Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sometimes, They Show Themselves to be Racists

   I wonder, when someone suggests there isn't racism, or much racism, in America, if that doesn't show them a racist. Let me explain.
   Shortly ago, I ran into a situation where one person was suggesting the others in his group were treating him in a racist way. I was privy to some of the back-and-forth of what was going on, but could see that I didn't know enough to say whether they were discriminating against him racially.
   Someone asked me about it. I suggested the racism might be possible. Saying it might be possible is just leaving the door open, not saying it is so.
   Later that day, as I thought about it, considering all I knew and weighing each small evidence I had, I concluded I just couldn't tell. I went back and forth thinking it might be, and then thinking it wasn't.
   Without reading their minds, I concluded, there often is no way to tell. Often they do not come right out and do something that clearly brands them a racist. That doesn't mean they aren't. They can pick on someone and put it off as there being a reason for their doing so -- having nothing to do with racism.
   If we were to say such things never happen, we would be wrong. There are going to be those who are racists, who just don't let on. To say that it never happens is to deny what surely does happen. How often it happens might be a question, but not that it does.
   So, when someone suggests it never happens, when they say certainly no racism was involved in situations where it possibly might have been, they might just not be thinking clearly.
   Or, they might be showing themselves a racist.
   And -- another thing -- if we suppose we are wise enough to figure out whether racism is involved in a lot of these situations, our "wisdom" proves us fools. We are fools for thinking we are wise. When there aren't enough facts to sort it out, there aren't enough facts.
  (Minor changes made 4/6/17.)

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