There are some interesting things going on in the world today, are there not? Before I go any further I want to emphasize that the violent actions of any group of men and women which result in pain and death to other people sickens me. No matter what their skin color, religious and/or sociopolitical motivation may be.
That said, I must confess to some sort of odd feeling of vindication lately. One bit of background, not only am I a white Anglo Saxon protestant, (if that were not enough these days), I happen to be a male, heterosexual to boot. Yes, I am a member of that most nasty of all groups - the feared straight, white male (SWM). You know us, the group responsible for all the oppression, slavery, corruption, and any other bad thing you can think or name in the world.
Personally I think Hitler was a sick, twisted man deserving of some form of eternal punishment. There is no racial pride in my life - for the simple reason that I, along with so many other Americans - am a mutt. My father is Serbian and Croatian (how on earth that is possible is beyond me!) and my mother is a blend of English, Irish and whatnot. (You have never heard of the Isle of Whatnot?) When you consider the "diversity" of my genetic make-up you would realize that I could be at the top of the hip list except my hair is too brown and my skin is not brown enough to have anyone notice my diversity. Tiger Woods is certainly ethnically diverse, but he isn't any more so than I am. His diversity is hip these days, mine ain't.
Anyway, my purpose today is to challenge you to put aside the last decade of learning that the White Male is the source of all evil. We aren't. Sad fact of business is that mankind (or should I say "person kind") of every color and stripe is sadly capable of evil. From everything available, there seems to be no evidence that the guys who flew the planes into the WTC were even remotely white or protestant. Of course there is the white boy from California who aligned himself with the terrorists, but we can cut him slack because, after all, he is from California and therefore must have been cleansed of any lingering SWM genes. I have it from a good source that he turned to the Taliban because of his oppressive, white father. Pardon my sarcasm - I shall reign it in.
One can crack open the paper or listen to the radio and learn that Hindus are killing Moslems by the droves over in India. Not for the first time either. Yeah, you know India, the belly button of peace, love, and harmony. Seems that there exist men, women and children of the Hindu religion who have such a low tolerance for men, women and children of the Moslem religion that they heard them into houses and burn them alive. From my limited research it seems the reason for these hate crimes is that the Moslem population in India wants a little better treatment by the predominantly Hindu government. This seems to greatly irritate some Hindus.
Odd, isn't it - our public schools can't teach anything remotely getting close to the "white man's religion" because it is so intolerant while at the same time many Eastern religions are held up as shining moral beacons. Hmmm, guess the facts just don't support that very much, do they?
I am not saying that atrocities committed in the name of Christianity are any less atrocious. What I am saying is that we should not fool ourselves ? people are people all over the world. To put the other religions of the world on some kind of pedestal while ignoring reality is no different than someone trotting off to church on Sunday while they cheat and oppress people the rest of the week. Hypocrisy by any other name remains nonetheless "a false claim to virtue".
In our collective white guilt we have a tendency to make heroes of people, cultures, races, and religions other than our own. Am I saying that the treatment of the Native American people by white men fuelled by manifest destiny is something to be proud of? Nope. But we cannot forget what some of the Indian tribes did to other Indian tribes. There were hostile, war loving Native Americans who did some very atrocious things to other Native Americans, okay? Native Americans killed and stole property from each other. Let's not pretend that ALL Native Americans were docile, peace loving respecters of all life forms. It is a great fantasy but it merely represents a delusion brought when the pendulum of correction swings too far. There were some crazy, murderous, mean-spirited Indians just like there exist the same kind of Hindus.
To personalize it, I mentioned above that my father is a mixture of Serbian and Croatian people. Hello - those two groups of people are supposed to be at each other?s throats, not marrying and having kids. From what I read, there isn't too much to be proud of on either side in that "religious" war. So called Moslems and Christians are doing some very nasty things to one another. On my mom's side there are the English and Irish - whoops, I just read a review about a novel telling the story of a young Irish girl sold into slavery to English people way back when. It seems that was a common practice. And I may be wrong, but the Irish and English have been carrying on at each other for a long time - shooting, bombing, and burning one another. The Irish have been oppressed, but let's not forget that they blow up men, women, and children. Is such murder heroic?
Yes, white people calling themselves Christians enslaved black people. Nothing to be proud of there. But a scan of history also tells us that certain African tribes used to enslave other African tribes AND even sell members of said captured tribes to the white slave traders. We love to romanticize the simple, humble, gentle people of Africa hey, guess what - Idi Amin was an African who shot Africans for Sunday afternoon fun. He was a non-moustachioed, bloodthirsty, very black version of Hitler. Africans can be very nasty to each other. Hmmm, maybe reparation should be ultimately sought from the first link in the slavery profit chain - the Africans who captured and sold other Africans.
Let me play one more card - sexual preference. Gays and lesbians have been outcast and discriminated against by white Christian men. No doubt this is a bad idea and a deplorable plan of action. Jesus admonished that the person with no sin could throw stones. Read the account, everyone dropped their weapons and left. However, let's not ignore the truth that militant gays have interrupted church services by doing vile acts - destroying property and urinating on carpeting and pews. This is wrong and disgusting. It is just as much of a hate crime as when somebody screams "faggot" and throws a punch. Is one disgusting action more noble than the other? When gays make snide remarks at the expense of straight people is their hate crime somehow cleansed because of their gayness? Can you join me in saying aloud "Hypocrisy is hypocrisy"?
When a Hindu burns a Moslem alive is it somehow a more peaceful death than when a Christian burned a living Native American? I would suggest that the "Hindus" burning Moslems are no more a representation of Hinduism than the "Christians" who burned Native Americans represented Christianity. Were the Moslems who killed thousands of innocents on September 11 following the true path in obedience to God? Not the God I believe in.
I am an American, protestant male of a diverse, albeit not so-colorful, ethnic make up and I am not sorry about it anymore.