I am white of mostly German heritage. This means that I carry a responsibility for having a heritage / culture somewhere in my family that enabled a hate-filled dictator to cause the Holocaust. I say this for background. So you know who is speaking in this post. I watched the movie Hidden Figures this weekend. And also the movie Denial. Both were relevant to this new hypothesis of mine.
In my lifetime or at least in my children’s lifetime the demographic of the United States will shift and the majority ‘white’ race will lose its majority status.
So what? Why does this cause so much fear? Why are we now looking to ban people who look different than us? [sorry – we aren’t talking about building walls on both borders].
After the 2016 Presidential election, I believed that far too many of my fellow Americans honestly believed that they, as whites, were better than others; that they, as Christians, were better than others; that leaders who were men were better than leaders who are women – because women have a place that is not a place of leadership.
But my reflections since November have led to a different hypothesis.
Perhaps we fear the change in the demographics that shifts us from majority to minority because we know in our hearts that we have tolerated in our society the discrimination of people based on their skin color, their gender, their sexual preference, their religion. We have observed it and allowed it. We stayed silent.
And we are now afraid that when we become the minority they will treat us as we have treated them. Or that we have allowed other to treat them and have not stood up and spoken up. We remained silent.
This election was about remaining silent. We elected someone who spoke hatefully to people based on their race, their gender, their sexual orientation, their religion. We elected someone who declared that he felt his fame and status gave him the right to take advantage of women. We elected someone who felt it was ok to make fun of others and to even threaten them and encourage others to take action on their hate and fear.
And in electing him, this country said this behavior was ok. In making him their candidate, Republicans said this was ok. In allowing him to be elected, those that voted for him or chose not to vote said this was ok. And now our president is taking action based on a mandate he thinks he has because we elected him knowing full well he courted the Alt-Right and the White Nationalists who believe that this country is to be led by the whites and the rich.
Equal means Equal.
It doesn’t mean the same. We are all human beings. Fundamentally we are the same. And we should think and act as if we are all fundamentally the same.
If we could commit to equality for all – and ensure that our actions align with that commitment; if we could begin to act as if we are all equal, would we create a country and perhaps a world where a shift in demographics wouldn’t be so scary? And if we could put laws in place so those that do not act this way have consequences and those that are impacted have recourse.
We know that people are not created equal in the USA. We know that they don’t even have equal rights under the law – because we never passed the Equal Rights Amendment. We know that this latest uproar is because those in power now are seeking to act from the position that some people are more equal than others.
It doesn’t matter what makes us different, it doesn’t make us a better human.
Only our actions and our beliefs can make us lesser.
Our world is changing – and it will take great courage to see us through the changes that are coming. We have the technology to take amazing care of all humans. We could end poverty. We could end hunger. We could create a world where the barriers to be able to dedicate your life to inventing and improving the world – if that is your calling – could be removed. We could take care of our environment and be the custodians of our earth.
We could – but will we?
Because it means that we all need to come together as a human race and work for the good of all over the good of some. It means we need to tackle the greed that has allowed some to take power over others.
And we need to hope and trust that those that have been put down by the majority will forget about that when they bccome the majority.
Isn’t that what some who are white in the USA really fear? That we will become the other. That we will be treated as we allowed others to treat those that are not white. That we will be shunned for our beliefs as we shunned others who were different.