Let's talk about racism, its a pretty broad concept, covering a lot of ground. But mostly at least in the USA it mean African Americans that feel they are being slighted because of the color of their skin.
And the racism alarm is getting a real workout lately, a noose in Washington, on LeBron James' front gate at his LA home someone sprayed "Nigger" and in Portland some nut case attacked three people and killed two them while verbally attack two young black girls.
The press claims we should be concerned, the politicos claim we should be alarmed, the usual crowd is shouting no justice no peace. But this is isolated racism, big graphic and news worthy.
The racism that we should be concerned about is not the in your face noose on a bathroom stall, hung from a college dorm winder, or casually laid about in a museum. It is not spray painted on your front door that should concern us or even the violence obtained by mentally challenged individuals who are simply intent on violence.
Rather it is that trickle of distrust, that slow seeping of hatred that is passed from generation to generation, a confirmation of bias, and the affirmation of stereotypes that needs our attention.
The removal of confederate monuments, the rage over the confederate battle flag, the black lives matter movement simply stoked the embers of hate, distrust and furthered the stereotypes, thus doing nothing to resolve the issue of race.
Spray painting RACIST on a statue is neither informative or restorative. Claiming offense from a inanimate object that in its purest sense is nothing more than a lump of iron is madness. Claiming it makes you fearful, is far more racist than locking your car doors, when a group of young black men approach.
A nation that was joined by its commonality in the post 9/11 era because Islam and Muslim Extremists attacked us all, became dangerously divided by a president who squandered 8 yrs of optimism, by saying "if I had a son he'd look like Trayvon" and singing amazing grace in the style reminiscent of the old Negros of Charleston's historic slavery days long since past.
Tearing down flags, and statues and proclaiming honored dead of more than a century ago as traitors and criminals deepens the divide. You can not fight hate with more hate, racism with more racism, for what breaks down racism are small gestures of kindness, yet those things are never newsworthy, and seldom noted by the media.
In Marietta Georgia there is a national cemetery, gleaming white markers in neat rows honoring Union dead who perished in the battle of Kennesaw Mountain. A few blocks to the south the Confederate cemetery where those who died in that same battle rest in a poorly maintained park that is funded by only city tax dollars and private contributions. The markers 1/3 the size most are unreadable many are broken and grass is seldom mowed. Yet the NAACP does not scream Racism because one group is treated differently, except when someone places a tiny Confederate Battle Flag on a grave.
Imagine if the NAACP offered to clean up the Confederate cemetery.
Yet, you can not legislate kindness, you can not enforce charity, anymore than we can not undo eight years of divisive rhetoric from a former president. Someone has to take the first step.
So many people black and white fail to understand that reconstruction and reconciliation took place because memorials where permitted and in fact encouraged. One hundred years ago congress took bold steps to repair a broken nation and a house divided. In the following years veterans on both sides gathered on memorial days and a nation began to heal.
We can start by understanding this:
Racism is everywhere the only way to defeat it is by rising above it, because those who do are champions.