Third Party & Independents Archives

The Content of their Character

On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr gave a speech that today is still recognized as one of the greatest speeches ever. It stirred a nation already fighting ideals of injustice, hatred and racism, providing a true focal point for all of those emotions that were stirred up to hone in on. But how much are we still focused on that message today? Or has that energy and focus been diverted to other purposes that are not about freedom but the restriction of it?

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

I have that dream too. I have never been able to understand the concept of race, or more importantly why anyone would identify negative or positive character traits to something that in my mind doesn't really exist. And we know now that this view is true, that race is just a social construct we've created. Between the knowledge that we all came from the same ancestor to the further understanding of epigenomes and how they alter generational DNA, the reality is that we are all just human beings, our skin color and gender are really just switches in the same DNA strands that we all share.

People are who they are because of who they choose to be, not what color they are. Some people understand this and transcend themselves, no matter what 'race' they belong to. Others never get this and choose to identify themselves along these notions of racial divide. They are the poorer individuals, in my opinion, because they block their path between being and becoming with arbitrary limits placed upon themselves by these outdated notions.

Then there are those that want to empower people by reinforcing these ideas of race. That because you belong to this race or that race you are special, different, better. Between the Arian Nation, La Raza and the Nation of Islam, and all others in between, all they are doing is preventing the eventual and necessary step of abandoning the ignorant concept of race.

But worse, because of these individuals who choose the path of hatred and racism, others attempt to solve the situation by engaging in actions that not only accept the notion of race but further limit the very people they want to help by reinforcing the notions that should be stripped away instead.

However, the worst part of all is when these individuals get together and use the power of government to further enforce those ideals, either through misguided attempts to help or as a straight out political power grab. If a program is in place that is focused on helping black men, simply for the fact that they are black, then aren't we telling them that they need that help? That they can't do it on their own? That the deck is too stacked against them and they are powerless to fight beyond it?

I see commentary on Barrack Obama concerning his race and how he is faring with 'white voters' and 'black voters'. Are these the questions we really need to be asking each other or focusing on? Today on CNN I saw a conversation about how his mention of Ronald Reagan was going to cost him with 'black voters' because Reagan was not well liked by them. Are these 'black voters' all of the same mind now? Do they all see history and policy the same way, as if racial traits cause people to think one way or another?

After Obama won the Iowa caucus, CNN (again) spent nearly an hour talking about how a largely white state voted for a black candidate. This should be news? It should be the normal occurrence of the day. By focusing on that aspect of his win, how much time was taken away from the real news that his message was one that resonated with people and they had bought in to. Is it really that surprising to so many people that a white person might actually vote for a black man? Haven’t we moved beyond that childish nonsense years ago? There are black people in elected office all over the country at the state and federal level, why is a black president such a controversial topic?

In that same segment I also saw an interview with a black man who said that he had never voted before because none of the candidates could understand the plight of the black man. But Obama could? Really? Does anyone really see Obama as knowing what a poor black man growing up in the ghetto deals with? And should we be focusing on a racist view like this viewer has at all, that only someone of the same color could understand the hardships of his individual life, and that a person of the same color WOULD understand the hardships of his individual life just because he had the same color himself?

Only when we start treating each and every human being as individuals will the notion of race start to erode. Only when we abandon the policies of racial reinforcement will our policies start to work towards helping people, not racial groups. We need to stop asking what race people belong to on our census surveys. We need to quit seeing people of different races as something other than parts of ourselves, as human brothers. If we find people violating their rights, for whatever reason, be it race or gender or because they have red hair, or whatever arbitrary difference they may have, we should step in and stop it. But beyond that, trying to fix something that requires a change of heart and mind by enacting policies that perpetuate those very notions is an exercise in futility.

This is, IMO, the essence of what MLK was telling us in this speech, the very nature of freedom and how we should treat each other, not as members of groups but as individuals. That we should look beyond the color, into the character of the man, and judge him on that. In our minds we should not see or care what specific flips are switched on an individual's DNA strand, it is not what he should be judged or viewed upon.

And I have a dream that one day our government will stop using the old power of racial disharmony to continue the mindset in our children and further generations to come and finally say that enough is enough. From this day forward, we will only see people as individuals and not try to pigeonhole them into any arbitrary racial category.

Posted by Rhinehold at January 21, 2008 4:37 PM
Comment #243450

Perhaps someday we’ll get there, Rhinehold, but we aren’t there yet.

It’s certainly a nice dream, but to many the nightmare continues. I do see hope in Obama’s campaign, but will his election be the end of racism? Hardly. Will his defeat mean the struggle is over? Not at all.

To sleep, perchance to dream….

No, we aren’t there yet.

Now keep it down….don’t make me pull over:)

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 21, 2008 4:59 PM
Comment #243454

The Struggle?

You mean, the using of race as a political tool?

You mean the perpetuating of the ideals of racism through racist policies that our government enforces on us?

Of course we will never get beyond racism until we stop being a racist government. Until we start treating people as individuals, not as groups. And the likes of Jackson, the NAACP, La Raza, Aryan Nation, Nation of Ismal, etc are only perpatuating the problem, not solving it.

The problem is that people are stupid and some will always be racist. There is nothing that any governmental program can do to avert that. Our continuance to try is only perpetuating the problem.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 21, 2008 5:03 PM
Comment #243482

I also have the dream of my grandyoungins living in a world where one is judged only by their character and not the color of their skin, sex, religion, etc. Once we all can see that we all truly are created equally and are of the same human race, then, and only then, will skin color become a none issue.
Sure we’re all different in that some of us might have abilities than others don’t. But those others most likely have abilities we don’t. And skin color doesn’t have a thing to do with it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 21, 2008 10:13 PM
Comment #243517

That’s all nice and politically correct Rhinegold, but the reality that exists and no-one will discuss is that there is racism - but there is a big difference between racism and hatred.

I’m a racist because in my life experiences, I have concluded that it is genetically impossible for black women to let anyone merge in front of them in a traffic situation. That doesn’t mean I would ever treat anyone unfairly - In fact, I would rather give my business to african americans. I like to see them do well.

That’s my truth - I hope I can remain anonymous having said it.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 22, 2008 12:23 PM
Comment #243521

You are free to your opinion, Schwamp, no matter how idiotic it is. I would fight to defend that right.

However, if you were to treat anyone unfairly because if it, I would defend their right not to be treated as such.

But your notion of choosing a business because of the color of the skin of the owner, again while your right, is equally idiotic IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 22, 2008 12:54 PM
Comment #243538

I’m just being honest.

Certain loan officers who implement their own subconscious risk assesment on minorities;
Soccer moms/dads who explode when low income students are shipped to their kids schools…

Are these people honest about what’s driving their actions?

Posted by: Schwamp at January 22, 2008 2:34 PM
Comment #243564

Excellent post.

Repetitious actions by others naturally causes a bias. Some men have been burned so many times they think all woman are bad.
Many people have an attitude toward contractors due to past experiences.
What is usually driving their actions is healthy intelligent human behavior or “learned responses”.

They all have a potential to turn toward hate. It can be by occupation, sex, nationality or even your income bracket (just check out lib posts).
When bias turns to hatred there is a problem no matter what the caused the bias.

Posted by: Kruser at January 22, 2008 8:10 PM
Comment #243566

Rhinehold you forgot one group: AWM (Angry white males).

Racism in politics is simply a reflection of racism in real life.

Rap didn’t create crime in the Hood.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 22, 2008 9:47 PM
Comment #243573

I believe everyone is racist to some extent. It’s almost an inherent human nature. We all have the tendency to favor our own race. The fact that most people marry someone of their own race proves this. That right there is a form of racism. And I’m not going to condemn anyone for it.
When I start condemning folks for racism is when they hate folks of other races. And it don’t matter what race the racist is. Or which race or races they hate. They’re wrong and I’ll condemn them every time.
I also know that it’ll take a 100% change in human nature to completely erase this kind of racism. And I don’t see human nature changing anytime soon.
But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to see my grandyoungins to be able to live in a world where folks are judged by who they are, not by what race, sex, religion, etc, they are.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 23, 2008 12:07 AM
Comment #243574
I believe everyone is racist to some extent. It’s almost an inherent human nature. We all have the tendency to favor our own race.

There is only one race, the human one.

Even though I show the evidence, no one wants to leave the comfort of their hatred… :/

It is not human nature, it is a learned social creation. When we stop creating racist children by focusing their attention on the nonexistent notion of ‘race’, only THEN will racism start to end.

Until then, statements like ‘everyone is racist to some extent’ will just perpetuate the insanity for the small reward of being able to feel better about your own racist views.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 23, 2008 12:14 AM
Comment #243575
Rhinehold you forgot one group: AWM (Angry white males).

No, I’m pretty sure I included them in the ‘everyone in between’ category…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 23, 2008 12:17 AM
Comment #243588

We all associate with people of like interests and color. This isn’t racism.
We all have formed biases against certain types of people due to past experiences. This is also normal and not racism.
It is practice today to broaden terms to manufacture crisis.
Racism has to do with a lack of empathy and unmovable bigotry.
My family was on welfare when I was young and it was much harder for me to get a job due to the family reputation. We were all white.Normal disadvantages are what many people use as racism to gain sympathy. It is easy to overcome with hard work. I didn’t sit around and complain about the “rich kids” getting the good jobs. It took determination to get out of the cycle.
Racism gives people an excuse for a handout and preferencial treatment without hard work and determination. The claim actually handicaps people and keeps them in the cycle of disadvantage.

Posted by: Kruser at January 23, 2008 8:49 AM
Comment #243591

“Even though I show the evidence, no one wants to leave the comfort of their hatred…”

That is because people must give up the “perks” which come with it.
As long as it is profitable in one way or another, the notion of ‘race’ will always be a tool for weak people to use.

Hell, its gotten so messed up and abused, that those of us who believe in one race, the human race, are now called racists because we don’t agree that people should be treated differently because of the color of their skin.

Posted by: kctim at January 23, 2008 9:45 AM
Comment #243595

Wonderful post,
I believe that this is an issue that will continue to be devisive for many generations. I have said for years we should give tax breaks to bi-racial couples and eventually we will all be mocha people. All in all, we all bleed red, we all love our children, and we all want a better life. we are all much more alike than we are different.

Posted by: johnfrom Napa at January 23, 2008 10:22 AM
Comment #243604

OK! We’re all of the human race and there aint no other race. Now what do ya do with the fact that not everyone has the same skin color? Ya can’t help but notice that. Unless your blind.
I know that it might be nice not to notice skin color. But unless your gonna make everyone the same color your gonna see that a person is either Black, White, or Brown. You’ll see the color of their skin. It’s if ya let the color of a persons skin bother ya that the problem starts.
While a lot of racism is learned I don’t believe the fact that I prefer White women is learned. I’m White and I have always found women that are White more attractive than women of other skin colors. This aint a learned attraction. It’s natural.
Like I said before, most folks do marry someone of the same skin color. This is because they prefer folks of the same skin color. This aint learned and this is a form of racism.
I know some folks are attracted to folks with other skin colors. And will marry them. This aint learned either. I don’t know, it might be a different form of racism.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 23, 2008 12:30 PM
Comment #243605
Now what do ya do with the fact that not everyone has the same skin color? Ya can’t help but notice that. Unless your blind.

The same as the fact that not everyone has the same hair color, eye color, height… It is meaningless since it is nothing that they have any individual control over.

BTW, you would be surprised as to how much of our attraction to others is learned and not encoded into our DNA at birth.

But there is nothing wrong in being attracted to someone with lighter skin or darker, or red hair, or freckles (I really like freckles), or people who are taller than you, or people that are shorter, or people who smile just the right way so that their face lights up when they are happy…

Just don’t think that the notion of ‘race’ exists, because it really don’t.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 23, 2008 12:58 PM
Comment #243609


It appears you insist on including the word hatred in any discussion on race. Society at large does the same and we are getting nowhere.

It is unrealistic, but I honestly believe we would be served better as a society if we could lighten up a little. A rare example of that was Obama’s line about having to check out Bill clinton’s dancing to see if he was truly a brother.

That kind of response was refreshing. It is the kind of attitude that makes you think maybe he can be a uniter.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 23, 2008 2:13 PM
Comment #243610

Hmmm, uniting by dividing into arbitrary groups…

What an interesting concept!

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 23, 2008 2:18 PM
Comment #243615

Now even Obama is a racist according to Rhinehold. The only way to survive in your world is to keep ones mouth shut and let you do all the talking. The rest of the world can just nod.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 23, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #243616

Let’s see, if you judge someone based upon their race… That pretty much makes that judgement racsit, doesn’t it?

I mean, I’m open to being shown where that logic falls down, if you are willing to bestow your advanced intellect upon me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 23, 2008 3:12 PM
Comment #243621

Rhinehold said: “The same as the fact that not everyone has the same hair color, eye color, height… It is meaningless since it is nothing that they have any individual control over.”

Neither are the black blisters of a person with plague, but, just because the infected have no control over their disease, doesn’t mean their disease should be ignored.

As for skin color, unless your eyes are blind, the eyes and mind do note the color. It is part of the friend / foe recognition system hardwired into the human brain, that seeks out familiar identifiers of family and friends, and also signs of dissimilarity or hostility or threat as a protective recognition system.

Therefore, it is not possible to not notice skin color if one can see. What value one places on the person with that skin color is learned, which is why bussing and integration have now been proved to dramatically and significantly reduce racial violence and hatred and increase racial tolerance in the now adult population in America in just 40 years. Very remarkable, actually. Government overrode individual choice, government intruded upon personal decision making, and government truly diminished one of the major challenges that was burning and tearing our inner cities apart just 40 years ago.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 23, 2008 3:50 PM
Comment #243624

I referred to Obama as a possible “uniter”
You said “hmmm, uniting by dividing into arbitrary groups”

I am just surprised you would see this as a racial judgement instead of seeing it as funny.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 23, 2008 3:56 PM
Comment #243625

I didn’t say it wasn’t funny. I am also not the who applied ‘this shows he is a uniter’ to it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 23, 2008 3:57 PM
Comment #243678

What value a person puts on another is a learned response toward anybody. Liberals are the ones pointing out skin color as a basis for value. I thought all men are created equal.
I was born in Detroit. My entire family, aunts and uncles were all raised downtown. We all moved away due to the violence. I haven’t observed any change there except most of the whites moved away and the blacks kill each other instead.
The remaining colored people and a few whites are trapped in a liberal paradise due to perpetual policies that claim they are oppressed. They are much more bigoted then we are due to liberal learned racist attitudes.
People like Rhinhold and the like are willing to give others a benefit of the doubt without examining the darkness of skin. How dark does it have to be? Maybe we need a skin tone chart to tell when racism should start. I have a married couple who are close friends. He is from Puerto Rico and would pass as black and she is pure white. I say, “so what?” He certainly isn’t an oppressed afro-American. We are all white here and he is accepted by all since he is a good guy.
It is only impossible for liberal victim mongers to overlook color in one’s skin.
My sister is dark skinned. (Parents both are part Indian yet are white.)
Being lighthearted about our own characteristics such as a big nose is always a good thing. Pointing out that skin color somehow separates a group of people as a “race”. and therefore they are victims is demeaning nonsense.

Posted by: Kruser at January 23, 2008 11:40 PM
Comment #243679


BTW, you would be surprised as to how much of our attraction to others is learned and not encoded into our DNA at birth.

While some might be learned I think most of it is natural. If it’s learned how do ya account for a White person being attracted to a Black person when no one else in the family is attracted to Black folks? In fact the family is very bigoted. I know a person like that. How is the attraction learned?
How do ya account for the fact that my sister who grew up in the time when Whites and Blacks didn’t mix was very attracted to her husband who’s Black from the first time she saw him? Specially when she never saw a Black boy that she was attracted to growing up. And still doesn’t find Black men in general attractive. I wouldn’t say she learned this attraction.
Also one of my daughters was always attracted to Black boys when she was growing up. And still thinks Black men a very attractive. We didn’t teach her to be attracted to Black men. How do ya account for this?
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being attracted to someone that’s a different color than you. In fact I believe some folks are just naturally attracted to folks that’s different different color them. And I believe that most folks are naturally attracted to folks of the same skin color.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 24, 2008 12:17 AM
Comment #243680

Racism should never start. Everyone of every race is the same in the eyes of God. How can we say say one race aint as good as another?
I agree with Rhinehold that we should never judge someone based on the color of their skin. Everyone needs to judged solely on their character.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 24, 2008 12:25 AM
Comment #243682
In fact the family is very bigoted. I know a person like that. How is the attraction learned?

Well, someone taking psychology 101 would suggest that perhaps BECAUSE they are bigoted against it and young people like to rebel against their parents, while growing up they question what the big deal is, obsession starts in, etc…

There is so much that goes into our learned experiences that can’t just be chalked up to x, y and z that it would take a lot of psychoanalysis to determine on a case by case basis…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 24, 2008 12:31 AM
Comment #243700

I don’t mean learned response such as the bogus “social caused evils”. Specifically, when certain people burn you in dealings, naturally you would be more careful with like kind. I guess a better word would be intelligence. Burn me once shame on you, twice shame on me. The determining factors would include traits other than skin color. Bias against contractors, sex, even authority can grow into bigotry and hatred but aren’t a problem until they go that way.
I counseled fellas at our local jail and they considered all police as “Pigs”. A uniform brought out this response instead of skin color. Sometimes they had a little justification but most of the time it was their own doing that caused the bigotry.
People need to abandon hatred. You perpetuate it by pointing out traits that can’t be changed and then manipulate others with accusations and victimhood as politicians do today.

Posted by: Kruser at January 24, 2008 9:47 AM
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