Friday, April 13, 2012

American....No Hyphen

Racism is once again at the top of the national news lately. Mostly stemming from an unfortunate incident in Sanford, FL between two men; Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Though very few except for Martin and Zimmerman really know the truth of what occurred between them, many people have taken strong positions on the issue, mostly divided across racial lines. Through the craziness of the sensationalistic news media, we have experienced a wide, but now predictable, involvement of racial players injecting themselves into the situation. We have seen the usual reactions from race-baiters such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, calling for widespread rallies and protests on behalf of the racial injustice allegedly perpetrated against Trayvon Martin, despite the fact they know no more than anybody else what really happened. We have seen those who immediately sought to portray Martin as a typical gangsta thug, as if they really knew who the young man was in real life. Especially crazy was the initial insistence that George Zimmerman was a white man, despite the fact that he is half hispanic and identifies himself as hispanic. But to perpetuate the typical white vs black racial myths, Zimmerman was then termed a "white-hispanic". This is as absurd as calling President Obama a "white-African-American", as he is half white as well. Most alarmingly, we have seen hate groups such as the New Black Panther Party calling for the kidnapping and murder of George Zimmerman. As full of hate and violence as the Ku Klux Klan, their actions are being protected by the politicos in power, much as the Klan's were during their heydays of murderous racism.

In light of all the racial posturing, debates, threats, and stereotypical accusations, it infuriates me that Americans keep allowing themselves to get drawn into the same old hate-filled patterns. We permit our thoughts to be controlled by those, of various racial backgrounds, who draw their power by perpetuating hate among the many races and cultures that make up our nation. You would think that by now, through pure experience, we would have moved past racial division. But here we are, once again, with talk of race wars topping the headlines, and the vulgar name calling of "whiteys" and "niggers". It sickens me!

 Why can't people get it through their heads that, biologically speaking, there are no such things as separate races? We are all one human race, despite really very minor differences in outward appearance. We will all bleed red whether our skin color is white, yellow, brown, black, or red. Are there cultural differences among various groups in this country? Certainly! But as Americans, deep down, we all share the same national culture. We want to be prosperous, to succeed in our endeavors, and to live in freedom in a place of safety. We all love our children and want to give them better lives than we had. We want to have the liberty to worship as we please and a chance to educate our children to build and perpetuate this nation, which, despite its faults and mistakes, has been a beacon of freedom and democracy to the world. That is why, even to this day, people from all nations still flock to the United States seeking a better life.

I wish that all Americans could have the experience that I have had...that of being privileged to serve in our nation's military forces. It was there that it became ingrained in me that as Americans, we are all brothers and sisters, regardless of race or religion, color or culture. We stood beside each other against the world and it made not one difference if a member of our platoon was black, white, Jewish, or Inuit...or a mixture of many different things. We risked our lives for each other and it mattered not whether somebody's ancestors came from Africa, Poland, or Puerto Rico. The only thing that mattered was that we were all Americans. We believed in our country and we believed in each other. How different would our national outlook be if American civilians could view each other this way?

I have been blessed in my life to have been exposed to people of many different cultures and colors. Thinking of specific friends, teachers, and mentors in my life, some are Eastern Indian, black, asian, european, Native-American and hispanic. I'm sure there are those of other backgrounds that I am forgetting. When we meet together, and we talk and share, we do not see each other as colors or cultures, but as human beings and Americans. We do not separate ourselves from each other by such things. It is my opinion that our country will never get over the contrived problems of racism until we stop dividing and identifying ourselves by race. We must do away with white supremacy, black pride, La Raza, NAACP, congressional caucuses separated by race, separate beauty contests and award shows, etc, etc, ad nauseum! We must stop teaching our children that this race is dangerous, or this race is trying to keep you down, or this race is lazy, etc....It is time to let go of the fear-based hatred of those who came before us. We all have the same nation to gain...or to lose. Although they were not talking directly about race, our founding fathers could not have been more correct by saying,"United we stand, divided we fall."
So...stop seeing other people as colors. Stop identifying yourself as a color. Treat others as human beings Americans. No more hyphenated Americans! It is just my belief that when we die, our spirits that live on will not have colors. When we appear someday before our God we will not be judged according to a color. So why should we judge each other that way now?

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