Race in Our Day

I’m going to take a step off of the ‘pagan’ platform for now, and instead focus on my age and peer group, along with that super special imaginary line that divides North and South.

I hate all things to do with race.  I am not racist – and I’m not so set on equality that I fail to see the gaps in the wealth and socioeconomic status by race.  But I absolutely hate race arguments.  I hate Affirmative Action, and I hate that weird thing colleges are trying to do account for race in applications.  I hate the idea of any segregation – legal or other non-legal methods of doing so (“All of these people in this neighborhood can go to this school only…”) .

A mixture of incidents and situations within my own life has made the need for me to address this apparent issue.  With discussions of the “Jena Six” in one of my classes, as well as discussions about race and poverty itself in two of my classes, concluding with the reading of My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass, it seems like the only thing I have been thinking about is race!

It’s absurd.  And it’s all your fault.  It is not MY generation’s fault that there is a socioeconomic gap between races or genders.  I’m 19 years old.  I wasn’t even considered a person until May of last year, when I turned 18.  You guys have had since 1964 to fix these problems!  Come on, now.

I was fortunate to grow up in a very good school system.  There were no local prejudices about blacks.  Or Asians.  Or Native Americans.   Or even those of Arab descent.  We were a primary white school – until high school, I doubt there was more than 20 or 25 blacks within our class of 400.  There was no mention or perception of Native American or Asian racism.  And, when September 11 happened, we didn’t look at the people around us, in our schools and on our work force, and go, “Terrorist!”  I guess there are some benefits to living in a little town in Western NY.

That aside, I recognize now, at college, that many people come from different backgrounds.  And those people who didn’t grow up on the ‘everyone is equal’ bandwagon, have their racism almost built in.  I also recognize that the majority of my audience will not be those people.

I think your generations are going to be surprised when my generation takes over.  I’m pretty sure we have a liberal majority.  And, party lines aside: we’re sick of this crap.  The media is what is making the Jena Six thing blow up.  The media is still in your generation’s control. So, if you’re in that generation, don’t screw things up for us.  Don’t teach our children that race matters at all – just teach them that they should use a different crayon.  Stop using the media as a tool to incite the masses – the blacks against the whites, and the whites against the black.  Ignore the Klan…or throw them in jail, already.  Be fair – race should never, ever be an issue.  And if you have to make it in an issue, then let’s face the issue right now:

Color of skin has never mattered.  It is instead the culture of the people in question that is causing the tensions.  If you don’t understand or you can’t connect with someone coming from a different cultural background, of course you’re going to react badly.  I’ll be honest – I’m just as frightened by the white people with the pants halfway down their legs(referring to Georgia decency laws) as I am by the black people with their pants halfway down.  It has nothing to do with race.

Well, I think I’m out of time for the day.  But, to wrap it up with a pagan note…we don’t discriminate either (13 Principles):

In seeking to exclude those whose ways are contradictory to ours, we do not want to deny participation with us to any who are sincerely interested in our knowledge and beliefs, regardless of race, color, sex, age, national or cultural origins or sexual preference

Til next time!

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