Thursday, August 7, 2008

Racism

David Swerdlick brings a lot of passion to this article, and I liked it all - especially the passion! As a white guy, I have seen a lot of racial problems handed out and for the life of me I really, honestly, genuinely cannot figure out why. Perhaps too much whining is done about this sort of thing, but I expect that all the whining would miraculously go away if more people would listen and then act to finally stamp out racism. To be blunt, I am disgusted with anyone who looks down at another person because of his or her colour! Whine or no whine, I will always feel that way and I’ll tell you why.
I was born in 1960 - to white parents. I have three older sisters, (adopted if you must know): one Métis (French Canadian and Native) & a set of Japanese and Irish twins. Following me is a blood-related sister and at the end of the family is my youngest sister, a full-blooded Native girl from the west coast of Canada. Now you may be surprised or not, but us six kids grew up as siblings and my four adopted sisters are as much my sisters as the one who was born to my mother. I don't have as good a tan as some in my family, but the colour difference is meaningless to me. My nieces and nephews come in several shades, but who cares? They are all my family & I love them equally!
In 1967, my father received the Order of Canada for service to his country - for having adopted my four sisters & creating a diverse inter-racial family. The recognition was awesome, but in some ways it’s sad. What difference does the colour of one’s skin make? Why should the adoption of a few children be considered so worthy of such accolades in the first place? We are all human beings – members of the human race. We are all here on this vast planet called earth – together I might add. We all want to live after the manner of happiness. I think we are all agreed on that? Perhaps the racists of the world should take a good look in the mirror. What gives their reflection any more right to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness than anyone else’s? I say, “Just calm down and forget about colour because it only matters if you are feeling the poisoning influence of racism!” Instead of hastily climbing onto the high horse of haughtiness, perhaps we should all pause to look in the mirror. Perhaps we should ask ourselves the tough question? “Does skin colour matter to me?” I don’t think it should.

2 comments:

the editor said...

I, too think skin color is irrelevant. But what I do think is relevant is skewing our beautiful English language. Mr. whatever his name was can butcher the language all he wants in the name of multi-racial whatever-he-calls-it, but the bottom line is that everyone--of every race and every color--should learn to speak proper English while living in America. In addition, everyone should refrain from using racial or ethnic slurs. Everyone should refrain from adding "izzle" to the end of every word. If you lived in Spain, I would encourage you to refrain from butchering their language, too (although their language would be easier to butcher as they have fewer words to screw up). Words like gypped and jewed and cracker and nigger and half-breed are a direct reflection of a) a lack of tact and b) a lack of education and c) a lack of vocabulary, even if referring to your own race or ethnicity. Using them by one group or another only perpetuates their use, not to mention (although I guess I'm mentioning it nevertheless) that of the 1M words in the English language, I'm sure one can find more suitable word choices, and with that many words from which to choose, one hardly needs to make up words on one's own.
As for the whining, as I so often tell my children, "enough already." Yes, even when you've been wronged. You look silly and sound pathetic when you do it anyway.

With respect,
J,
The Editor

Pink Ink said...

I tell myself that skin color doesn't matter, but I must admit that sometimes I get self-conscious about being a non-white in a predominantly white community.

Thing is, whether it be race, or just plain looks, we ARE judged on appearances. I blogged about this once, here's the link: http://pink-ink-pink.blogspot.com/2008/07/who-cares-how-you-look.html

That said, I have been fortunate not to be the target of any racist overtures.