What’s Race Got to Do With It?

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Somebody once asked me to wonder what the world would be like if people of all races have the same complexion or skin tone. In other words, if who we are, or what we could be was not determined or predicted based on the concept of our skin colors. I did not have to ponder for long since I have a clear thought. I told him I was sure people would have looked for other distinguishing human features, such as eye color, hair color or even height as the basis of discrimination.

The reality is that the world is always going to see a difference in people. We would always look for what differentiates us instead of what we have in common, or even create some if none exists. If we still cannot come to terms in this day and age, that there’s only one human race, then bigotry is deeply rooted in our nature. No matter how much we deny it, we are all prone to judge a book by its cover before looking at its content. It’s just a human tendency.

Race happened to be a fundamental difference in human beings. The world is always going to see the difference in our skin color. Every single person is always going to be prejudged first based on their skin color, since it’s the first thing we see. It is a rooted ideal that will remain in our culture and history. It does not get better when, every race thinks that it has something the makes it special and superior to the others. Similarly, we all seem to be haunted by a past bad experience with someone of a different race. Last time I checked, this is called chauvinism.

However, I have never for the life of me, seen any single thing that is unique to a particular race. We have both good and bad folks, as well as ugly and good looking people amongst every race. So, any one who draws a difference between two races based solely on skin alone is simply ignorant. The truth is that we are all different and unique. But the big question still remains, why can’t we get along?

Let’s face it, America; in fact, the whole world is still experiencing discrimination among all races. Even in countries where the entire citizens are of common ethnicity, there’s some discrimination of some sort. No matter how we try to ignore it, it manifests itself in our every day life. Sometimes you have to really look closely to see it. There are as many racists as those who claim not to be. Thank goodness, there’s no racial discrimination on the face of our judicial system. But I wish I could say the same about application of the laws.

I believe that there is always going to be racism until we clear our minds of all prejudice and preconceived stereotypes and learn to live with each order, accepting everyone for what they are. A starting point would be the innocent minds of the little ones. Perhaps since we cannot control what goes on in individual homes, we can teach our kids early in schools how to tolerate each other and live in harmony.

Although there’s no doubt that some incidents of racism have been reduced drastically over the years, the worst approach to eradicating racism is pretending it does not exist. Qualified medical professionals do not administer a prescription until they diagnose an ailment. In like manner, we cannot deal with racism appropriately if keep refusing to acknowledge its existence. So let’s call a spade a spade. Let’s all agree there’s still racism in our society, and thereafter look for some remedial measures.

We have to be careful of a prevalent trend that is not helping matters. What I see theses days is some method of racial division that does not bring us any closer. Some call it the “race card”. You see it in every issue that involves two people of difference races, especially black and white. Some notable television channels and anchors are harping on it for ratings, and some individuals are making a living out of it as commentators. Political correctness has displaced objectivism.

For example, it is a known fact that despite the provisions of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, some low-income people of color have had their liberties taken from them through unequally applied sentences. This not withstanding, we have to be careful not to inject race into every legal proceeding or every unfortunate occurrence between people of different races. We should rather think of a way to overhaul and re-establish confidence in our judicial system, especially the criminal justice system. It is a fundamental principle of law that cases are determined based on evidence before the court. So let the rule law of be our guide. Let’s refrain from leaning towards our emotions or racial affiliation.

On individual level, we should not let what others see or say to define who we are or aspire to be. We can always live above those perceptions. Dr. Martin Luther King said it best when he expressed the hope to live in a nation where individuals, “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. Whether we like it or not, the truth is that we can never be the same, and we cannot get rid of any race. It will be in our best interest to learn to live together in harmony under the rule of law.

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