Thread: Current Events
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:58 PM   #36
John Pickard
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
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Default Re: Current Events

I want to compliment you guys on how you've conversed on what is a very emotional and polarizing issue; we need a lot more considerate, open-minded, civil discourse where we can learn from one another, rather than the one-sided shouting and cursing that the media loves covering. And the fact this discussion is taking place on a celebrity website may be unusual, but since this is an issue that impacts everyone, it's not that inappropriate a venue.

I've been around for most of the Civil Rights movement. Listening to people like Dr. King - and the hate of his enemies - helped forge my own thinking on "race relations" and reinforced my belief that there are no separate races, we are one race - Human. Our differences are cultural and socioeconomic, not genetic.

And I've been around long enough to know that there are people of all hues that disagree with that. But that's another conversation.

I've been proud to say that I don't have a racist bone in my body. I truly don't care how your skin is pigmented, who your ancestors were or where they came from (or how recently), I don't care who you sleep with or marry; you treat me right, I'll treat you right. We're all individuals, unique, with our own strengths and weaknesses, and we'll get farther together than apart and at odds. So I've watched the worsening divisions in this nation and culture with growing sadness, knowing that the more they divide us, the less capable we are of overcoming those divisions.

But this most recent series of events has been eye-opening for me. I've come to realize my non-racist views are all well and good, but that I've been blind to the other half of the problem. What they're calling "systemic racism."

There is a disconnect some people experience when presented with that term. While some more radical pontificators will disagree, our systems are not built deliberately racist. In fact, since the 1940s and 50s, deliberate strides have been taken to make sure they're not. But we are learning that, for all our advancements, in practice, they still are. I blame partisan politics - the "divide and conquer" mentality - for a lot of that, but it's also something deeper, more insidious, that needs to be recognized and addressed, that really did start with the first European settlers on this continent.

And the murder of George Floyd was the catalyst for all this to come flooding into the general consciousness. Whether or not Floyd was a good man or a criminal is no longer relevant; he's become a symbol. His murder - and murder it was - was the last straw, and the tsunami of information that came after - as confusing as it may have been, like drinking from a fire hose - succeeded in shedding some light into the shadows.

There are too many parts to this entire issue to comprehend all at once - you guys have only touched on a few of the more visible subjects. But if we succeed in making this a world of true equal opportunity, then the discomfort will have been worth it.
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