2000 Years

2015 to be exact.

That’s right. We’ve had 2015 to fix the way we think about other humans. Even if you are not a follower of Christ, the ultimate hippie, you cannot deny that his “do unto others as you would have done to you” message seems rather reasonable. So, why do we keep screwing it up?

You’ve heard the answer over and over and over, ad nauseam. I picture psychologists buried under the reams of reports stating clearly why the human animal cannot eradicate prejudice. Why, indeed.

The one thing that I keep returning to, as I watch the world implode, is that humans have always married ideology to race. Race, in fact, has become so mixed that in the US, according to the 2010 Census, people who reported a background of mixed race grew by 32% to 9 million between 2000 and 2010. In comparison, single-race population increased 9.2%.[1] But the divide over race froths and bubbles worse than Macbeth‘s cauldron.

What is boils down to is what one believes about race. Technically, humans are like plants. Biological changes occurred over time as adaptations. Grass, for example, does not respirate the same way that deciduous trees do because they are adapted to different environments. They’re still considered “flora” and one is no better or worse than the other. And don’t cry “over-simplification” because, frankly, it’s not. At the biological level, humans are humans are humans. End.of.story.

So, what we’re really arguing about when we argue race is what we consciously and subconsciously believe, ideologically. Western Europeans believed, at one time, that anyone with darker skin was savage. Hubris led to the wholesale eradication of populations because, well, they didn’t fit into the mold, so they were less than human.

Read that phrase again, “less than human.”

Want to end racism? Stop associating race with a particular set of parameters. You see, just like the plants I mentioned above, people have individual recipes for their needs. And that’s OKAY! Succulents need fast draining, porous soil. They’re a little bit like violets, but nothing like herbs. Oaks need gallons and gallons of water daily, but saguaros thrive in the driest climates on Earth. And people are EXACTLY the same way.

Next time you sit down with a person who is a different race, or religion, or political party, don’t discuss those subjects. Discuss art, music, children, cooking, hobbies. You know what you’ll find? Wait for it, because it’s going to be a shocker. You’ll find that there are many more similarities than there are differences. And then, you know what happens? You become friends. And THAT is how race relations are improved. It’s never going to be a product of one group trying to inculcate another. Groupthink simply hammers the wedge further into the divide. Don’t believe me? All you have to do is read about the “safe space” segregation on the Mizzou campus. The very definition of group implies segregation from the whole. Now, while groups are generally populated by individuals with common interests, they have long been used to ostracize and alienate individuals who don’t “fit.”

We, the entire human race, has to lose its inherent fear of difference. I find it incredibly ironic that the youth screaming “inclusion,” and “safe space,” and “[insert group du jour] lives matter” is advertising a lack of confidence, nay, an inherent fear of anyone that does not buy into the same ideology. Yes, mean people suck, but confident people are sexy and capable, and so utterly competent that they don’t care what other people say.

So, millennials, as you climb the steps to the ivory tower of groupthink, know that you are moving further and further away from the acceptance and cultural diversity you claim to celebrate. How unfortunate for you. How sad that you can’t see the handwriting on the wall. Go back and read Orwell, carefully. I’m sure the magnanimous, nurturing government you’ve devised in your head is writing that Newspeak dictionary, right now. As they do, you’ll find that your ability to communicate your ideas will become harder and harder, and eventually, when someone challenges the status quo you want to force down the throats of all who oppose you, he/she won’t have the same rights you enjoy today, because you will have destroyed those rights as collateral damage.

[1] Census: More People Identify as Mixed Race

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