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Seeing Isn’t Believing

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

June 29, 2010

By Perry Redd

It appears that some people got it all wrong—again.  When it comes to the issue of racism, they always will.  Their intentions are to get it wrong, and get everyone else wrong as well.  I admit, it’s a difficult thing to ask human beings to say that they are wrong.  It’s just not hard-wired into our DNA.  Yet, that fact of human frailty doesn’t make it right to be wrong.

Last week I commented on the responses I’ve been receiving from supporters of the 2nd Amendment interpretation that Americans (albeit, pre-selected ones) have the right to bear arms.  The Supreme Court made a lot of ‘em happy this week…the subject is a YouTube® video that I posted of the April 19th rally gun supporters held at the Washington monument.  I made the assertion that this rally—and those supporting the premise—was race-based, in favor of white traditionalists who are intent on gripping the reins of power that they’ve so long come to treasure as their priviledge in America.  The retorts have been constant and consistent, that they “see no evidence of racism.”

One thing for certain, I don’t doubt their sincerity.  They sincerely believe that there is nothing racist in their speeches, cries and displays of unity.  But what I know is that not seeing something doesn’t mean it’s not there.  We’ve learned early on in our lives that we may not see the wind, but you know when you’ve felt a breeze!  The covert terms, phrases and language that was used at that rally—as well as many of the rallies, protests and conventions across the nation—share a common theme: “us versus them.” 

When confronted, the “them” in this language is placed in the context of “the government.”  It is true that conservatives believe in small government (until it hurts them), but wouldn’t being against the government amount to treason? Just something to think about…The “Take Our Country Back” mantra that is so often touted at these rallies clearly says to people of color that the gains made through civil rights battles for equality in access, decision-making and participation in government aren’t welcome by these protestors.  Just looking at the real people who were there, black people surely aren’t included in the “our” that they so loudly speak of!

Many comments have been blogged through the YouTube® channel that I posted the 2nd Amendment video on.  Me against them;  the vast numbers of responses have been “seeing” no evidence of racism.  I contend with them that racism—in today’s America—isn’t meant to be seen.  Not many people proudly wear the label “racist” and still prosper in this country.  In a capitalist society, money rules, not your heart.  You can’t move forward in politics or business if you’re a racist; so you must be perceived as not being one.

They accuse me of being a racist.  You’ve got to have power to practice racism.  If I had the power to exclude people from something, then maybe they’d be right.  What I am is prejudice.  I don’t deny it.  All of us are prejudice—against something.  These racially-biased folks blogging me need to gain a true understanding of the definition of racism.  Racism isn’t prejudice.  Keep tuning in to Socially Speaking, and I’ll distinguish the two for you.  Just like the Holy Spirit, you’ll believe it, even if you don’t see it.

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