Getting to equal

so much dramaThere are many, many problems when we speak about race, gender, religion, and minority/majority in this country, and they can be committed on both sides of the equation.

At this point, I should stop and allow that sentence to percolate.  It is, I fear, more profound than it should be.  To say that people are fallible no matter who they are should not be a statement of any insight whatsoever…and yet, there are some who refuse to acknowledge it because of who they are, or the characteristics they exhibit, or the group to which they belong.

Too often, the dialogue needed in order to address and eliminate bigotry and the various -isms that spring from it becomes a monologue – or worse, a sermon.  A one-way street between those who are the sole repositories of wisdom, and those who are unenlightened, whose opinions and stories and lives are of no consequence to those who hold the truth-with-a-capital-T.  Privilege, or the lack thereof, does not and should not have any bearing on knowledge and wisdom and its exercise in solving problems.  One can listen and acknowledge and gain wisdom from any vantage point; one’s group should not be the defining factor.  All men are not rapists.  All whites are not elitists.  All blacks are not militant.  And so on.

To those earnestly seeking an end to the inequalities of society, this shouldn’t be any kind of impediment.  Arguing from a position of strength – basing opinions on facts, allowing evidence to adjust one’s views, working together towards solutions rather than engaging in ad hominem – does not require making yourself and your kind infallible while the “others” are irredeemable.  There can be multiple solutions to a problem, all borne of sincere efforts to understand and fix things.  Apologies and courtesies can be strong.

I’m going to ask that we all please think carefully in these situations – not because I am so very profound, but because we really need to solve some things in this country once and for all…and we can’t do it without clear thought.

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