"As always, the truth is hard to find. Never rely on just one source of information, and apply critical thinking"
Racism should not be tolerated under any circumstances. That is something that we should all agree on. So, what actually is racism?
Well, Webster’s dictionary defines ‘racism’ as ... “a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”
And Dictionary.com defines ‘racism’ as ... “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.”
OK .... but how is “race” defined?
Webster’s definition of ‘race’: “any one of the groups that humans are often divided into based on physical traits regarded as common among people of shared ancestry.”
Dictionary.com’s definition of ‘race’: “a group of persons related by common descent or heredity.”
So, race is really determined by physical characteristics and common ancestry... not by behaviour. Of course, your ancestry and where you were raised and by whom will impact your behaviours and beliefs... but not your race.
So, ‘racism’ more accurately is a term that should mean someone who treats another with extreme prejudice solely based on their physical characteristics, and place of origin, and not their behaviour.
Are there true racists out there? Of course, there are. And they should be condemned for their narrow minded and bigoted beliefs and actions. But the term “racist” is now being used in a much wider context than just for those misguided and shallow individuals.
I pose a question. If a white person and a black person are born in the same country, are raised within similar environments, by similar parental situations, and are taught the same values and develop the same beliefs.... then how can racism against these individuals perpetuate in that situation?
Well, one can hypothetically forecast that their behaviours should be similar. This is where personality traits come into play, and the influence of unknown life incidents. Mutually exclusive events within each of the individual’s lives may have impacted their perspectives, resulting in different personal beliefs, and behaviours. If either the white or black person was confronted with true racism (as defined above), that could have an impact on their personal development, and attitudes toward specific topics, people, and ‘yes’, members of a certain race.
But, as we have established, behaviour is not a true racial factor. To say that someone is ‘racist’ because they object to a person’s behaviour is misleading... but that context for racism is used over and over again in today’s world.
Now, all that being said, if a person is behaving very badly and is then called out for that behavior, and they respond with, “you must be a racist”, then I must respond with… “the fact that you are black, white, brown, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, indigenous, gay, a man, a woman, or transgender is not the issue here, nor have those or other elements of your physical makeup had any influence on my opinion of you. It’s not because of those traits I am choosing to criticize your behaviour, since I believe that those elements of your individualism are what make you interesting … no, it is just because you are acting like an ass!”
To disparage or defame a person simply because of the colour of their skin or country of origin is racist. To object to someone’s inappropriate behaviour, regardless of their skin colour, is not racist. Those who are behaving badly who pull the race card to defend their gross actions are actually exhibiting racist behaviour themselves.
The more we define people by their skin colour, the more we are needlessly segregating our communities. Where do we stop with segregation based on physical attributes? Skin colour, hair colour, eye colour, tall, short, blonde, brunette, and the list goes on.
Idris Elba, a well-known actor (who just happens to be black), has come under fire recently for saying ... "Being an 'actor' is a profession, like being an 'architect,' they are not defined by race," Elba tweeted. "However, if YOU define your work by your race, that is your prerogative. Ah, lie?"
The famous Mike Wallace interview with Morgan Freeman is another example of support for not defining people by race, but by their character.
Mike Wallace: “How are we going to get rid of racism?”
Morgan Freeman: “Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.” (ref: https://youtu.be/fcLj2CVC1VU)
Through my travels I have developed friendships and acquaintances around the world with a wide variety of individuals with different racial backgrounds. It has never been their race that has determined our friendship, but how they treated me as a person, and how they behaved in general within their own lives. Behaviour determined my opinion of them and whether I wanted to maintain a positive connection with them.
The truth behind today’s mis-categorization of the term ‘racist’ largely comes from conflicting cultural behaviour between individuals, their social norms, comfort zones, and communities of familiarity. These are the factors that give rise to one person’s objections and criticism of another’s unfamiliar behaviour or opposing attitudes and opinions. But that has really nothing to do with their physical characteristics or country of origin.
Let’s go back to the two individuals born and raised in the same environments. They may be perceived by an individual in another country, who was raised quite differently from them, to have the same objectionable behaviours, which may give rise to criticism. But that isn’t based on race, it’s due to cultural behaviours and beliefs, regardless of their physical traits, and that is not racism.
There are bad behaviours exhibited by people of all racial backgrounds. It is not their race that determines the bad behaviour, it is their character and deeply held beliefs. Cultural behaviour also stimulates behaviour which may be perceived as inappropriate or offensive by other cultures, but again, that is not racism.
Through my travels my own cultural tendencies did provide a basis for criticism from the cultural groups in the countries I was visiting. If I was called out for those behaviours in their country, I didn’t interpret that as being a victim of racism. I simply recognized my own ignorance with their customs and then did my best to monitor my own actions to respect their cultural environment. It was a cultural thing, not racism.
The social movements of the ‘Woke Culture’ and the ‘Cancel Culture’ are doing more to damage the potential integration of society more now than ever. They are fierce in their determination to distinguish and identify the various segregated social groups… and to tear down any person or organization that dares to venture an alternative opinion, or tries to bring the groups together bypassing their boundaries suggesting that we all just get along.
Whenever an extremely opinionated ‘woke’ person is losing an argument in the face of an intelligent, and factual response concerning reprehensible behaviour, their first line of defense is sadly ... “You’re a racist”. This only perpetuates cultural division, animosity, and forms support for the bad behaviour, regardless of race.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are racists in every culture, and probably the Caucasians have more than their share, but every white person isn’t a racist.
When Muslim extremists kill innocent people in the name of Allah, the cry of castigation from the Muslim majority, who are good people, reminds the rest of the world that not all Muslims are bad, and to not group them in with these radical extremists. That seems reasonable.
Well, the same thing goes when a stupid white person kills a Muslim. When a deranged white man, ran down an innocent Muslim family with his truck in London, Ontario, it was an act of hate by one man who happened to be a white male. The uproar condemning the act was justified, but to now for the NDP Party of Ontario to lobby the government to introduce anti-Islamophobia legislation suggests that the whole population needs to be held accountable for this heinous act.
After the horrific 9-11 attack, did non-Muslims lobby governments to force all Muslims to take white appreciation courses? Or after the many terrorist attacks in France, where Muslim extremists killed innocent white people in the name of Allah throughout a string of attacks? No… they did not. Why? Because it was realized that these are the acts of crazy people.
Unfortunately, governments, big corporations, and the media are perpetuating the ‘Woke Culture’ and throwing fuel on the fire by responding in support of the social extremists, while the silent majority observes, held back by threats of severe repercussions through social ridicule, job loss, and even physical harm if they dare to speak out.
I am sure that many people out there who previously did not judge a person by their religion or skin colour are now being forced to recognize an individual as a ‘black’ person, or a ‘Muslim’ before they get to know them. Why? Because we are reminded at every turn by corporate commercials, government, and most of all by the media that society is segregated by race and religion, and you had better get on board with making amends for your historic transgressions, all of you! … and provide allowances and opportunities for those identified as ‘marginalized’ individuals, regardless of their behaviour, qualifications, ambitions, attitudes, or experience.
Trudeau and the Canadian government are advancing this social cancer by instituting programs like … “Funding for Black Entrepreneurs” … Really? My tax dollars are not available to my son who may want to start a business because he is white? Does that not seem racist to you?
Recently the government funded National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada planned a racially segregated show for ‘Black people only’. Seriously?! How does this promote inclusivity and the social integration of our communities?
The premier of British Columbia, Canada (John Horgan) had to apologize for saying that he “didn’t see colour growing up”. He considered his friends and teammates as people and equals. Isn’t that the end goal? Yet, he was forced to apologize after criticism from the ’woke’ brigade saying that he was exhibiting ‘white-privilege’. Really? Aren’t we going in the wrong direction? (ref: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1806986819831)
A truly integrated society where everyone is judged based on their character and not by their race, country of origin, or any other physical trait is a goal that today’s society has lost touch with. Experiencing cultural differences is a way to enrich one’s life, and a way to better understand each other. The recent criticism against cultural appropriation, when a member of one culture tries to experience or adopt something from another culture, is utterly ridiculous. It is counter to the goal of an integrated society, and attempts to block individuals from an effort to appreciate one another through a wide variety of cultural experiences.
It’s a big world out there and we all need to live here, together as equal members of the human race. Let’s strive for less segregation and support harmony, treating everyone with respect, while uniting with one another to call out bad behaviours that are maliciously disruptive. Experiencing everything that various cultures have to offer can enrich your life and understanding of those around you, regardless of their country of origin, or physical makeup. Take the time to recognize what each individual has to offer to make your life more interesting.
It is unfortunate that the wisdom of the great Martin Luther King Jr. seems to have fallen on the deaf ears of the radical left. In his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, his following statement holds a very important message for this generation.
MLK: “"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." (Aug 28, 1963)