The Not-So-Squeaky Tire

Recently, on a Facebook thread, the question, “Is it typically just politics and religion that people joke about not talking about, or is there a third?” was asked.  Abortion, sexuality, drugs, and sports were all brought up with (what I assumed were) valid reasons.  Abortion is such a hot topic in the country because it fringes on biology and religious beliefs, both of which people are very passionate about, and usually, one against the other.  Sexuality is another that’s big on people’s minds.  Gay marriage is being threatened because of religious bigots that think the country they live in is a Christian one, rather than a secular one.  Both abortion and sexuality are things that many people talk openly about, usually in a heated debate with one side telling the other, more rational side that they’ll be burning in Hell in just a few months.  You know, after the Rapture and all us godless fools perish or whatever.  Since they are heavily talked about, I’m going to take those off the table.

Drugs, I really don’t see as being a “silenced” topic.  Legalization laws, those for and those against it have been huge during the past six years.  Case studies for and against marijuana are being conducted all the time, some paid for by the government, some by private interests.  I’m taking drugs off the table too.  There was one left off, my contribution; racism.

Racism is such a disturbingly fucked up topic for anyone to bring up, and because of the negative connotations that stem from anyone talking about it, mostly it’s just cast aside and people go on with their lives.  And that sucks because it’s such an important thing, such a crazy part of our American history that we NEED to talk about it.  We would learn so much about ourselves, our country and those things that threaten to break us apart, but, we don’t.

Maybe it’s because we’re so afraid of pissing the wrong people off.  Maybe it’s because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and make them cry.  Or maybe, it’s because we’re a nation that consistently refuses to acknowledge our past, and instead, we just shove it into that closet that no one opens and hope it’ll stay shut.

Racism isn’t just about whites hating blacks, or Mexicans (a country, not a race, I know), or Arabs, or anyone who isn’t white.  No, it’s such a universal thing, with everyone having issues with everyone else.  There’s ethnic racism and class racism, prejudices against the Jewish, prejudices against the atheistic, agnostic, religious, everyone gets some hate.  But, what do you think of when the word ‘racism’ is said?  Probably the KKK, angry whites lynching a black in the South, something horrid some white folks are doing to the minority, right?  Hardly anyone calls a black person ‘racist’.  Or anyone else from any other ethnic group.  It’s because the whites have such a dark history when it comes to the elitism they’ve shoved in the faces of others.

What brought my thought process up on this was the Trayvon Martin case.  Yes, Zimmerman probably shot the kid out of some sort of feelings of hate, I’m not denying that.  What bothers me though, is the really odd way society has dealt with the issue.  On Facebook, blacks started posting “pro-Martin” threads, saying how this innocent child was taken from his family because of racism.  They started in with the, “just because he’s black, he was shot” thing.  Then the pictures of everyone wearing the hoodies.  Those damn sweaters and bags of skittles.  They would post all these things, but refused to have discussions on why they were posting them, other than they were showing support for a dead kid.  My problem with this is that the whites were not allowed, in a socially acceptable way, to talk about why what they were doing was wrong.

I know it was wrong and immoral to shoot ANYONE, but I hate the fact that it was a black child that was shot by a white-looking man (who, actually, looks more Latino than Caucasian).  I hate the fact that THAT’s where the attention is going.  That that’s where everyone wants to focus on, not the actual death.  I hate that the black community is taking this as a new chapter in the war on racism and I especially hate that I can’t voice my opinion in public without being branded as a guy who hates someone else, simply based on skin color.  I hate that by doing this, they are the ones being racist, yet I can’t call them so.  I can’t point out that they are the ones being bigoted, hateful and vile.

It angers me because telling a black person that they’re saying racist things is an open invitation to be scorned.  Some say they’re allowed to be, given the history they have in this country.  First, no.  Stop.  Your history in this country is probably very close to mine.  If you’re my peer, then you were born in the 80’s, probably in America somewhere, from free-born parents, who themselves were also children of free-born Americans.  That makes both of us Americans.  Not African Americans, not Swedish Americans, not Scottish Americans, not Native Americans, just simple, one-worded, Americans.  That’s it.  Your history is the same as mine.  The history of your ancestors, if you can actually trace yourself to them, is the one that people remember.

It’s almost half-way through 2012, the second decade of a new century.  Why can’t we leave this stuff behind?  Why can’t we just focus on the things that are really tarnishing our image?  Why can’t we stop this “he said, she said” bullshit that gets us so damned worked up, with one side raising their fists in anger and the other side just sitting down, ignoring the problem because of the color of OUR skin?  Why is it that we are so infatuated with such negativity?  There’s so much more in the world that if we paid it some attention, things would get so much better for everyone.  We could solve the religion problem.  The hatred and ignorance that it breeds.  The greed and adulterous desires that manipulates the minds of its followers could be wiped away.  We could solve the hunger/over-population problem.  The one that threatens our very existence, the one that will destroy our food reserves if we don’t say something about it.  We could focus on alternate fuels, better agriculture, humane slaughter-houses, education reform, better infrastructure… better life.  But, for some really, really stupid reason, we have this cool way of ignoring the solutions and focusing on the problems.

It’s aggravating that I can’t do anything about it.  It’s annoying and pathetic and sad and upsetting and disturbing because we’re at a point in the history of OUR country that things need to change, in drastic ways, to save ourselves from what happens to all major civilizations.  Yet, those are the things that we ignore and shun, maybe because they’re so hard to think about, whereas mutual hatred is such an easy thing.

I hate it.

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