I decided to delve into an extremely controversial issue inspired by President Trump’s comments about four congresswomen. The issue is the use of the word “racist.”
Before continuing I should stipulate the following:
- Trump frequently makes comments that some people can easily interpret to be racist.
- The president’s recent comment that the four congresswomen referred to above should “go back to countries from which they came” was an inane and unproductive racist blathering.
- I do not endorse any of the perspectives of the four congresswomen.
- These women have an absolute right to speak their minds. And I have an absolute right to disagree with them.
- Many comments made by the women are wrong, exaggerations, naïve and hurtful to the president, Republicans, Democrats, Nancy Pelosi and most importantly to our country, in my opinion.
With this in mind, I remain very sensitive about expressing my opinions about a number of social and political issues, especially those relating to race relations, women, entitlements and immigration.
Why you ask? Because if I disagree with a liberal perspective the “default” charge against me will inevitably be that I’m a racist and/or a bigot.
Some people characterize this phenomenon as minority privilege. In other words, if you are a member of a minority group you have free rein to say whatever is on your mind. If you are not of a minority, you are a racist if you criticize a minority or downtrodden group.
While in a heated discussion about restitution (relating to slavery and all the actions over the years that have disadvantaged blacks), my opponent said my perspective was racist. For me, that effectively ended the conversation.
It should be noted that we are on opposite sides of many controversial issues. But he, like many of my liberal friends, is quick to use the racist card, and say I just puppet what I hear on Fox News. I could just as well say that CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC and CBS are the sources for his competing opinions.
Our disagreements and engagements are a microcosm of why our country is so divided, and our leaders can’t get a damn thing accomplished. From my perspective liberals are protectors of free speech so long as what is said does not stray from liberal ideology.
As an example I offer the outrageous misbehavior of Berkeley students who rioted to prevent a conservative from speaking on campus. Berkeley has been an iconic defender of free speech, and now violent liberalism has dashed its reputation.
Trump is culpable in the agonizing battles between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, women and men, people of color and white folks, etc. He feels obligated to express in an unfiltered manner whatever is gnawing at him in tweets. He truly believes that keeping things stirred up increases his political capital. I think he’s acting juvenile, and his behavior is not befitting a US president.
But the Democratic Party is not going to survive by inciting revolution. America is too great of a place to be subjected to violence on its streets, no matter what the four congresswomen say. Our nation has come a long way from the days when blacks were enslaved and women could not vote. Just look at the composition of Congress if you doubt this. Blacks and women have never been more powerful socially or politically. And there is more to come.
I suggest that Congress and all of our elected officials lead the way to negotiated solutions for our country. The use of the word “racist” should only be applied when it really exists, and not as a default comment in heated debate.