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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

LET'S GET REAL ABOUT BIGOTRY

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

- Bigotry exists and it isn't going away any time soon.

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Let us not be naive about bigotry in this country. Of course it exists, as it does elsewhere around the world.  It is only natural to seek comfort and security among those who share similarities and interests (a "birds of a feather" phenomenon) and rebuke those who do not.  Most of our bigotry is based on basic ignorance of the other party, representing the unknown.  Bigotry today may not be as bad as yesteryear, but make no mistake, it is still very much with us.  And, No, whites most assuredly do not have a monopoly on it.  Just about everyone has their suspicions of other groups, be it for racial, religious, political, cultural, sexual preferences, or socioeconomic reasons (e.g., the Rich versus the Poor).  There is always going to be a group of people who rubs you the wrong way.  Anyone who doesn't believe this is kidding themselves. As humans, we form images of groups of people either through personal observation or through the teachings of others and, like it or not, we tend to stereotype people which influences are perceptions.  

2013 will probably go down in the history books as the year when racism was rekindled in this country, thanks in large part to the George Zimmerman trial.  Even though he was acquitted of the charges for killing Trayvon Martin, the black community had trouble swallowing the verdict.  Consequently, people like Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and others jumped into the melee and fanned the flames of racism as opposed to calling for respect for the verdict.  

Then there is the incident involving the Obama mask on a Missouri rodeo clown which caused the NAACP to lodge a complaint. Evidently, the masks of Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush were considered acceptable.  You can't have it just one way.  If you genuinely believe the Obama mask was insulting, then you should have equally been insulted by the others, but they weren't.  The complaint by the NAACP ultimately reveals their racism.

There is also a lot of misinformation being offered to alter our perceptions.  Even Oprah Winfrey in a "Parade Magazine" interview claimed "millions" of blacks had been lynched over the years.  In reality, 4,743 were lynched between 1882 and 1968, and of that number, about one in four were white — 1,297.(1)  Consider how many people trust the word of the Queen of Daytime Television, and how their perceptions were influenced as a result.

Since the Zimmerman verdict, black Hollywood actors and entertainers have made disparaging remarks regarding the verdict and encouraged the black community to seek retribution for Trayvon Martin's death.  Zimmerman and his family both received death threats following the verdict.  There have also been numerous incidents of mobs or groups of blacks attacking whites (even though Zimmerman was Hispanic), some claiming payback for Trayvon Martin, others just plain viscous attacks which could easily be labeled hate crimes.  There have been so many of these attacks you cannot help but wonder if armed race wars are in the offing.  If this happens, it may very well make the Watts riots of 1965 seem mild by comparison.

What is necessary is for everyone to take a deep breath and relax.  Yes, bigotry is natural to the human animal but it also can be extremely dangerous.  Hollywood, Jackson, Sharpton, NAACP, et al, need to curb their tongues or face charges of inciting riots.  The public should seriously question what they are being told and seek the truth.  If riots do indeed erupt, I believe there will be a lot of people who will "stand their ground" and blood baths will ensue, and the last 50 years of racial progress will evaporate.

Do not be fooled by the race baiters, they are only looking out for themselves, not others.  For true equality between groups, there cannot be a double standard.  And we must realize a policy of "payback" will only result in chaos.  Now is the time to resist our impulses and seek the truth.  As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. described bigotry, "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract."

Everyone should take the time understand their own prejudices, and temper them by reality.  A little tolerance right now could go a long way.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field.  He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:  timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce.  All rights reserved.

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