Black History and Racism Racism and us Nature and Racism is Racism in Human Nature Racists

February is celebrated as Black history month.  This too, has become a race issue.

February is the shortest month of the year.  Why was such a brief time chosen, ask some. Other critics say it is racist to isolate just one “race” for celebration, they say, Why is there no White history month?  Of course, everyone realizes that the white “race” has been the ruling race for hundreds of years. Some would argue thousands, but since whites have kept whites as slaves, and blacks have kept blacks as slaves, and virtually every combination in between, there is plenty of blame.  Still, there is little room for any argument stating that blacks have not been an oppressed minority.

The trouble now, of course, is that some say there is a backlash and that minorities of many kinds are a privileged class.  Such critics point out that Martin Luther King and many others, would not want any kind of affirmative action which promotes anyone other than the best person for the job.

Other “race” issues include the numbers of blacks in prisons and the numbers of whites on wealthy corporate boards. There is racism is schools some maintain because kids are forced into certain areas due to their skin color. There is racism in politics because “token” persons are propped up not in spite of, but because of, their color.

There is racism in music, with more blacks still performing rap and hip hop, and more whites in the symphony orchestra, along with the Asians.  There is racism in housing as even now most areas tend to be segregated.  There are more people of color in urban areas, and more people of white ancestry tend to own most of the large estates. There is racism in sports, too, although it is better integrated than ever before, even in golf and tennis.

Many had high hopes that somehow having the first African American president would make the USA largely post racial.

The opposite outcome, that there is more pointed racism than previously, seems to be the opinion of many who take note of such things which are seen to be racist, overtly, or subtly, depending upon to whom you speak.

One such issue is that no other president has been so scrutinized about his birth certificate. No other president has been assessed of being a secret “Muslim.” There are even those who think that work for community organization in Chicago marks President Obama as a racist and an activist. Then there are some issues about whether or not Obama was himself chosen due to his Blackness.  Hilary Clinton was as educated, and more experienced, they say, but she was not “black enough.” These are just a few of the racist issues surrounding the presidency.

Beyond politics, and into the farthest reaches of culture, there are many more “race” issues that arise in our daily lives. Should the N word be allowed as free speech? Should Huckleberry Finn, and other classic works of fiction be censored? Should quotas be allowed, or prevented, so all qualified people of all colors are included? These and many, many other questions prove that racism is alive and well in the twenty first century.

Is there anywhere, or any way, to dispel racism?

Nature does not judge by skin color.  If we were to learn from the lessons of other living organisms, we could eventually become a post racial society.  The trees give food, clean air, oxygen and more, to all organisms.  Forests teach about cooperation, and systems that are inter-dependent, as well as completely waste free. Of course the eco system within a tree, and beyond a tree, is just one example.

There is competition in nature, but life’s overall intent is toward keeping life. For every prey struggle there is a thousand or more inter-dependent systems at work. A lion will eat a lamb, but both are made of systems exchanging water, minerals, matter, and more, for both to exist at all.  Many learn by observing their pets, that class distinctions, and cultural differences are met with unconditional love. Domesticated pets also teach us that “domestication” or shaping plants and animals to our service creates the only known “insanity”, or neurotic behavior in animals.

Oceans, meadows, deserts and virtually all inter-dependent systems have lessons about cooperation working more effectively than domination.

If we could listen, see, and sense nature’s teachings, we could begin to encompass all organisms, as Einstein put it: “into our circle of compassion.” This is not to save them, but to realize that we already belong, not just to something larger than ourselves, but to one another.