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« The Grand Jury | Main | Relation Ships »

Racial Conundrums

Racism exists. 

Yes, in America.  Especially, in America.

Ferguson proves that racial strife is far from over in this country, despite all the attention paid to it by civil rights leaders, the media and the protestors on the street.

But the aftermath of the grand jury decision brings more questions to the surface.  Do we have the right judicial system in place?  Can justice in America succeed?  If the system succeeds or fails based on the desired outcome of a segment of society, then how can it be fixed?

If we don’t like the outcome of the judicial process which is based on the law, then we really don’t want the present process.  It means we don’t trust the process.  And, if we don’t want or trust the process, then we should get rid of the process.  What should we do?  We should go back to the system that existed before the process was instituted.  And what was that system?

The system that pre-dated the present process was rule by fiat.  One person, or one group of people who obtained their right to govern by birth or force, got to make all the decisions.  They didn’t go through a process.  They simply did what they wanted to do.  They had advisors, consultants, aides, confidantes and friends, but ultimately, they still did what they wanted to do.  No one else participated in the decision. 

Is that what we want?

Maybe it is.  Maybe blacks only trust other blacks to rule over them.  Maybe whites only trust other whites to rule over them. 

Oh, no.  Guess what?  More questions.

If blacks only want blacks to make decisions for them, and whites only want whites to make decisions for them, then we must have total and absolute segregation.  It’s the only way it can work.  We have to eliminate any and all situations where the two races can co-mingle.  No black officer can interact with a white subject; no white officer can interact with a black subject. 

Separate, but equal.

Absolute color lines.  Enforced.  No exceptions.  Blending sets up prejudicial situations.

But, haven’t we tried that?  Didn’t we have segregation in the south?  Yes.  And it was horrendous.  It was separate, but it was not equal.   And how can we fix that?  Can we make them equal? 

Therein lies the problem.  The essence of equality—that blacks and whites are equal—cannot be questioned.  That’s the theory.  But equality of opportunity, equality of wealth, equality of education, equality of treatment, equality of history and equality of social status; those equalities don’t exist.  Many think that they will never exist unless we have a total societal revolution.  By societal revolution, we mean reversal of power, exchange of leadership, breakdown of the present system and the institution of something brand new.  The problem with revolutions, however, is that we cannot predict how everything will end up.  When the dust settles, we could end up with a Putin, a Castro or a Kim Jong Un at the helm.  We certainly have no guarantee that any aggrieved segment of society will end up better off than they were before.  In fact, if we cast off the present rule of law and take our chances on something else to take its place, it is highly unlikely that a minority will come out on top.  The very thing that a revolution will hopefully accomplish will most assuredly not happen! Revolutionaries who dream of winding up in charge of society are probably delusionary. 

And so, as long as there is racial prejudice, racial discrimination, racial inequality, racial anything, then the problem has no solution.  If whites always fear that blacks have wrong motives, and if blacks always fear that whites have wrong motives, then there is no basis for trust.  If there is no trust, there can be no peaceful solutions.  If there are no peaceful solutions, then we are consigned to more Fergusons, more riots, more strife and more conflict.

The conundrum is this: how can you change the outcome of a Ferguson without creating something much worse than a Ferguson?  This question leads to other questions.

How can we achieve love by preaching hate?

How can we get harmony by encouraging strife?

How can we get trust by fomenting doubt?

How can we get past the past by constantly referring to the past?

How can we achieve equality by constantly talking about inequality?

How can whites and blacks work together without working together?

How can we respect each other’s property by burning each other’s property?

Racial conundrums.  It’s going to take someone smarter than me to find the answer. 


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