, and thus define “our group” differently, we thereby side with some terrorists against an entire race, religion or other arbitary group of mostly peaceful families who are just like us.
Insofar as there even is an ‘us’ and a ‘them’, an ‘our group’ and a ‘their group’, those violent American Neo-Nazis are not in our group. Isis is not in our group. The violent terrorists of any race, religion, or nation are not in our group. Instead, our group contains the vast majority of every race, the vast majority of every major religion, the vast majority of every nation. Our group contains the vast majority of blue-eyed people. Our group contains the vast majority of brunettes.
We are the majority. If any of us let fear bring us to racism, xenophobia or hate, that will divide us. Divide! That’s the path to leaving our group and going towards that other group–the smaller group, the violent group of fearful cowardly terrorists who steal the safety and the lives of the innocent because in their cowardice they are so blinded by hate.
What do you think? Please let me know I’m not pouring my heart out to an empty room: Leave a comment below!
I agree with a lot of what your saying, Scott. In my view the real problem is even talking/categorizing people into groups, and stereotyping them as such. It’s a lazy way of thinking that is, unfortunately, part of human nature. The world would be such a better place if we looked at each person as an individual, looking at them for their values, ideas, acts, and accomplishments, and look at where they’ve come from and what they’ve been through. It takes some effort, but if we got to know each other at this level, without saying he’s one of them, etc., the world would be a much better place for all of us, and we might have a chance, some day, to achieve peace.
Mitchell, I totally agree! 😀
We’re programmed to jump to conclusions (i.e. stereotype) for our survival. That’s why coat racks in dark rooms almost always look like monsters or human invaders. In nature, one didn’t have time to decide if that vague shape in the fields was a lion. Now we have to work to let our civilized reason trump our irrational instincts.
Thank you for your comment 🙂
I’d say we/they labels are wrong, but, I find myself thinking there actually are two kinds of people in this world: the kind who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t.
Mahatma Ghandi said, “Powder is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.”
Any divisions we create are entirely man-made, our nationality is based upon man-made borders, our religion is based upon man-made categories, color by its scientific definition comes in a continuous spectrum to which we assign arbitrary terms to describe different hues.
Putting things into categories is something our brain naturally does to try and organize the information coming in…as a teacher it’s a strategy we often use to help students make sense of large amounts of content. Categories are artificial organizational strategies, that hold no true significance. We end up with a lot of false conclusions if we assume that our man-made categories have any meaning to the actual real world.
I agree with everything you’ve said Scott. This is why racism makes no sense to me, because people are just people. I don’t care what color or religion you are, if you’re American you’re getting ready for thanksgiving right now. We all celebrate differently, and maybe eat different foods or say different prayers or say no prayers or whatever, but it’s still the same thanksgiving. Maybe if we realized that, there’s be less violence.
So, there always was poverty and hunger. So, there always were the haves and have nots. About race, let me ask a curious question: do we have any idea what has been done to the Native American Indians. Have you ever heard of The Trail of Tears? So, the Native American Indians have their holocaust.
Very simply, we have a long way to go.
Learn from the frog that fell into a well. At first the little fellow took leap after leap by day but slid back each night.
Then he tried taking two leaps by day and he slid back only one leap. Eventually, the frog got out of the well.
The USA is not utopia, but we try our best and our best is not good enough.
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