Of Racism & Pride

Race and racism is a complex issue.  I can readily admit that I lack the proper skill to tackle the entire beast in one post.  However, there is something that has occurred to me over the past few years that I would like to put out in the world.

Until we learn to completely disregard race as a factor, racism will never die. 

What does that mean, to disregard it?  Many of you are thinking, “I already do that!”  But here is the catch, I mean we have to disregard it in both the positive and negative manners. 

I will use the recent Super Bowl as an example.  There have been endless posts and updates on social media either attacking or defending whatever message it was Beyonce was attempting to convey during her performance, and I do not need to add my part.  Someone has already said it better somewhere else, so I’ll leave that be.

One article I read though said something to the effect of, “Beyonce brought Black Pride to the Super Bowl…”  and, in my opinion, this is as much a part of the problem as it is the solution. 

Throughout human history different peoples have been made to feel shame for their ‘differences,’ and one response to this was to rally together and establish this ‘difference’ as a source of pride rather than shame. 

However, and to utilise a beloved quote of mine, “Pride is not the opposite of shame, but it’s source.”  Pride in something like race, sex, or nationality can be just as poisonous as feeling shame for it. 

Why? 

Because it forces you to recognise and accept that that difference matters and somehow sets you apart. 

It doesn’t.  If you want people to stop seeing you as Y, stop stomping around shouting, “I’m proud to be Y!!!”  So many humans have it in their head that things like race denote belonging, pick up the banner of their so-called ‘ethno-political grouping,’ and rally against who they believe to be the “opposition.”

In reality most of these people can not site a single instance in which they had personally suffered a grievance at the hands of the people they are opposing so vehemently — we are a world of people that exist in a state of anger by association.

The world is divided.  Humanity is divided.  We draw lines on maps, lines between ourselves, pick gods and governments and allow our pride to blind us to the reality that none of these things truly defines us.  The goal, in my opinion, should be to eliminate these differences from our hearts and minds altogether, the shameful and prideful alike.  We have to put it to bed completely because pride, as much as shame, has contributed to the compartmentalisation of humanity. 

We all have our little sects that we belong to and by being associated with said group we somehow suffer as they suffer and thrive as they thrive – or imagine that others do.  This is false.  Assholes come in every shade, shape, and size.  So do wonderful people.  Some of the people I have the most in common with I don’t share boxes with on a census sheet.    

So what is the answer?  For me, the only way to truly end racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination is for human beings to look at each other and see nothing but another human being.  Be proud of being human and work to support and advance humanity.  Celebrating our differences is just another covert way to keep racism from dying.   

In closing I would like to alter one of the slogans Beyonce borrowed for her performance:

Black Lives Matter.  That means all of them.  

28 thoughts on “Of Racism & Pride

  1. A good, thoughtful post. As your rightly mentioned, people tend to form groups. If not race, then nation or language. It would be wonderful if we all learn to see other people as another human being. But I doubt if it is actually practical. In my humble opinion, not to be proud of one’s race, country or language is more difficult than not hating other races, countries or languages.

    A very good post indeed. It made me think about lot of things that could be improved in this world. Thanks for the post! Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the comment. I understand that letting go of that pride is difficult, but it creates a duality. People want to be seen not for their color while being overtly proud of it at the same time.

      If we are to let go of race, we have to completely let it go.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that ridding the world of racism is going to be near impossible, and the reason you pointed out is one of the many why that is so.

      This is also what we have to begin to realise, is that good people and bad people alike are contributing to its continued existence.

      Parents who claim not to be racist will point things out to their children about what makes certain people different in their eyes, and on and on it goes.

      Or we switch on the TV and see people parading around, proud to be “___”, and we can’t help but be faced with the idea that being “_____” is not what we are, and thus we’re different.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You sure tackled a big one today! I know there are a lot of people out there who would disagree violently; I could find a few points to discuss, myself. But I won’t, actually. because your message is a good one – especially if people can get over their political correctness for a second and hear what you’re trying to say. As a general rule, anyway, I agree with you and Uncle Iroh.

    I’ve never understood the pride people take in things they had no choice over (being Jewish or Latino or homosexual or from Texas, e.g.); it’s the things we’ve struggled for and worked towards purposely that ought to matter. So go ahead and associate yourself with being an artist or a writer or a teacher, because those are things you’ve poured effort and soul into; you had nothing to do with being born brown-eyed, so why crow over it (or cry about it)?

    It’s true that were we able to stop paying attention to race, color, religion, and gender, the world would be vastly improved. This is a philosophical pipe-dream at the moment, mind you, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work on it (“be the change you want to see in the world,” right?). The problem is, of course, that EVERYONE needs to take your advice for it to work: if we’re all busy not thinking or talking about race or gender, and some people – especially those in positions of power or authority – are continuing to discriminate, harass, hire differently, pay differently, treat differently, etc… it sort of ruins everything.

    But here’s to your ideal! …I’ll even stop having pride in being a short, fat, hairy Jew just for you. ; )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, thanks! In regards to the people in ‘power’, one way or another, we put them there.

      Either we elected them or we collectively approved of their dickish ways by buying the shit they sell, thus they are rolling in the dough. If we want them gone, truly, we have to be willing to sacrifice the material things they offer, which might put us at an inconvenience (oh no!), for our ideals. Too many people can’t face this and actually combat it.

      You’re right though, everyone has to get on board for it to die. The sad thing for me is that many of the people who cry for it to stop are parading around being proud of their ‘label’ and can’t see how that does the reverse of what they are intending.

      Like

  3. Very interesting post.It gave me a totally new perspective to look at things. I think if we personally know someone of different race or religion, the barrier goes away and we consider him/her as just like us. If we don’t know someone, our first impression is mostly formed by appearance, and that is the basis of racism.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very thought provoking. I agree with most of what you say, but I fear we will never eradicate racism or any other form of discrimination. Putting my psychological hat on here, as a previous comment stated, it is natural for humans to form groups and categories, and we are most attracted to those similar to ourselves. Also, being immediately able to put people into a group based on characteristics we already know about them, is a form of stereotyping, which we do in order to save time using extra cognitive processes. It is very difficult indeed to prevent people from classifying others, and in an ideal world we don’t want to be doing this. Lots to think about…..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s an interest post and makes me think a lot. I think when the world becomes more open and less mystical about each other, the race thing will fade, because when people meet they will see a human out there first, even if there’re differences in colours, origins etc. The US is a great example of the “melting pot” which melts all kinds of people into one nation, and it’s quite boring to always stereotype people who meet in their daily lives, not to mention many of them are mixed-bloods, which makes it hard to say who they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The melting pot idea is a good point. One of the things that drives me crazy about being from the US is all the talk of blaming “white people,” or claiming that “white people” are all the same. Do you know how many mixes and combinations make up “white people”?

      That is as ignorant as the other end of the racist spectrum, but as long as the assumption holds that, ‘anyone with white skin is part of the ‘winning’ team, it’s okay to label and discriminate against them.

      That, to me, also adds to the problem.

      Like

      • Well, didn’t know you are from the US, haha. Is there REALLY such a thing as that talking about blaming “white people” in there? I think everybody is made differently, no matter which group one comes from, as you said, there are many mixes and combinations that make up even “white people”. But I guess sometimes people like to blame others….just hope they can understand each other more after the blaming. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You addressed this so well, thank you for your insight and for taking the time to write out some great reasoning. So much better than a meme or a blasting tweet. Thank you for being a voice of reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Of the Divided States of America & Redux | Olive These Words

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