Do you feel misunderstood, overlooked, and uncared for? Do you choose politicians, groups, and philosophies regardless of your knowledge of them simply because they “seem” to align with your repressed, overlooked, and unaddressed concerns and frustrations? Do believe that some of these problems are caused by your ethnicity or other groups’ ethnicity, affluence, or poverty?
- Ethnicity – A large group of people who have the same national, racial, or cultural origins, or the state of belonging to such a group. Source: Cambridge online
- Ethnic group – A social group or category of the population that, in a larger society, is set apart and bound together by common ties of race, language, nationality, or culture. Source: Britannica online
- I would add socioeconomic and religion in both of the above definitions.
- Racism – Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. Source: Oxford online
- Gangs – I am not including neighborhood or prison gangs in this discussion. These gangs seem to band together arbitrary by race for “protection,” easy visual identification, and money and power for their leaders.
- Smart gangs may arise someday and handle things differently.
I believe the problem between different ethnic groups is ignorance and a blame game from both sides. Neither group has made a serious effort to truly understand what the other group feels and why. This includes learning about the group you see as the haters or oppressors from their “current,” not historic, point of view. Also, objectively consider how you would feel and behave if you were the hated or oppressed person or group. Or the person being accused of being racist or being treated in a racist manner.
Does the affluent person understand what it’s like to live in a poor, gang-infested, dangerous neighborhood and be marginalized, victimized, and treated unfairly? (I do a little by being in juvenile hall and a boy’s home.) Does the poor person understand what it’s like for an affluent person to be vilified, treated badly, and blamed for things they have never participated in, felt, or believed?
Get to know the other group’s “present-day” culture, problems, hopes, and successes through…
- Research via credible websites, articles, and books.
- Education via documentary, biographical, and historical movies.
- Meeting via town halls and community events.
- Being open to new perspectives, beliefs, and ideas.
- Exchanging points of view without accusations and defensiveness.
- Listening carefully, objectively, and completely.
- Asking questions
- Rejection of hate and violence.
- Acceptance, understanding, and love.
Doing these things will require tremendous courage and openness. A leader who has a great amount of both plus integrity could speed things up. Which will you chose and be?
Barack Obama delivered many very inspiring speeches about unity, understanding, and tolerance. I believe it was this message that got him elected. He also took a lot of action to establish more equality and human rights. However, I feel he did not go far enough to create unity, which affects everyone. I told him so via his White House email form. In it, I suggested that he and designated staff members hold town hall meetings across the U.S. organized around many of the solutions I listed above. I got a generic (likely an autoresponder) reply. Understandable, but I was hoping that my email might reach him. Apparently, it did not as I never got or saw a response. Note: I’ve sent many communications like this before to top elected officials, company CEO’s, and business owners and have been amazed by how many positive responses I’ve gotten.
We are all related genetically. We are all brothers and sisters. We all benefit from each other’s differences. And we are all living together on the only inhabitable planet we know of. Let’s live together as one family. And never allow ourselves to be manipulated by an egotistical, self-serving, hate-filled, dictatorial leader.