Racism and bigotry is a social disease that will continue to infect our society and spread from one person to the next. Each of us is so worried about Covid-19 that we fail to understand the unique opportunities it provides for self-reflection. The best and worse come out during tough times. What I have found is that the crisis may take center stage but the way people handle and react to it is very much a personal issue. People with pre-existing bias will use the crisis to justify further bad behavior.
I'm not one of those guys who see bigotry and racism in everything. As a matter of point, I try and think through people's behaviors the best I can before I jump to a conclusion. Many times those who have engaged in such actions are suffering from other issues but are no longer consciously aware so they project their problems onto others. Asking them to think and reflect is going to be difficult unless they develop as a person or get the help they need.
Worse than this is when people begin to infect others with misinformation in order to cover their true intentions. People don't admit what is actually going on in their heads or what they are saying to their close friends. When we look at Detroit and other places where poverty is rampant I heard people say its because of their color. No its not! Maybe there are a lot of other social issues but color is not it! (Skin pigmentation may be physical but our judgments about it are socially constructed).
Calling people out on bad behavior doesn't make you friends. It creates a lot of enemies; but there comes a defining moment in some people's lives where lies, deceit and injustice no longer makes sense. Bad people with bad intentions should not be allowed to rule our lives and the people around us. Poor values should not be encouraged in public life and racism/bigotry in all its forms should be shunned.
It isn't about politics...its about human life. Bullies will always be bullies unless they get struck by lightning or have such a disastrous event in their life where they are forced to self reflect. As a father of two mixed race kids I'm appalled that people within our community and families have accepted bigotry and racism as an acceptable means to dealing with their own personal issues.
Such people have all the excuses in the world! They always had all the excuses in the world! Covid-19 is terrible and its life threatening. Its not an excuse and should never be! Lies will fly and people will support their friends but few will actually say much truthful. Grown people afraid that someone in their social group will disapprove of them! It makes you wonder if they are capable of thinking for themselves?
Were complaining about how our country is falling apart, how were losing jobs, and how China is kicking our butt! Has anyone considered that we are causing our own problems? We lost our American spirit. Where is our ingenuity, our sense of truth/justice, pragmatism, and search for a better way of living? I can't even image the lives lost, the human capital blunted, and communities separated by hate. There is enough blame to go around but it is us (meaning all the races and religions in this country) that have failed to do what is best for each other. We became America's own worst enemies; its the enemy within our hearts. I always try and maintain hope that the future will be about being creative, productive, and the best society on the planet.
I've heard my kids called niggars, I've seen them get bullied, I've seen a swarm of people come out to show disdain that I would raise my voice to protect them, I've heard the lies, the intentional misinformation, rejection by a group of never grew up high school "cool" kids, and the complete lack of regard for anything that smacks of honesty. So as a father of two mixed race black-Muslim kids....I love them with all my heart! As far as my religion goes...its none of your business unless I want to tell you! The same people who are talking about me and my children are the same people talking about the "Blacks of Detroit". I want you to know I don't hate you. As a matter of fact, I love you because I know that such darkness isn't about me or my children or the "Blacks of Detroit"...its about you and how you feel about yourself! If you don't want to soil your hands by shaking mine....then make sure you only shake those who look like you and act like you because your world is small, narrow and unenlightened. I will continue to live my life and try and improve the world around me in the best way I can. Who is the better person? No idea...it depends on your personal value system!
I will be talking more about these issues in the future as I encourage our government and local stakeholders to think about our future economy, lost human capital, and the values we hold as a nation. If we want to be a beacon of light that attracts international investment and opportunities for our kids (all our kids) then we will need to start acting that way! 💓