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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

People Of Color Are Showing Us The Way Again

While flying halfway across the country immediately following the election, I had a conversation with a Trump voter. While commenting on activism, this voter claimed that conservative activists behaved better than nonconservative activists because they are conservative. 

Of course, that is what this person wanted to believe about their group and why not? Such a belief rather flattering because it means means that this person's group is superior to others. But I really wonder about that. For example, how would conservative protesters who defend their notion of the 2nd Amendment respond to the dog attacks and the fire hoses that were unleashed on both Martin Luther King's followers as well as the water protectors who are protesting  DAPL? Would they use their guns at the next protest to protect themselves? And how would they respond to the selective law enforcement and shootings by the police which too many minority individuals must face in today's America? How many conservatives would not shoot back at those who represented either the pipeline company or the authorities who used mace or rubber bullets? How many would use their guns during the next protest if after being arrested, they were incarcerated for several hours in dog kennels? And how many would tolerate the spraying that those protesting DAPL allegedly experienced by crop duster planes with an unknown substance?

Or we could even include, though to a lesser degree, how people of color are leading the way in the Black Lives Matter Movement. Even though there has been some violence during their protests as well as verbal abuse of the police, we should note that those practicing the violence were not really representing the Black Lives Matter Movement and those using verbal abuse were not all or even the majority of those in the movement. In addition, the use of verbal abuse is not part of the tenets of the movement.  However, because many of us Whites are sensitive about charges that we still have a racist society, we prefer to attribute to the whole movement the actions and words of some. And if the movement we were attributing the words and action of a few to was a particular race, we would rightly be called racists.


This is what we need to realize. Whether we are talking about Native Americans or Blacks who are taking part in activism today or those who took part in the past, they have and still are showing us how to speak out in the right way. And they seem to be able to do that without having to be conservative.  This brings me back to the beginning of this article. The proud conservative with whom I was conversing was claiming a position of moral superiority over those outside their group. And as long as any of us try to claim moral superiority over others, not only do we deceive ourselves as the Pharisee from the parable of the two men praying deceived himself, we will prolong conflicts with others until we are either defeated or we conquer the other side. And it is this idea of having to conquer others which is causing so much  injustice and pain in the world.


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