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A friend of mine, a conservative, wrote a very thoughtful piece on racism a couple weeks ago. He has been the single look at it. I think what he has written is extremely well thought out. He begins with the question whether racism will ever die. I applaud his effort.

Racism, sexism, fat-ism and short-ism are simply variations of that old cheer “We’re Number One.” It is not simply a problem in the United States but I believe it is part of the human condition, we like to separate into clans or groups. Whether it is Republicans versus Democrats or the Longhorns versus the Sooners, we all like to be part of a group. Teenagers instinctively gravitate to those who accept them. This is exactly why gangs are popular among teenagers. It Is a feeling of acceptance and it is us versus them. It is from within these clans that our ancestors learned to hunt and fish and, most importantly, to survive. Being able to recognize those that mean us harm from those who are part of us was an essential trait for hundreds of thousands of years. We’re not in a fix that evolutionary trait in 50 years or even 100 years.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that racism is a good thing. Instead, I’m saying that racism is a part of us. Curiosity and altruism are also a part of us. This is what gives the human condition so many interesting facets. We can reach out and embrace those that are different from us. This is also essential in our evolution. If we only stayed with our clan, we would’ve become too inbred and died off. Instead, we had to have a balance. Caution and curiosity have to be balanced in such a way that we don’t naïvely walk into strange situations which may result in our death and, on the other hand, we have to have enough curiosity in order to mingle with those who are different than we are in order to learn new techniques of hunting, fishing, preserving food and the like.

So, I don’t think I will be able to twitch my nose and have racism go away. Instead, we have to understand that we need to force ourselves to accept those who are different than we are. We need to suppress our instinct to chastise, to belittle and discriminate against those who are not like us. We are never going to get it perfectly right. In my book, this is okay. In my book if we are all aware of it and we all try to embrace our fellow man, we are on the path to enlightenment. That’s all we can ever hope for.

By |2010-09-21T07:00:34-04:00September 21st, 2010|Domestic Issues, Race|Comments Off on Racism

Peace in Anbar

This was what the spinmeisters were telling us for the last 4 – 6 weeks. Anbar was where it was at. The Sunni took up arms against Al Qaeda. They began working with us (appears that we were actually paying them to work with us). Cut, Roll credits. Well, wait. The violence hasn’t been quite as squashed as President Bush and others have told us. A key Sunni trial leader has been killed by a bomb planted near his home. We were charged with keeping this man safe.


From AP News:

The most prominent figure in a U.S.-backed revolt of Sunni sheiks against al-Qaida in Iraq was killed Thursday by a bomb planted near his home in Anbar province, 10 days after he met with President Bush, police and tribal leaders said.

Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha was leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, also known as the Anbar Awakening — an alliance of clans backing the Iraqi government and U.S. forces.

The death of the charismatic young sheik dealt a blow to American efforts to recruit tribal leaders to fight the terror network. (more…)

By |2013-11-03T18:45:07-04:00September 13th, 2007|Al Qaeda, Iraq|Comments Off on Peace in Anbar
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