There are a lot of White people who feel that their own Freedom of Speech is unfairly targeted, that any time they want to share an honest opinion about what’s going on in America, that they are often drowned out in blanket accusations of privilege and racism.
And as often as I cringe at some of the things I hear from some White people, even from my White friends, I actually agree with that sentiment.
With heightened tensions these days, it’s hard to have an honest discussion about almost any topical issue, including race. Both sides have entrenched and stuck to repeating the same divisive rhetoric that keeps us from listening to anything the other side has to say.
I’m not trying to be politically correct and tell everyone to forget the past, kiss and make up, let’s move on. We can’t gloss over the uncomfortable thorns of sticky issues that are having serious effects on our communities, our society, and our nation. What I am saying is that there is some truth to every typecast. Each side has to do a better job of listening to what the other side is trying to say, no matter how strange or offensive it may seem at first. We can’t just rebuke, just because harsh words offend our sensibilities. Especially since our own words are just as offensive to theirs.
I get called racist all the time. It’s the price I pay for being honest about racism. Do I think it’s fair? No. But I feel it is expected. I don’t get offended. I give people a chance to make their case, so if I can listen to them in an earnest and civilized manner, then maybe, just maybe, they’ll return the favor. It doesn’t happen often enough, but it happens a lot more than if I just told people to fuck themselves with their own hypocrisy.
Be honest. But be civil. Remember that your opinion is just as much an opinion as anyone else’s. Never lose sight of the fact that the other people you’re judging are still fellow human beings, even if they may not act that way. Show them what a decent human being is by acting like one. And listen to their argument as openly as you would want them to listen to yours.
The reality is that no racist will ever believe that he/she is racist. Just ask any racist. Regardless of color. Accept that. Stick to the message, avoid attacking the messenger. Regardless of color.
We can’t unite this country if we are going to stay intentionally divided. No one group of people can fix this country. The Democrats can’t do it without the Republicans. Men cannot do it without women. Blacks can’t wipe out racism without Whites. Christians can’t eradicate Islamist extremism without equal partners in the Muslim communities, just as Muslims alone can’t eradicate Islamaphobia without vocal Christians.
#WeThePeople can Make America Great. All of us. No exclusions, no exceptions. And for that to happen, we have to start building bridges and tearing down walls. No more lines in the sand. No more kicking rocks. We can’t be politically correct or unilaterally right.
Let’s talk. Like decent human beings. Let’s end the “White people be like” vs “Black people be like” bullshit rhetoric. Let’s talk about what’s really going on, and be as honest about what’s wrong with us as we are what’s wrong with them. In the end, it’s not just about Blacks, or Whites. It’s about how Americans treat fellow Americans. But we have a very long way to go before we can remove race from the discussion. We can’t ignore reality. We must deal with it. Like decent human beings.