In many ways I’m an idealist. I’m a trusting individual that doesn’t expect people to want to lie or be malicious, and when someone says something I take it at face value.
When then Sen. Obama ran for the Presidency, I didn’t have a problem with his skin color—only his policies. I realized that there were some in this country that would have a problem with it, but I figured it was a minority.
Many figured that it would be racism that would keep him from being elected. Few in the mainstream media would actually admit that it is racism that people would use to attack criticism of him.
Reconciliation and Time
The truth of the matter is, in most situations where there are disagreements or trouble between two different people or sets of people, even when there is reconciliation or dealing with the issue, people do not forget what has been done. And yet a key part of reconciliation means forgiving—leaving the past in the past and moving forward without continuing to bring it up.
I personally believe that for many Americans, slavery and the mistreatment of people of color has never been a part of them. They don’t recognize it as something that defines them. They don’t treat people of color any differently than others. They might even find it absurd that someone would do such a thing.
However, for some people, not enough time has passed, or they and their previous generations have spent time reinforcing the wrongs that happened rather than focusing ahead. They choose to live in the past, not the present.
Time only heals, and true reconciliation only occurs, if the people agree to put it behind and not mention it. It’s true that we cannot forget, but time passing can make it more difficult to remember.
Nothing Else Works
Racism is evil. But continuing to foster racism is also evil. Unfortunately, there is a whole segment of society that continues to propagate a victim mentality as well as a superior mentality. And, I believe, the group that’s propping up the victim mentality is greater.
We have seen, this week, a former President of the United States saying that a man’s disagreement with the current President isn’t a difference of opinion, or a policy difference—but a racist remark.
This is ad hominem, an argument against the person rather than the argument. Former President Carter is saying that Rep. Wilson was wrong to say that President Obama was lying because he was making a racist remark.
This is foolishness.
Not In My House
But, perhaps, President Carter is thinking of the fact that it was done at a supposed solemn occasion? There’s still a problem there. Though common decorum would suggest that a person remain silent, there were constant interruptions of President Obama’s speech—a speech that was not a State of the Union, but an attempt to persuade members for his health care plan.
Even then, there were other protests that were happening in the hall that night—documents that were raised, papers with messages on them. Were all these racist?
When people start attacking people for the views that they hold rather than attacking the views themselves, they show that their opinions are weak, or that they believe they have a better chance of winning going after the character of the individual rather than the argument.
When this happens, beware. They’re simply attempting to use you, to persuade your emotion rather than your mind. In this case, they’re perpetuating a evil practice for their own personal gain. Instead of letting the country heal, they continue to “pick off the scab” with hopes that you’ll again go to them.
I have a feeling that, like the KKK and other white supremacy groups that find that they don’t have much public support, one day those on the other side will find that peddling in name calling and ad hominem attacks will cause them to be outcasts as well.