Skip to main content

Blaming the victim

If I burn your house to the ground and then blame you for being homeless, is that reasonable? Is that fair? Is that sane?

And yet that's precisely what some people do to those they perceive as "others". 

From human's earliest days as social beings, the dominant group has not just subjugated their enemies, and enslaved those they conquered, but they made sure the subordinate people were denied any opportunity to achieve equality.

In the Western world, tan-skinned people dominated people with any other color skin. 

Out of fear that the tan-skinned people might one day become victims, treated like they treated others, they removed every method that others might use to conquer them.

We've seen that same scenario play out in America. 

Native Americans were denied rights and restricted to reservations chosen by the tan-skinned people, reservations in the harshest parts of the country, without the benefits afforded their conquerors, like decent educations, adequate medical care, and proper housing. 

segregated water fountains

Dark-skinned people were enslaved, given demeaning jobs after they achieved freedom, and not allowed to become a part of the "American dream". They were denied the chance to get a good education that might enable them to get a skilled job. Then they were ridiculed for being poor and uneducated, as if was their fault. They were forced to live in neighborhoods away from the tan-skinned people, in the poorest and least maintained parts of town. Freeways were built to ensure that the non-tan people couldn't cross into the tan part of town. 

The tan-skinned people denied everything they could to people with any other color skin. Then they turned around and blamed them for their plight as if they had done this to themselves. 

While the more overt policies of segregation have been outlawed, the subtle aspects remain. Using national labels, Chinese people should own restaurants, Africans should play football, and Japanese produce electronics, while Europeans rule the world, make laws, and reap all the benefits of modern society. 

Our nation has a long way to go before all people are equal, regardless of their gender, skin color, national origin, or handicap that they were born with. Equality will depend on character, empathy, and the ability to see each other as fellow human beings, one race, one species, living on the only planet that will support us.

We have a lot of ignorance and wrong-thinking to overcome, and the sooner we start the sooner we might see true equality come to fruition.

If we continue to deny inequality exists, the longer we'll continue to have social strife. We'll never become the type of human we've always claimed we were. 


Popular posts from this blog

Judging others

 We humans seem to delight in judging one another, usually unfavorably, usually compared to some unrealistic ideal or standard.  At the same time, when we're judged, we're quick to remind those judging that no one is perfect, That we're "only human". I do believe that there are times when it's absolutely appropriate to judge another person, but we need to be realistic about the grounds on which we're judging. It is asinine to judge anyone based on factors over which they had no control. I feel safe in saying that no one in history has ever been able to determine before birth: Their nationality Their gender Their skin color Their appearance Their preferences Their degree of able-bodyness  To judge anyone on factors that they were born with is bigoted, racist, sexist, and irrational.  No one should be judged on how nature made them.  It is fair and reasonable, however, to judge others on their character, what they've made of the themselves with the tools

Words matter, or how you and I enable racism

  Racism, and its frequent corollary white supremacy, have been hot topics with me since high school in 1972. I belonged to a barbershop quartet (kids, ask your grandparents) that performed all over San Diego. My hometown wasn't exactly liberal, but it was a Navy town so people from everywhere were mixed together in neighborhoods and schools. Our quartet was asked to perform at a local Mormon church. After the performance, we were offered lunch. We all started to sit together when I was told that our bass, a wonderful black guy, would have to sit at another table. "Mixing" wasn't allowed. The four of us got up and walked out. My mom was very progressive, and so I grew up knowing racism was wrong. But after high school, I became a fervent anti-racist. I spoke out, I protested, I even used my radio show in college, an all-jazz station, to raise the topic with our primarily black audience. It took me quite a few years to realize that morality and humanity weren't the

The Long Way Around

  Sometimes life teaches me what I need to know without me being aware there was a school of philosophy that’s been around for over 2000 years that could have taught me all those lessons in one go, and saved a bunch of painful life lessons. When I was in high school I was a devout Christian. By the time I was 22 I had become an equally devout atheist. But there were lessons I learned as a Christian that stuck with me even after I quit believing in gods.  Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”. In secular language we might say, “Take one day at a time”. This resonated with me. I knew the past and future only exist in the present moment. You can remember the past and you can imagine the future, but you’re remembering and imagining in the present moment. Everything that exists, exists now.  That leads to the realization that today could be my last day on Earth. The next moment might be