Friday, October 26, 2007

Differences VS. Racism

Last night as I was bathing the boys, the older one was singing "Proud to be Black" (some old skool Run DMC --a song and album that I love BTW) and the little one asked if there was a song about being proud to be White... I was at a loss how to explain to them that if there were it would be considered racist. How do you explain that gaping discrepancy in our society to little kids?

No one wants to talk about it because no one wants to be considered a racist. Especially here in writing to people that have no idea what you're like and who your friends are in real life. I think the racial divide and discrepancy bothers me so much because I'm not a racist. Because I think it creates a larger gap when a gap shouldn't exist at all. My greatest hope is that my children are raised seeing the heart of the person and not their exterior, but how can that be when I am constantly quizzed about things like this?

I was thinking of all this as I was reading about the DNA scientist that was fired for saying that "Africans aren't as smart as Westerners". I didn't reaf the entire context of his statement, but it would seem like common sense as the majority of Africans aren't privy to the education that Westerners are...

A Blogger called Selwyn Duke has an insightful piece written about this story and his call for a definitive definition of "racism":

"...What is “racism”?

Is it simply voicing beliefs about differences among races? Am I a racist if I say that blacks have darker skin and frizzier hair? No, I suppose not. What about if I point out that blacks commit an inordinate amount of crime and that 70 percent of black children are born out-of-wedlock, versus 27 percent for whites? Well, in our culture that is borderline. But why? On what basis should we determine what is “racist”?

One might think that pointing out negative characteristic qualities or the weaknesses of a race makes a person a racist, but even this cannot be so. After all, we take pains to emphasize that sickle cell anemia predominantly plagues blacks and that they are more likely to develop heart disease. Then there is the fact that Tay-Sachs Disease is found only among certain distinct groups, mainly Jews. In fact, were we to claim that these crosses are borne equally by all, we would be labeled “racist” for ignoring what ails minorities. It would be said that we really didn’t care if they lived or died. This gets confusing, though; on the one hand we’re castigated for pointing out differences, on the other we’re complimented for doing so.." (Read the entire post)

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