Monday, January 23, 2012

Cry Racism

Racism as a force in America is over-rated, especially in these modern times. Most often, racists are viewed as "ignorant" and "fringe," which immediately limits their ability to effect change. Add to that, their visibility - flags go up the moment a racist enters a room. They are an easy target. Most Americans' stock rise just by standing across from them.

Now, Ron Paul, a prominent Republican presidential candidate, is being dogged by a racist newsletter he circulated in the 90's. He claims to have written none of the nasty rhetoric himself, though his signature appears on the newsletter, and he profited from its sales.

The question becomes: Is this a deal-breaker? Does such associations preclude Paul from serious consideration for the office of president of the United States? Many on both sides of the aisle say "Yes." I say, consider this: Ron Paul may be a racist; he is not a warmonger. While all of the other GOP candidates virtually promise a war with Iran, he alone says, "Don't be stupid." Neither is he a big spender. Of all the candidates - President Obama included - Paul appears to be the only one with the guts to tackle the national debt, vowing to trim a trillion from that 15 trillion-dollar monstrosity his first year in office.

Look at it this way: Racism is a kind of bad window dressing. It is not substantive in America anymore. It was years ago, when congress could legislate "Jim Crow" laws and the courts would uphold them. The Ku Klux Klan terrorized entire communities, and blacks could do little more than cower and pray. Those days are long gone. No racist legislation can get through congress now; no racist legislator would try. Today, all a racist can do in America is practice free speech. And each time he opens his mouth, his freedom and his power is further contracted.

We have a greater need to fear warmongers and big spenders - like twin vampires, they stand poised to bleed this nation dry. Warmongers are greater destroyers of nations than all the racists combined. Hitler's racism killed six million Jews. His warmongering killed 35 million others, besides.

Napoleon's racism barely merits a page in the history books. Yet, he was one of the greatest warmongers of all time. His militarism devastated the entire continent of Europe in the pursuit of a greater France. When he was finished, millions lay dead, and France was no greater than when Napoleon started.

Racism in America covers a wide spectrum. At one end are people like the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan; at the other end is each of us. We all harbor some form of racism, prejudice, bias, or simply fear of that which we do not understand.

Then there are those who claim to detest racism. They are posturers - no better than tin men. (Only a fool would be for racism). To say, "I hate racists", is the same as saying "I hat liars", or "I hate thieves." Who don't? All there is to do about those people is to keep an eye on them.

As for the worst of the racists among us: They are oddities, aberrant personalities that are more surprising when unearthed than scary. Our real fear should be of leaders who would send our children to kill and die for nothing.

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