There is today reported by Yahoo the results of polling done with regard to US people’s positions on race as an issue shaping their inclinations about voting in the coming US presidential election. It is a dismaying, depressing, and degrading bit of news about and for all us, for want of a more apt demographic term, colorless people. It is this story that finally pulls the Familographer off the fence and forces him to live up to his own title and write about families. His family, your family, the American family and the human family.
There are few tumors that grow on the human spirit more malignant than that of racism. It is born out of the most primitive emotions-fear, envy, avarice and most unlikely of all, feelings of superiority by virtue of superficial characteristics. Racism is an impairment and subversion of the altruistic impulse. In an age when information is available at the click of a button to refute any such irrational claim, those who carry the emotion in their deepest recesses of mind need look no further than their own families for evidence of the starkest clarity that racial determinism is painfully, destructively wrong.
In every family, there is usually to found a “black sheep”, i.e. an individual member who doesn’t quite measure up to the standard other members believe they have ascended by virtue of superior traits. The black sheep is an interesting choice of metaphors, for in an actual flock of sheep, it is held to be a symbol of an intact flock. As concerns its black wool, because it is relatively rare, like most rarities, it has more value. In the human flock, White sheep are not known to discriminate between themselves and the black ones, which makes them in that regard superior to humans who do.
Back to that member of your family who you may consider lazier and less responsible and therefore altogether less trustworthy and downright admirable, consider the following scenario. Your black sheep opts to live in a community where no other family members are present, and true to his (because the men are the worst, right?) lights, many of the citizens of that community soon also reach the conclusion that the individual is not as highly motivated or as trustworthy in group-oriented functions as a normal person considers to be optimal.
Then something happens to create a crisis in your family, with the result being that several nuclear groups find themselves relocating in the community inhabited by the “black sheep”. But once settled, things don’t proceed so well, because the citizens of that community are in the habit of expecting all members of the family to share the undesirable characteristics of laziness and irresponsibility as the black sheep.
Let me make this short and clear. Any white reader of this blog, or any other person who believes that it is rational to generalize negative characteristics to millions of people of color because evidence of those characteristics is present in one or two individuals, is a stupid person and in violation of the constitutionally guaranteed human rights of every man, woman and child. Any person who votes race in the 2008 US presidential election is not even worthy of a George W. Bush, and that is about as critical a finding as can be found.