This weekend I sat through two commencement ceremonies. Both had guest speakers whose theme happened to be the same. With the riots in places like Ferguson and Baltimore both speakers told their audiences that we have an obligation to make an extra effort to be more inclusive of those that are different from ourselves. OK, so I don’t have a problem with that. However, where I do have a problem is that neither speaker bothered to preach the entire sermon.
There is nothing in my past to indicate that I have ever purposefully discriminated against any demographic group whether they are Black, Hispanic, gay, female, non-Christian, or even the left-handed-red-heads for that matter. Yet coming from the demographic of that of a middle-aged straight White Christian male I’ve still got people lining up around the block on a daily basis to preach me a sermon of how I need to stop lumping people together in demographic groups for the sole purpose of evaluating their sins and weaknesses. I couldn’t help but find the irony in a having a Black woman tell me the other day that all White people are racist by their very nature. I wonder if she’ll ever figure out the hypocrisy of her own comment. I’m told that I need to ignore the differences of others and while accepting people as they are so that we can all be equal. However, in their preaching they always seem to forget the other side of that coin.
What both speakers completely failed to address in their speeches is that discrimination actually comes in two flavors. You can discriminate against someone through denigration which is what we’re constantly being preached on, but you can also discriminate through promotion. For example, how many times did we hear Black voters claim they voted for Obama simply to see “one of their own” as President without realizing that it’s just as racist to vote FOR a candidate because he’s Black as it is to vote AGAINST him based solely on that same reason. Meanwhile, if they were being honest the only real “one of their own” they should have cared about was the demographic of “fellow American”. And no, that’s not meant to insinuate that I think Obama is actually from
By having an understanding of the realities on how to achieve the true fairness everyone seems to be demanding it is now my turn to do some preaching. If we all want to seek the premise of fairness and equality for all we must accept the premise that it’s not OK to have groups that do damage (i.e. the KKK), but it’s also NOT OK to have groups that promote one demographic over others either. Based on this new concept of what true fairness needs to be we must also accept that one of the most racist organizations on the planet has to be the NAACP for its promotion of “Black people and causes”. The same thing holds true for other such demographic promoting groups (i.e. NOW, La Raza, CAIR, and LGBT) just to name a few.
I’m more than willing to put forth the “extra effort” to be inclusive of those that are different than me. However, I’m not willing to accept that equality can only come from me stepping aside while another group promotes themselves OVER me. Either we’re all truly equal which means none of us denigrate or promote, or we’re all truly different. However, there is no equality as long as any one group gets to enjoy the best of both worlds. To put this in simple terms, if you don’t want to be treated differently then you also need to STOP promoting yourself as being different as well. After all, “inclusiveness” can only work when it is a two way street.