Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Honest Discussion about Race

I want to have an honest discussion about race.

I want to understand why some people want to be hyphenated Americans, and others don't. I want to understand what makes it OK for some people to make racially divisive remarks, but an honest observation, depending on the source, is shot down as racist.

I want to know how a prominent democrat says something that makes him sound like an ignorant hick and he gets a pass. I want to know how the happy accident of birth and locale that makes me white and southern, combined with my conservative convictions, automatically make me a racist to some.

This is personal.

As an American in the "land of the free", I want to know why some consider themselves not free. I want to know why some people are so invested in racial division that they have created a whole industry, in and of themselves. The federal government has spent liberally - tens of trillions of dollars fighting poverty and disparity, and this has led to a near-permanent underclass, more disparity, and finally, despair. Yet conservatives, who stand for self-sufficiency and opportunity are said to lack compassion.

Yeah, we need an honest discussion about race.

Dr. Martin Luther King said he was looking forward to a country where people "...would be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." When he made the speech forty-seven years ago Dr. King was talking about his dream for his children. It was also his dream for America. Well that's my dream for my children. America, too. Yet there are those who would reserve Dr. King's legacy unto themselves.

I said on on a social networking site that I was going to do this, and so I've done it.

I want to have an honest discussion about race.

The comments are moderated so if you're planning to be mean and nasty, don't bother. They won't get by me. You can post anonymously if you prefer, but including a name or pithy handle will make it easier for us to follow.

You know where I stand. Post your comments here.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.


  1. Nothing new here...I fully agree and look forward to seeing someone without our view(s) try to tell us their view.

    Rhea E. Burns, Knoxville, TN

  2. Scott, I think the first thing to understand is the minorities are not monolithic groups. We all have our own opinions on things and you'll find I think that we disagree as much as we agree. I think that's a mistake a lot of people make. As an African-American, I don't find the hyphenation in any way a distraction, no matter what your ethnic origin. I tend to refer to myself as both Black and African-American.
    I think the terms "racist" and "racism" have been overly used and misapplied, especially in the last two years. There is a difference between being racially ignorant or insensitive and being a racist. A member of the KKK is a racist. A person that holds that one race is superior over another is a racist. People that say stupid things out of insensitivity are not necessarily racist though everyone should think before they speak.
    In the case of Mr. Reid....poor man. How he said what he said might have been insensitive or may have smarted with some but what he said, was unfortunately true. Do we all want those types of distinctions in color to be true in this day and age...no....but that doesn't mean they aren't there. Acknowledging them puts them in the light and hopefully makes us all examine our attitudes.

    Tera R. Jackson