Look at the actions not just the words

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Is there anyone reading this column today who has not laughed at what could easily be defined as a racist joke? I'm not defending the "humor," just asking the question.

It was not too long ago that "pollock" jokes were the bread and butter of the comedy circuit.

If you browse the Internet, there are literally hundreds of thousands of categories that list "racist jokes."

So let's ask another question: Is there anyone who has never uttered in some form or fashion a comment that could be taken as racially offensive?

The clearly drunken fraternity members at the SAE fraternity on the Oklahoma University campus used highly inappropriate racist language in a stupid song. For that they should face universal criticism.

But do those jokes and those stupid songs make you a racist?

A true racist to me is someone who seeks harm - physical, economic or otherwise - on a person of another race.

If I tell a Polish joke or laugh at a Polish joke, that does not mean I seek to harm those of Polish descent.

It may be inappropriate and it may clearly be stupid. But is it an honest to goodness racist action?

I laugh at and repeat redneck jokes as often as possible. And a redneck by definition is a dim-witted white person. But it's a bit of a stretch to say that behavior is defined as racism.

The remnants of the KKK and Aryan Nation are clearly racists. Their actions and attitudes should be roundly condemned. The same goes for the New Black Panthers and Louis Farrakkan's Nation of Islam.

But the hyper-sensitivity that surrounds us like a cloud is breeding a cottage industry of racial victims that is promoting clearly dangerous racial division.

We've blurred the social lines between inappropriate comments and racism. And in doing so, we've branded far too many as racist based on their words and not on their deeds or actions.

Into this arena of sensitivity, all of those who criticize the President are labeled racists when their objections are based on policy direction not race.

Police forces across the nation are under investigation for their "racist" activities based on some numerical formula that is unbalanced with the make-up of the community.

Now a small group of college professors wants to ban the American flag from college campuses because they believe it leads to racism.

Two police officers were shot in Ferguson, Mo., Thursday night not because they were racists but because they were members of the local authority branded as racist by the Holder Department of Justice.

This mob violence is the direct result of incendiary policies adopted by the Obama administration that stoke the flames of racial division.

There are racists in our society to be sure. But we walk down a dangerous path when we seek to label all actions as racist when the facts speak otherwise.

When petty stupidity is defined as racism, then virtually everyone reading this column is a racist.

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