The current demonstrations and riots in many U.S. cities against the killing of a unarmed black man by an arresting police officer, who knelt on his neck for almost ten minutes, suffocated him, has enraged virtually all members of society in many countries. It also brought out a plethera of black advocacy groups interviewed by the media. They, almost to a person, and in their rightful anger and frustration, started their comments with references to two hundred and fifty years of slavery and they almost all included the term “racial inequality” in their comments.
I submit that, fully justified as their anger is, the term “racial equality or inequality” does not help in addressing the broad underlying issues. Bluntly, it is an unachievable oxymoron. I believe racial equality is a pipe-dream because those two words actually address tribalism. Tribal equality goes against millennia of human history, and is flatly impossible. I would prefer to say that tribalism, of which racialism is a small part, should be recognized, embraced and celebrated as a positive diversity in a community, not a divisive concept.
We need a new words that do not reflect the past and that provide a positive goal for the future. Not that we should forget the past, far from it. As many wise people have said, “Those who do not acknowledge and understand the past are destined to repeat it”, and that’s the last thing we want.
I would suggest that “citizen/community equality” is a positive, forward-looking, and achievable goal, which would benefit the United States as a whole and, indeed, many other countries.
The concept is that equality of opportunity, equality of available services, citizens’ rights and privileges and equality under the law should all be endemic in a civilized, democratic society regardless of where you live, your ethnic background or your economic status.
I should add my bias of including in this concept the world community. A pipe-dream, certainly, but a positive and uniting one, rather than the inherently divisive and unachievable concept of racial equality.
Citizen/Community Equality. Think about it!