The Color of Character

Associating Conduct with Color, Religion, or Ethnicity

bullet holes in car windowBeing white, anything I say about racism that doesn’t correspond to the most extreme left voices of the black and white communities, makes me suspect. To be specific: I must be a racist.

Perhaps I am. Living in a major city, I fear becoming a victim of a crime perpetrated by a black male, or a group of black males. I read about white victims and black criminals every week in our neighborhood newspaper. The crimes are covered in more detail than by the larger media. Since I’m white, someone will find my fears based solely on racism. I would tell that person, “Not so fast.”

Here is a quote from Jesse Jackson stated at a meeting of Operation Push in Chicago on November 27, 1993, and later requoted all or in part in both The Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Times:

“There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved…. After all we have been through. Just to think we can’t walk down our own streets, how humiliating. “

Surely, you would not call Jesse Jackson racist. He represents a point that so many of us who want to see the races come together, work together, and live together, try to make — both blacks and whites. And that is, your character, as demonstrated by your behavior is more important than your color. Dr. King said he wanted his children judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. But he did not make the correlation between conduct and character. I find them to be inseparable.

When a critical mass of members of a group, whatever that number of persons might be, and however the group is defined, behaves a certain way, generalizations will be made that will direct the conduct of others towards members of that group. I believe the Moslem community is experiencing the repercussions of the conduct of their co-religionists. They need to recognize it is not pure “Islamaphobia.” Fear based on observation is at least in part rational.

If the majority of urban crime is committed by blacks, people who observe this will make a generalization about blacks, and will react accordingly to potential interactions with blacks. Although they might not say it, they might be thinking, “keep them away from me.” This is especially true in cases where they can see a black person who walks, talks, and dresses in a way that mimics the urban gangsters who commit much of the crime. Is it racist? If it is, then Jesse Jackson is reacting like a racist. To me it’s just common sense.

Here is an article from John McWhorter. He is black. Please read what he has to say about why the Black Lives Matter movement won’t succeed, until they get just as upset when blacks kill blacks, which they do in far greater numbers than police or whites. That conduct must stop. It happens in such high numbers, that others are making generalizations about blacks. When this point is made by a black person, I think this idea will be better received than a similar message coming from me. Unfortunately, those who most need to understand his message will accuse him of being a traitor to his race, or a flunky for the white man. I wish they would see it as plain old common sense. Read here

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