Your Turn: Individuality solves segregation problem

Self-segregation is regarded by some as the biggest racial problem we currently face. Many feel we must take action in order to blur the color line. Is there a proper means of bringing people of different races together? Just how can we solve the problem of racism that persists within our society even today?

Over time, all things seem to undergo a metamorphosis of increasing complexity. Racism is no exception, as it has matured into something far less easily understood than simplistic hate. We're now dealing with the aftermath of an ignorant past, and the hate born of that past has grown into a body of expectant retribution among those who have felt the chains of oppression, and rightly so.

Some express difficulty understanding how people today are still suffering from our country's history of slavery, hate crimes and other such forms of discrimination. While the 'physical' chains of oppression may not exist as they once did, the emotional and mental chains remain, and the struggle to raise the ceiling of possibilities becomes a focus among individual racial groups. Herein lies the basis of the "self-segregation" many of us witness in our communities.

A race of people discriminated against must band together in order to fight the injustices posed upon them. As with any struggle, any war and any journey - the experience of sharing a common understanding and working together to bring about a positive change carries with it a segregative effect. Over time, we all develop "comfort zones" cemented into our lives by past experiences - and although our racial "comfort zones" are flawed, they do exist out of consequence.

Let's apply blinders if we must. We need to reject of the idea of racial differences, because our focus is too dedicated to the idea that people of different racial groups are different groups of people. This idea happens to embody the basis of racism from its conception. Unfortunately, it has carried through - and the idea is just as strong today as ever.

Consequently, everything we do in effort to dissipate racism serves more as an acknowledged and accepted display of the differences we observe along racial lines. This promotes segregation, instead of progressing the ideal that each of us is an individual who belongs not to a racial group, but rather a social group of one's own choosing.

As long as we attempt to solve the problem of racism, we will make needless comparisons, we will stereotype and we will fail. We are all individuals. Let's focus on our individuality.

Don't approach a group of people of similar race with the intent to mix up the color scheme, or the cultural scheme. Make friends with individuals who attract your attention. Be an individual, and choose your friends as such.

Otherwise, all we're doing is perpetuating the kind of discrimination that we're trying so hard to avoid. Nothing can be gained from a strictly racial perspective. Let's focus on the things that are truly important.

Write James at rosilino@hotmail.com


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