OP-ED: Racism: An AttitudeWashCo Dems op-ed article

By Steve Hall, PCP, Washington County

We all are racist in our own way. Some forms are blatantly exposed and others are subconsciously deep inside all of us. We have been subjected to different forms of it since birth on both the receiving and giving end. There are only two answers to eliminate the racist attitudes in our world. The first is education and information. The second is death.

The easiest solution is death. All of the conscious and unconscious prejudices we have will end when we die. My father grew up and served in the WWII era. He was a self-made man starting with a High School diploma, was a Navy pilot and later a successful manager for a business machine company before he died of a brain tumor. He was also a racist and a misogynist – in other words he was a normal white man for his time. From him I learned some of those traits as they rubbed off on me while growing up. Only later, when I did my own thinking did I modify and try to stifle those racist ideas. While bringing up my children I did my best to not have those thoughts rub off on them.

The hardest solution is education and learning from life that racism is the wrong path to follow. Each generation should have all the information available to them about people, all people, and how they are more the same as we are than different as we are. A human being shares all the same things as other humans except the color of their skin, their religion, and where they are located. We all are born, get sick, grow up, find love, work, maybe raise a family and finally die. Outside of that it is how we treat each other that defines racism.

I don’t know the right way to educate, guide or lead people to get around the many dissimilarities we all project. We all know that our “people”, our “way of life”, our “God”, is the best. What we need to do is accept others and their ways as equal, not greater and not lesser than our own ways. When this happens peoples of the world get along, we just modify and adapt to current situations to bring us together rather than separate us.

As Democrats, we believe our way of is best. But thankfully, we live in Democracy where we are granted free speech and free elections with which to come to a consensus on how we will live. Within that same Democracy there are opportunities to develop individual skills if we just search for those opportunities. I never expected to have comfort and security handed to me. I went out and earned it and am the better for it. These opportunities, for most part and we are still working on it, are open to all of us.

As we succeed in attaining these opportunities, we will become less racist. And, as the older generations of us die, the subconscious racists will no longer be in charge, rant about whatever pushes their buttons, and open the door to open minded people.

I truly believe that oppression in its many forms is not just race based but, can also be tribal based. When oppression changes it is still the tribe in power that controls the thought of the whole which has nothing to do with race. As the old adage says, the victors write the history. What it does not say is the defeated are forgotten and oppressed.

Racism does not belong in our society. I am glad to say I have seen things change for the good in my lifetime for the better and someday I will die and take my subconscious racism to my grave.


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