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You Ain't Racist

The other day, Joe Biden said, if a black person doesn’t vote for him, “you ain’t black.” He was immediately accused of being a “racist” by many people on the right who over the years have complained about the charge of “racist” being unfairly levied at them. Let’s examine what Biden actually was saying. His point was that his record on helping the African-American community is so far superior to his opponent that a black person who does not vote for him must have completely lost touch with the black community.

This is what we get when we travel down the road of racial and identity politics. Joe Biden is not a racist, but dealing in identity politics makes you sound like one. All black people do not think alike, and all black people won’t vote alike, and they will still be black because like every other race, they are diverse, free thinking, autonomous people who are fully capable of coming to their own conclusions, and making their own individual decisions. Even though this notion of “the black vote” has been perpetuated for years. Liberals have used this notion to try to corner the market on “the black vote” for decades by claiming they are champions of black people and their opponents are racist. All this type of rhetoric creates an even bigger racial divide in the country.

This incident reminds me of the 1992 Presidential campaign when Ross Perot was speaking to the NAACP. He was speaking about problems and solution in African-American communities when he referred to the people in the audience, who were all black, as “you people”. The charge of “racist” was immediately thrown at him, by probably some of the same people who are now defending Biden. I never understood what was wrong with saying “you people”. The event was set up by the NAACP which stands for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It is not called National Association for the Advancement of All People. They created the distinction that Perot used. They divided people by race, us and them, you and me. You cannot divide the country into racial groups, and then complain that the country is racially divided.

Some may ask, how are you going to help the black communities if you don’t identify that the black communities are struggling. Well, we should start off by calling them American communities, not black communities. There are American communities struggling in this country, and they are not only black communities. There are more white people living under the poverty line than black people. What about the poor Hispanic and Asian communities? Are we not going to help those communities? Are we only concerned with the African-American communities that are struggling? Why not say we are going to help the poor, disaffected or underserved communities regardless of race. We, as Americans, should come together to help all the American communities that are struggling. That is inclusive. That brings people, the country together. As opposed to framing it as black vs white which is divisive, creates anger and push back, and in the end does not rally the nation behind this very important cause.

Some people may say to me, ‘you can’t say all this because you are white. You have not experienced the racial discrimination that blacks have.’ I haven’t, but it’s hard to support the fight against the denial of your constitutional rights because of the color of your skin, when you are denying others their constitutional rights because of the color of their skin. If there is something, I have written that you believe is wrong or you take issue with, then bring it up and let’s start a dialogue. Let’s have an intellectual conversation where we both learn something new or see a different perspective. But to shut down my speech because of my race is wrong. Those type of tactics set the whole issue back decades.

So, the mere act of grouping people by their race or their gender or their sexual orientation/identity is in itself prejudicial, and potentially discriminatory. You cannot go down the road of grouping people by race, gender and orientation, and then call them prejudice when they follow you down that road. Are all white people alike? Are all black people alike? Are all men alike? Are all women alike? The answers are, no, no, no, no, and for all, not even close.

When women push for women’s rights, there is push back from men. Do women want more rights, different rights than men? The same is true for LGBTQ rights. Does the LGBTQ community want more or different rights? No, they will say, we just want the same rights. Then, it should be call Equal Rights for All, not Women’s Rights or LGBTQ Rights. Language matters. You cannot use exclusive language and then wonder why there is division, and everyone isn’t on board. We already have equal rights codified into law. It’s called the Bill of Rights. These rights are not given to certain people by our creator based on their race, gender or orientation. They are given to us, all people based on our shared humanity. And if there are people denied their Constitutional Rights, we have the Supreme Court in place to rectify that.

We are all individuals. And I believe our individuality far transcends our race and gender and any other trait that other people want to use to group us. Who we are as an individual is what makes us unique and special and worthwhile, our thoughts, our feelings, our beliefs make us so much more of who we are than the color of our skin or our gender or whatever demographic box someone tries to wedge us into? And our individuality is denied, who we are as a person gets erased every time anyone sees us as our demographics, and when our individuality gets erased, we get erased.

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