I was born in a steel town in Ohio. My grandparents and most of the townspeople in our area were immigrants from all over Europe, and many other places. They all came for one reason – work. Make money, get married, raise a family, drink beer on the weekends. The latter wasn’t one of the best qualities of most of the men I knew, especially when they overdid it, but everyone most of the time got along. I lived within walking distance of the steel mill, and so grew up with its constant sounds: trains – to & from the mill, the blast furnace, sirens, screechings & scrapings & bangings – all very loud. Within this area everyone lived side by side; caucasian, black, asian, european, slavic, etc. You get the idea, a melting pot. The town was a mix of everyone as were the schools & churches and everything else you can imagine. I didn’t understand racism then and I don’t understand it now.
Racism is unnecessary. It is the sign of a sick and out of control mind whether it is direct or in reverse. It doesn’t make sense with people living together with the same objectives. The difficulty is that people who possess these sick minds look like the rest of us, but they seem to be wired differently. They see other people in a different way, an irrational way. They should at least have to wear some visible warning label giving normal people a chance to avoid them. And these people come in all shapes and sizes, ethnicities, religions, genders, and temperaments. Unfortunately their negativity is sometimes magnetic. They attract others who may be borderline, but now receive a nudge into darkness.
Where does the initial negativity come from? How does it transfer to ethnicity? How do we deal with it or even erase it? If we think of it as a disease or a virus it is easier to imagine its origin and uncontrolled spread. Parents and grandparents, cultures with their traditions, even churches can, even unknowingly initiate racism and hate in a much softer version. Anyone within who feels marginalized or downtrodden or has been ridiculed or is just unhappy with another person or group of people can start this negative ball rolling. And once it is rolling, it is very hard to stop. Once these hurts and slights take root in small-minded people, a self-serving agenda is formulated which caters to more and more of the same negative personalities and finally we have a full-fledged epidemic of hate which can be manifested as racism or hatred of the rich or the educated or intelligent, or anything other than the self.
How do we stop this cycle of hate or neutralize it or redirect it? No one has found the answer yet. And many have tried over many millennia. The problem: race-baiters and people-haters have found ways to make a decent living doing what they do. In a litigious society all you have to do is point a finger or start a rumor. True or false doesn’t matter. Once the ball has started rolling, everyone else is on the defensive. The more disruption, the better. And the haters do not want anything to heal because they lose the opportunity for large amounts of income, hopefully with no end. All of this is made easier in a politically correct society with a socialistic direction which makes it easy for parasites to exist. The parasite uses blackmail & intimidation as easily as lying and cheating to work the system with impunity.
What can we do to begin a reversal of anything and everything that is based on hate? There are some proven and time-tested techniques that can reverse negativity and hate. But they seem so simple, even so simplistic that we lose heart and faith too quickly for the effects to be seen. Just seeing things through someone else’s eyes for a change can do wonders. Just listening to someone else’s viewpoint sometimes can cause a change of heart, just because you took the time to listen. Choosing music that is not based on hate, but something or anything that is positive can begin a change. Something very small and seemingly insignificant can start the ball rolling that can cause change, maybe not immediately, but a small change in direction that, as it grows, eventually is earthshaking.
Think of the great moments in our lives that involve large amounts of people, but without racism or hatred. Music: a great song, show, recording, performance. Sports: the winning point, teamwork, exceptional athleticism, or sportsmanship. Film: a great story, being moved from laughter to tears and back. Exceptionalism in science, business, politics, law or government. All of these in their pure forms are above negativity and racism. Until there is perversion. But, realizing that nothing is perfect, we can never stop caring and being vigilant. And carrying with us at all times the antidote: love.