promoting the unwanted, redheaded stepchild that is individual liberty

Posts Tagged ‘divisive’

In the game of politics what really matters?

In politics on April 26, 2010 at 12:49 am

Democrat, Republican, progressive, libertarian, conservative, communist — so many labels that only serve to divide. Yet people cling to these categories as if their very identities depended on them. For some, it does.

Politics becomes more than just a necessary evil their sense of civil duty requires them to take part in. It is a game, a lust for political banter, partisanship and identity.

But do politics really matter and, if so, why?

Political junkies can regurgitate the latest national news or recite the who’s who in Washington, yet most can’t recall the reason they became involved in politics to begin with. Was it a concern for free markets? A desire to protect family values? The environment perhaps?

The truth is, these “junkies” have lost sight of what really matters — namely, people. If human beings do not matter than no issue, whether it be marriage, energy, or the economy, is of any importance.

Hearing political pundits refer to the “tea baggers” or discuss Nancy Pelosi’s Botox injection is wearisome. Such matters are trivial when compared to real, human issues such as the effects of the “war on drugs” or the genocide in Darfur. It’s an embarrassment we even discuss them.

All of us, whatever our political identity, need to remember what truly matters in this game called politics. Otherwise we have no business playing.

The illusion of race

In racism on March 3, 2010 at 12:42 am

The notion of race is a ridiculous one.

As a person with red hair, blue eyes and pale skin, It is impossible to be categorized as anything but white. Its taken hundreds, if not thousands, of nations and tribes to create the person I am. And yet my unique blend of European, Native American and possibly Jewish ancestry is all merged into one single, definitive category — white. A color of all things.

Race has less to do with actual differences and more to do with perceived differences, such as skin color. Its definition and boundaries are not absolute. There was a time in America when Italians and Jews werent considered white by the U.S. government as they now are — evidence that race is nothing more than an arbitrarily assigned category.

But the real question is why societies insist on grouping people by race rather than nationality, region or tribe. Why, when there exists a seemingly infinitive variety of skin tones, do they prefer to reference unyielding colors?

Because race divides us. It puts millions of genetically unique individuals into broad groups and positions them against one another. Black vs. white, yellow vs. brown, logic vs. illogic.

In actuality, there is such a thing as race. But it is singular, not plural. It is the race of all persons: the human race.

VIDEO: Time Wise, author of White Like Me, discusses the newness of the concept of race and how it has been used in America to divide and conquer.