Racism Does Not Exist
(let's address what does)
A controversial title for a controversial subject, yet I stand by the basic truth of the above statement; Racism does not exist. What is in it's place, and how we should address it, is the subject of this diary entry
"Race refers to the classification of humans into populations or groups based on various factors such as culture, language, social practice or heritable characteristics.
Conceptions and groupings of races vary over time and reflect societal customs  in defining essential types of individuals based on perceived sets of traits.
As a biological term, race describes genetically divergent populations of humans that can be marked by common phenotypic and genotypic traits. This sense of race is often used in forensic anthropology analyzing skeletal remains, biomedical research, and race-based medicine.
Race, however, has no official biological taxonomic significance — all humans belong to the same hominid subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens. Nor is there scientific basis for any racial or ethnic hierarchy." From Wikipedia
We all know that the last paragraph written above is true. There is only one race on this planet (as race is defined above) and that is the Human Race. We are all one race, therefore there can be, and is, no real racism. There cannot be
"Racism is the belief that the genetic factors which constitute race are a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. "
with the exception of minor skin and facial characteristics, we, human beings, all share the same genetic factors. A check of the Human genome project's results would verify this fact. We are all one race. There can be no "racial superiority" because there is only one race. Perhaps, if we ever meet another species from another planet, we can become racists, but for now, can't happen.
So then, if there is no racism, what's left?
"a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b : an instance of such judgment or opinion c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics "
From Dictionary .com
"The belief that one section of the human race, set apart by superficial characteristics such as skin color or region of birth is inherently superior to all other ethnic groups."
Defined by me
"The belief that one religion is superior to all other religions."
Defined by me
If we can agree that we are all of the same race, then we can begin to address the real issues as defined above.
Prejudice we all suffer from in one shape or another. I was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and raised in Hartford. I am a white male. I will admit that I am prejudiced against Black people. I grew up in the Sixties and Seventies and Benton Harbor was not a safe place for people like me. I do not hate black people, and in no way am I superior to them, nor do I wish to rule them, but I admit that I have an automatic distrust of blacks when I first meet them. I know this and I do not let my prejudice control my actions or my life, because I also know that most of the time I will be proven wrong, but it's still there.
In my view, a lot of blacks are the same as I am, and probably with better reason. This is one reason why the "race card" is played so much. There is a lot of prejudice in the world, and there are many who will use it to advance their agenda, whatever it is. The thing to remember about prejudice is that it is based on ethnicity, and can be addressed.
Ethno-Supremacy is what the Aryan Nations promote. I am sure there are other ethnic groups (caste systems come to mind) that believe they alone have the right to rule, that somehow the accident of their birth gives them powers beyond those of the rest of us, but, mostly, those people are few. Granted, such ethnicity fueled hatred can do a lot of damage, particularly given the fact that most people are sheep and easily led, yet these groups can be stood up to (at least in this country) and kept in check.
Theo-Supremacy is the last type of supremacy that we can address, and is also the most difficult and most insidious. Theo-supremacists are all around us, in greater or lesser degrees. Consider Christianity.
I have no idea how many sub-sets of Christianity there are, but there is one underlying truth to all of them, and has been since Martin Luther's day. They all believe that " My way is the right way", the corollary to which is "all the rest of you are wrong". In our society, in the main, these differences do not come up often, but I have heard Baptists call the Pope the anti-Christ, and Catholics believe all other forms of Christianity are wrong. We have all heard the Evangelicals state America is a "Christian Nation" when our Constitution tells us otherwise.
Currently in the world, Muslims are killing countless others (think Somalia, the Sudan), and even themselves (Shia vs Sunni) in a bid to become the dominant religion on the globe because the Koran tells them to. (depending upon interpretation, of course).
These are the things we need to focus on and to fight against. We need to do so, and we need to start right here in America, by addressing our own divisions, the ones we have imposed, or allowed to be imposed upon us, starting with the ethnic identifiers that we employ on a daily basis.
Look at it this way. In Europe, they don't call Americans African-Americans or Irish-Americans or German-Americans, we're all just Americans. Only in this country do we separate our identities by ethnicity. I doubt the rest of the world does. If we ever get invaded by an extra-terrestrial species, I doubt they will identify us by ethnicity either. We'll all be Earthlings, and be typed as such.
This is the way things are, and because they are this way, we have become a nation, not united as one people, but voluntarily separated into ethnic classes. (Economic classes are different, and not addressed here)
The cure is simple. We need to stop celebrating diversity and start focusing on the things we all have in common. There are human universals that we all share. We like sweets, fats, protein. We like music. We express ourselves through song, dance, and art. We love our children. These are things we have in common, and we need to begin to recognize the sameness in all of us.
I was invited to a seminar hosted by people with handicaps, and that one phrase, people with handicaps, speaks to another area we need to address. The English language is a powerful medium of expression (actually, all language is). What I learned at that seminar is that, if you ball someone a handicapped person, you have already defined the person by the word that comes before it, handicapped. The first word automatically introduces the person as different from you and I. Whereas a person with a handicap is introduces as a person first, perhaps with a limitation that you and I do not share, but still a person, and needing to be treated as such.
It is the same with hyphenated-Americans. There are no Mexican-Americans, Canadian-Americans, or any other
Americans unless those Americans hold duel citizenship. There are only Americans. Of different ethnic extraction surely, but they should all be identified and treated as Americans first. This is where we of the great melting pot have failed. We have separated ourselves and Balkanized our society by allowing ourselves to be identified, and separated, by our ethnicity. We need to stop this.
As to the arguments for toleration, yes we need to be tolerant of the differences between us, to a point. There are behaviors that are destructive, evil if you will, and we should not be tolerant of those. Religious extremism is not something, in my view, we should tolerate. Those who seek to divide us and polarize us we should not tolerate. (whatever their political beliefs). Those who hate we should oppose wherever we see them.
As to religion, honestly, I do not know the answer. Certainly it starts with those who view their belief system as one in which they can and should share with others taking on those who believe it is their chosen task to force us to believe what they do. Conversion by the sword doesn't work for me, and I believe it is my job to oppose those who believe otherwise. My Constitution allows for all beliefs, not just the most militant ones, and I oppose anyone who argues America was meant to be mono-theistic.
I think I'm starting to ramble.
The bottom line is we need to begin to look at ourselves as Americans and not allow ourselves to be separated by ethnicity or creed. We need to recognize that we are all one race, and that we all share characteristics that should unite us and stand fast against those who would continue to separate us by ethnicity, no matter what their intentions are. What we really need are less Polish-American Days and more American Days, festivals where we recognize the worth of Americans, period.