With everything going on in the past couple of years (ok, more like the past 200 years), there has been a lot of talk about race and the implications of it. Especially with the latest reports of police brutality, Black Lives Matter, and the rising popularity of a certain presidential candidate (hint: it ain’t Hillary), accusations of racism (and defenses against said accusations) have been flying around willy nilly in a very disorienting manner.
It seems that the nation is split up three different ways: 50% accusing people of being racist; 45% being accused of racism and denying it, and 5% being accused of racism and agreeing.
The problem is that racism, or at least the manifestation of it, is so subjective that we spend more time arguing over what is or isn’t racist than we spend fighting the actual thing.
Why waste time arguing over whether the latest thing Trump said was or wasn’t racist? It’s safe to assume that it was, but that’s not the point. “Because it’s fun,” you say. Yes, but – ok, yeah, you right, you right.
We cannot base our actions and opinions on something that is constantly changing. Rather, our actions and opinions should be based on what is underneath the thing we are actually fighting.
Instead of asking “Is it racist?,” why don’t we ask,
“Is it kind?”
“Is it respectful?”
“Is it true?”
The problem is, of course, that those things are subjective too. And before people start getting all uppity about the last one: no, truth may not be subjective, but our interpretation of it certainly is.
However, this can be a more solid base than “What is considered racist today?” It seems that most of us have forgotten one of the first things they teach you in logic and debate classes: Define your terms.
Because what most of us want is not just the absence of one injustice, but for it to be replenished with kindness, respect, and truth. To be fighting some abstract and ambiguous thing is like having a fist fight with thin air. We must not only fight against one thing, but fight for something greater.