Proving that we are without racial prejudice is a bit like proving that you have not done something. There is no tangible evidence, and the idea is so foreign to some people, that it defies belief that someone could be free of racial or sexual bias. As caucasians, we are faced with an especially daunting challenge, since we are believed to be so locked into the "white community" (whatever that is) that we would fail to see any other race or support any person who isn't of like color.
When I read Pam's post today, the thoughts were re-kindled. Can we be so narrow-minded that the thoughts we have would only be expressed in favor of our own race or religion? Perhaps. In these cases, the group is punished for the actions of one. That's racism, folks. I don't know much about what is going on in the Middle East, but I do know baseball.
Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story about Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, who, you may know, recently won the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game. The story opined that his emerging popularity would bring black fans back to the ballpark and get them interested in baseball. The team has not had a real black superstar, and the article pointed that out. Obviously, there have been plenty of black players, but few if any have achieved enough on the field to make them worthy of the term superstar. Somehow, that is a racial issue rather than one of skill.
What I find mildly offensive about the article is twofold. First, that it would take a black player to bring black baseball fans to the ballpark. What was missed in the article is the fact that, recently, the quality of baseball has been mediocre. It could be that people in general don't appreciate mediocre baseball, race notwithstanding, but we are led to believe that it takes a player of ones similar race to bring us out. It is a simple thought in many ways. Simple because it assumes that people are so shallow that they will only root for players of their own ethnicity and simple because it is racist in its theme. I must only go because the team has white superstars. Phooey.
Secondly, I wonder why it was necessary for a black writer, Claire Smith, to write the article? Much as Ed Bradley generally gets the interviews and stories involving blacks on 60 Minutes, and black reporters are sent out on TV news stories involving black people. If we are to be a truly integrated society, wouldn't it be even better if the paper had assigned a white writer to do the Howard story? If it was discussed among the editors, then they get credit for that, but in the end, the story was race biased. After all, white writers write about black athletes, right? What am I missing here?
So, naturally, as Pam states, when we take a side over a religious or racial issue, it is deemed that we are siding with the religion or race, and not making a genuine statement of opinion. As though we are incapable of thinking for ourselves, and only seeing color or religion. The concept is too foreign for some (or most) to grasp, so they lash out at the first thing that comes to their small minds, and that is, that they believe our minds are as small as theirs.
We can't prove it, but we know that we can think for ourselves, whether it be baseball, religion or warfare. So, we are left to our own independent thoughts, and if that means that some people will believe that we are falling in a religious or racial line, then they will have to believe it, because their inherent hatred is too difficult for them to fend off. It is a waste of our time to attempt to convince them otherwise, and impossible to confirm.