This is Part 2 of a two-part column on race in America. Part 1 explained the need for open, honest, and frank dialogue by leaders of all races and for putting a stop to racial exploitation by selected misleaders who profit personally from stirring up racial strife. Part 2 contains several practical strategies Americans of goodwill can use personally on a daily basis to do their part to help encourage and promote racially harmony in America.
When we successfully and finally bridge the racial divide in America, all Americans will be able to pursue the American dream envisioned by the Founders. Not all will achieve the American dream. In spite of the left’s claims to the contrary, no person can be guaranteed equality of results. Too many factors other than opportunity impinge on an individual’s success: motivation, talent, preparation, ambition, perseverance, and, sometimes, luck. But Americans can achieve true equality of opportunity—not the distorted version promulgated by the EEOC and leftwing government policies such as affirmative action—if we are willing to do what is necessary to end racism. The following strategies will help:
- Reject attempts by liberals to misuse the term for political advantage, to bludgeon opponents, or to advance an agenda that has nothing to do with eliminating racism.
- Understand that bias is not racism. All people of all races, genders, cultures, and nationalities have biases. People are not born with biases, but they are born with a propensity for learning them. Watch little children at play. They do not care about the race or gender of their playmates. They are just happy to have someone to play with. But as they grow, their parents, peers, teachers, and society in general teach them—knowingly and unknowingly—to develop biases. This is true across all races and cultures. In fact, people who make comments such as “I don’t have a biased bone in my body” are either lying or engaging in self-deception. But bias and racism are not the same things, and understanding the distinction is important for conservatives who wish to confront the deceitfulness of liberals on this subject. Bias is like anger. Everyone feels anger, but anger does not become a problem until it is acted out in ways that are inappropriate or hurtful. Racism occurs not because people harbor biases, but because people choose to act out their biases in inappropriate and hurtful ways. To have biases is to be human. But to act on those biases in ways that are hurtful is unacceptable in the same way that acting on anger in ways that are hurtful is unacceptable. Frank discussions among people of all races and political persuasions about human biases will go much farther toward ending racism than will using the term racism as a weapon to gain political advantage or to advance an agenda that cannot be advanced on the basis of logic, reason, or intellectual persuasion.
- Look for common ground between and among people of different races. The best tool for breaking down racial barriers between people is common ground. People of different races are always more alike than different. Take the skin off and you cannot tell a person’s race. Inside we are all pretty much alike. Further, people of all races tend to have the same fears, hopes, needs, and dreams. When open and honest dialogue is encouraged between people of different races, common ground is easy to find. For example, two Americans—one black and one white—who share the same political views will probably find they have more in common with each other than with members of their own race who hold different political views.
- Eliminate all government-mandated policies and practices that have the effect of segregating by race (e.g. requiring job applicants to indicate their race in order to satisfy EEOC regulations). If liberals are truly concerned about barriers between races, they need to stop erecting them. We need to require that all government documents be race-neutral. De facto segregation practices such as requiring job applicants to indicate their race have the effect of forcing Americans to focus on how they are different when we need to focus on how we are alike.
- Relate to others as individuals rather than as stereotypical members of racial groups. The problem with stereotyping is that it encourages people to lump all members of racial groups together and view them as if they are somehow robotically uniform. Liberal press and media organs do this when they talk about the so-called black vote in America. They stereotypically lump all blacks together and assume they all think and vote alike. This is why the press and media become so irate with individuals who happen to be conservative and black. These individuals defy the media’s comfortable stereotypes and preconceived notions.
For a more in-depth treatment of this subject, refer to my book, RIGHT WING HANDBOOK: Demolishing Ten Lies of the Left available at www.patriotdepot.com.