You may have noticed the Republicans are once again eating their own with regard to Rep Steve King. No taking into context, no clarification, just propping up the false notion that Republicans are guilty of systemic racism. Is something in the air? I am beginning to wonder. It is almost like a mist that everyone breathes, that dictates what people should say, and how they should say it. Above all, it seems to make people self-censor their words, to align with some omnipresent all-knowing entity that lives in the thought realm of which we are all a part.
The issue is not what Representative Steve King said. I’ll leave that to him, his heart and the context in which he was speaking.
No. The issue is the way in which people seem to twist themselves into various knots whenever the dreaded word “racism” is even remotely talked about or considered to be coming their way. It is this knee-jerk reactionary need to get ahead of it, to counter it at all cost, and to virtue signal to anyone and everyone remotely nearby to be acutely aware that the dreaded “racism” has no place with them. It’s almost as if racism has morphed into some kind of bogey man zombie that no one can kill, and everyone runs away cowering in fear of, lest they be caught and then infected with the racism virus.
It seems to me that much of society is afraid to be called something they’re not, so they go out of their way to make sure that everyone knows that they’re not the dreaded thing that they are afraid people will accuse them of being. It’s as if their life, their record, their choices day-to-day are not enough to assuage the Racism Vigilantes from coming after them. Reminds me of the Salem Witch Hunts of yesteryear, only in today’s world, accusing someone of racism is the new accusation of witchcraft. People go out of their way to assure everyone else that they have nothing to do with racists or racist ways, even pleading for mercy where none is needed nor required.
The problem with this is that it props up false notions that racists exist around every corner, forcing people to be afraid of shadows, on guard 24/7 ready to pounce at even the hint of racist ways in an effort to purge the dreaded racism from society.
The truth is, racists are not hiding around every corner, and even if they were, being a racist is not a crime, nor is it worthy of sending out the thought police hordes, ready to round people up and bring them to justice.
Yes, I said it. Being a racist is not a crime. Same as being a bigot is not a crime, being a jerk is not a crime, being rude is not a crime. Committing violent acts against others in the name of bigotry or racism, however, is a crime.
We are on a dangerous precipice of criminalizing free speech and equating free speech with violence. The two are not the same. There are people who hold racist views and bigoted views who never act out in violence against others. Do we assume that anyone who holds a particular view that we find distasteful is only one step away from embarking on a path to becoming a violent dangerous criminal? Why would we assume that of someone else without having any sort of knowledge about them? Whatever happened to the more civilized notion of giving someone the benefit of the doubt and the freedom to work out their thoughts and beliefs within themselves?
Perhaps it is because we as a society have gotten away from the critical need for humans to align themselves with a higher principle, a higher purpose, which thereby helps them aspire to acting in the best interest of themselves and those around them. It is this moral compass that keeps people civil.
We have all but eradicated this higher purpose from society by kicking prayer and all mention of God out of schools and public places. We have all but stamped out any hint of morality that gives people a foundation on which to build their lives in alignment with Higher Law.
Society has equally forgotten that prayer and God is one of the foundational ways by which society can aspire to become more moral, and that this morality serves as a basis on which people can attain higher principles of living. It is in recognizing that all people are created equal, and that the Source of creation has given people the power to align with a higher way of living.
We tend to spiral downward when we have no moral compass guiding our decisions. We spiral downward when we live only for ourselves with no care or concern for our fellow beings on this planet. The fruits of this we see displayed as racism, bigotry, selfishness, hedonism, corruption and the like.
I am not naive enough to say here that those who attend church are pristine as the wind-driven snow. What I am saying is that a moral compass, grounded in faith and belief in a higher calling, can and does help move society forward, not backward. When people aspire to live rightly, and to choose kindness over hatred, love over fear, and who begin to love the people around them and view others as having the same rights as everyone else–racism naturally begins to vanish. This is how you end racism–by living in a way that does not give room for it to fester and grow.
The “cure” for racism, if there is one, is not to send out the vigilante patrol in search of rooting out those responsible for breeding “hate” and bringing them to heel in some form of justice, but rather, of magnifying the love of God in society, respecting all life, and allowing, respecting and welcoming prayer back into the public forum, rather than relegating it to the sidelines or worse, banishing it altogether.
We can see where that has gotten us.
It’s time to change.
What do we have to lose?