The issues of today are serious and require understanding. My understanding is based upon perspectives of my lifetime. It is always most difficult to objectively judge our personal viewpoints. Generally very easy to see the flaws in the viewpoints of others. Especially those we find disagreement with. While we tend to defend even our worst beliefs even when presented clear evidence of the flaws of those beliefs. History provides some shining examples of this. Which I touch on below.
I hear often the arguments that everything is simply about choice. If so, why do we choose to not hold those who had slaves responsible for their evil choice? There are very few things more evil than the enslaving of another human being.
What about all those who believed in racial segregation? That didn’t change until it was forced upon them as recently as the 1960s.
If they are excused for the environment they grew up in. The predominant beliefs of the communities at the time they existed. Then why hold those who grow up in an environment of poverty, single parenthood, crime, drugs, poor schools, high levels of school dropouts, and government assistance as responsible for their choices? Why would we think the choices of a child who grew up in those circumstances would not be profoundly influenced by them?
If either is only about choice, then both must be. Therefore we should remove the statues and the names of those who had slaves or stood for the continuation of slavery. Because clearly slavery is evil and therefore they made a choice to be evil. Statues and naming are created for the purpose of honoring individuals not teaching history.
There were exceptions in the time of slavery. There was a minority of whites who saw that slavery was evil and acted upon it. Most did not see this truth. Many others could see it but for fear of being socially outcast or economically burdened did not act upon it. Others only acted after it was a popular attitude. Should we point to the exceptions and say “see it was possible”? So then, all who failed to act as these must be judged fully for their evil choice?
If we recognize what history proves. That we are guided by the attitudes and beliefs of parents, peers, and our immediate communities. We can also see our behaviors are not racially determined but socially determined. That we are really all the same. That what we believe and the choices we make are mostly driven by the influences of our social environment.
We must recognize that we are all fallible humans. Even our most strongly held belief systems can be catastrophically wrong. such as in the past belief in slavery. That those who held these beliefs did not do so with a desire to be evil. In fact, they believe so strongly they were are in the right. They consider themselves being the victims of those who would take the evil practice away from them. They believe so strongly in the existing paradigm that they would fight a war to maintain it. Such as those in Germany who joined the Nazi party actually considered the Populus of Germany the victims of Jewish conspiracies and infestation. That they thought they were saving the “German Race” by removing their oppressors, a minority population already subject to anti-semitism throughout Europe. There are ethnicities and cultures but in reality, there is no such thing as Race. All the other humanoid races(species) have long since gone extinct. We are biologically all just human.
The reality is our differences are social by nature. There are cultural differences but these are not bound by biology. The truth is the many cultures have brought greatness to our human experiences and advancements and some really great food. So when you hate people with different perspectives, remember we are all acting upon the environmental experiences of our youth and current circumstance. These experiences have a profound effect on our attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. They can clearly cause us to deeply believe in some horribly wrong ideas.
Based on an understanding of environmental influences we can see our choices are not made in a vacuum. We do not all have the same choice because these influences cloud our understanding of truth and reality. The truth is slavery is evil, however, you may have supported it had you learned a different understanding based upon your social environment if you were born in the past.
So we can see through understanding history our attitudes are strongly influenced by our environments. People make choices often because they do not believe they have another choice. We make choices that we think are the best option we have for survival and comfort. So it is not just some simple choice to be lazy or criminal that causes systemic issues within specific communities. It is also not based on biology or race. We see these issues primarily play out in minority communities because of systemic poverty and a lack of upward mobility.
It is these social chains of poverty surrounded by relative wealth, originally created by the ideology of racism that created these circumstances that needs correction. The issues with the police force are a symptom of environmental circumstances, both in the communities and within many police forces. We can only correct them when we understand the underlying cause.
Seeing the above we are able to look without malice or blame for solutions to create more positive environments for all the children of this nation. For all the children of this nation are all our children together. We should love them all as much as we love our own. Especially as we realize the birthrate in this nation is plummeting. Cherish every child, there lives now have greater value to the future of this nation than ever before.
Change the environments of inequality and poverty and we will improve the nation for all, not simply those directly affected. It does not matter if the community is primarily Black, Hispanic, Native American, or White. With environmental changes attitudes and beliefs change. From this, we will leave a more harmonious nation to our children. Life is short and all that will remain of us is the world we leave behind for our children.
Also, let’s take care of our natural environment. Let’s leave our great, great grandkids a healthy future as well. Because their parents and grandparents will love their children as much as we love ours.
Maybe you will decide I am all wrong. Still, it is pretty safe to say I am not as wrong as those who believed in slavery, segregation, or Nazi ideology. Being wrong isn’t the worst thing. It is simply being human.