Is Racism at the heart of our own destruction?

By Donald A. Collins | 5 October 2018
Church and State

(Credit: fuseboxradio / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0)

We are in a very interesting place in America. This was the day a white 20 year veteran Chicago policeman was convicted of 2nd degree murder for shooting a black teen in 2014.

Last night my wife, Sally and I and our daughter and an African American woman friend attended at the Arena Stage Theater a stirring performance of “Turn Me Loose” about the black activist comedian Dick Gregory. Racism was always at him.

Today I read the attached article which ironically appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of the American Scholar magazine about life in Wilmington NC, so recently devastated by Hurricane Florence. Racism has a long history here.

Then this afternoon we learn that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed this weekend amidst protests and cheers. Here I take no political view as that is not the point I seek to make.

These events provide a complicated mix! The emotions they engendered were and will be interpreted by each of us so differently, some very destructively.

Ironically, these events come at a time when we are amidst a vast surge of US prosperity. While many pundits see a pullback in our record high stock market soon, those of us who own stocks have done well. The unemployment rate has hit an almost historic low and individual wages have increased, while news of the new Mexican/Canada/US trade accord has spurred further investor confidence.

Still for many plausible reasons the majority of Americans do not have good words to say for Trump. Mark Shields on today’s News Hour said the coming Mid Term Elections will be a referendum on Trump.

In listing I now ask the absurdly idealistic question, Why can’t we all just take a step back and admit that at the moment life in the USA has really never been better? Look at the millions of aliens who try to come here.

All of us seem to be ignoring the urgent threats posed by global warming and environmental pollution, both exacerbated by the quadrupling of world population to nearly 8 billion in less than 100 years. Yes, we could lose the entire planet over these.

But if we were pulling together those problems could be fixed.

So why can’t we?

Well, I would list a few possibilities and I bet you can add some of your own.

  1. Personal unvarnished greed is not only a billionaire disease.
  2. Not voting or participating in our electoral system.
  3. Allowing government at all levels too much power.
  4. Allowing religious beliefs to make secular decisions.
  5. Being unwilling to daily practice the non-religious Golden Rule.

See if you can read the article in the Autumn 2018 issue of the American Scholar Magazine entitled Dangerous Ground, and come up with some ideas of your own. But remember it all starts with avoiding racism. What is racism? Webster says “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior”.

You can read this riveting article here.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
Kindle Store

Murder: Chicago Police Officer Charged With Killing Teenager | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Dick Gregory – On Race, Power and White Supremacy #BlackLivesMatter vs. #AllLivesMatter

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Says Kavanaugh Should Not Be Confirmed: ‘Pay Attention’ | TIME

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  1. I'll add my own to the author's:
    6) Our educational system is a joke because we underfund and undervalue teaching.
    7) We don't educate people on what taxes provide for in this country.
    8) People aren't taught about how our economy works.

    And yes, I'll go a step further than the author and say that cultivating and fostering deep racism is now a feature of the current Republican administration.


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