Racism: Intentional or Accidental
Racism has similiarities to homicides which can be intentional or accidental. Clearly, forgiveness for an accidental homicide is more justified and humane than an intentional murder. Likewise with racism, if a person's heart is in the right place and utters a racist comment without realizing it is racist, forgiveness is the right, just and humane thing for the recipient of the comment. And, like an accidental vehicular homicide, the perpetrator should be ready to re-take driving lessons to be a better driver on the road of life.
Uttering a racist remark does not make one a racist. One can be stupid or naive in comments without being a racist. It is like a small child uttering an overheard foul 4-letter word. Does the child have a potty mouth or potty mind? No. What the child needs is a better environment. If the child becomes a teenager with a foul mouth then potty training failed. Likewise with racism. If a small child said, "Nigger," it would be different than if a teenager expressed it. Too often, stupid or naive people who don't know better innocently utter a racist comment. How the target of the comment responds will affect whether unlearned learns to be a human or a racist.
While the path has been long and unfair, the victims of racism, particularly black in America, must continue to help the racists who have become victims of their on ignorance and deceit. In not doing right, one progresses from stupid and naive into ignorance and deceit. To those weary of the same old ignorance and deceit, it must be kept in mind that a just and humane teaching response to the stupid and naive racist remark will reduce later ignorance and deceit. Overall, the cost to humanity in time wasted is less with pre-emptive racist edification and the with post-emphatic racist eradication.
The challenge for both the utterer and the recipient of a racist remark is "Where is the heart of the speaker?" While this writer draws a sharp line between objective and subjective, the use of "heart" can summarize a person's personality in one or more areas. The heart, of course, has little, if any, contribution to one' integration of intellect and intelligence. Cognition resides in the brain which physically depends on the heart pumping away like a slave doing master's bidding.
For this piquing writer, the intellectual commitment to being a self-enlightened fellow human being without the ignorance and deceit of all forms of theft has led to a better, not perfect, heart. Even if I later learn the incident was different than first portrayed, racist acts ignite a sense of rage or sadness as if the act was committed on my own being or of those I know and love. My eyes moisten when I think of the four girls bombed in Birmingham on September 15, 1963, an apparent reprisal a few weeks after the memorable "I have a dream" speech. Emmett Till prompts a rage of "We have a nightmare."
Between my intellectual knowing and commitment to not being stupid, especially a racist ignoramus, and my emotional response to observed or reported acts of racism, this thinker looks forward to being less of a racist tomorrow with his final breath being that of one of the least racists who ever lived. I might be a horses behind or a doctor with bad bedside manners, but my God knows that I am no racist.
Accidental racist comment like auto accident:
Responsibility of accident victim--different than a victim of intentional crash.
Stupid vs racist comment. Being stupid is not a license to be a Clinton--know that you are going to say something racist with the forethought that you are going to apologize if taken to task, to wit, depends on what your definition of "ism" is in "racism."
One can say something racist and not be a racist as one can say something childish and not be a child. It is the followup that determines one is a wit or a bimbo.
It is like having an auto accident, do you stop to fix the accident, orl, do you leave the scene of the accident, or do you fight, or do a trent lott: "We wouldn't have had this accident if we had not given you people the right to drive." Lott tried to avoid do an auto repair job with simple whitewash.
Annotated References: Africans ... General ... Race
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