I keep reading posts which suggest that all it would take to make the world non-racist would be for (fill in the oppressed individual by color, ethnicity, nationality, or faith) to work really hard. Get that work ethic between their teeth and go for it.
Do you think the Jews in Germany didn’t get that? They had that ethic work sewn up — until they were locked in cattle cars and carted off to be gassed and burned.
Dark-skinned people from around the world are sure their efforts will be rewarded in America if they are patient and hard-working. It’s the American way, or always has been. Immigrants have always worked their butts off because they are America’s true believers. They know this is the way to make a place for themselves and their family here. That’s how we built our nation and while we longtime citizens may have lost our faith, they have not.
The irony of making our problems the fault of immigrants is astounding. We are immigrants, unless we are Native Americans. Hating immigrants is like hating yourself. If we didn’t come to this country on our own, then our parents, grandparents, or great grandparents came. By plane or boat. Some had a little money, many had nothing but themselves, a few skills, and a whole lot of hope.
Immigrant families are already doing their best to fit in. They know how hard it will be, but they keep trying. Oppressive or not, these are determined people. They’ve put it all on the line and they won’t give up without a fight.
When white men complain they are oppressed, I’m pretty sure they have no idea what they are talking about. There’s a big difference between “not getting everything you want” and “oppression.” These guys don’t see a difference.
If you’re working on the assumption that Those Other People need to behave like you to get what they deserve and you find that a satisfying answer, think again. They need to be much better than you. You can make mistakes and show up at work with a hangover. They can’t. You got the “go ahead” nod at birth, not because you’re better but simply because you had the right mom and dad. You got that advantage without education or effort. You keep it for a lifetime, no matter how much you screw up.
For others to have a chance to merely be your equal, they need a better education than you, perfect manners, and a willingness to never step out of line — for any reason. Could you do it? Do you do it?
A lot of people who think they are absolutely not racist, are. Not in a “grab the Nazi sign and lets terrorize people” kind of way, but in their assumptions that the world belongs to them by some sort of natal right. They mange to deal with people who are “different” as long as they aren’t too different. As long as they wear the same clothing, abide by identical rules, speak the “right” way … and behave the way we all know we should, but usually don’t. And don’t live in the “wrong” neighborhood.
Meanwhile, let’s keep those statues of the South’s proud racists standing tall so that our youth will better understand history. What do you imagine they will understand by seeing statues of people willing to die to support slavery?
Just in passing — do you know anyone who learned history from a statue? For me, it was books and museums.