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Freindly Fire


Time to Have That Conversation on Race

by Chris Freind
 

Jerry Seinfeld to priest in confessional: Well, I should tell you that I'm Jewish.

Father: That's no sin.

Jerry: Oh good. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about Dr. Whatley. I have a suspicion that he's converted to Judaism just for the jokes.

Father: And this offends you as a Jewish person.


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Jerry: No, it offends me as a comedian.

After watching ABC's new "black-sitcom" "Black-ish," a Seinfeld-ism must be invoked. I was offended – not because I'm white, but because it wasn't funny.

Is it offensive that a show openly touts race in both its title and content? Not at all. Or at least it shouldn't be.

We're supposed to be grown-ups. We can change the channel if something doesn't meet out tastes.

That's called live and let live, where people don't have to scream in righteous protest over every single thing they dislike. But that type of tolerance is in increasingly short supply, replaced by double standards that inflame tensions and needlessly generate intense resentment between races.

Could you imagine the backlash if a network tried to air "White-ish?" Producers would get fired, actors blackballed and the network would spend countless hours issuing nauseating apologies and mandating racial-sensitivity training.

But it will never happen. Just as there will never be a White Caucus in a legislature or White Entertainment Television.

And that is where our system breaks down.

The issue isn't the racially descriptive entity, but the increasing resentment among white Americans who, as the oddballs, are not allowed to do likewise. Their perception, not without merit, is that they have become the only race without the same rights as everyone else.

White comedians get censured for saying the same things as their black counterparts. Black politicians openly advocate the election of black mayors. Whites lose out on job opportunities and college admissions in the name of "diversity."

Racial discrimination, in all its forms, must be battled. And that includes reverse discrimination.

But unfortunately, selective discrimination has been deemed acceptable, even trendy, in today's America. Far from creating racial harmony, as its advocates naively believe, reverse discrimination is quickly becoming the flashpoint in the powder keg of America's race relations.

Nowhere is that more on display than in Missouri.

First, in Ferguson, 6-foot-4, 300-pound, 18-year-old Michael Brown, who had allegedly just committed a felony, was shot after disobeying, then physically engaging a police officer.

It should have made no difference that the officer was white and the shooting victim black, since, until it was unquestionably proven otherwise, race played no part in the shooting. But that became the headline and riots and violent protests ensued, facts be damned. Black anger erupted nationwide, directed at both whites and the police.

Now, it's Round 2, as an off-duty police officer working as a security guard shot and killed a man near St. Louis who police say engaged him in a gunfight.

Large protests were organized as people were bused in from near and far. The heart of the protests was, of course, "racism," since the officer was white and the shooting victim black. But no one has the guts, on either side, to ask the most important question: "So what?"

Lost on the protestors, a smorgasbord that grew to include the Occupy movement, unions, gay-rights activists and those protesting the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (must have been a boring weekend for a lot of people), were the pertinent facts that A.) The victim was wearing an ankle bracelet at the time he died, a court-ordered monitoring system as a condition of bail in a gun case, and B.) The police claim that he fired several rounds at the officer and was attempting to shoot more when his gun jammed.

The deceased's family says he was unarmed, carrying only a sandwich. So either turkey clubs have become the new gun of choice, or he was, in fact, armed when he shouldn't have been. Whether excessive force was used and whether the shooting was even justified remain questions that will be answered only after a thorough, impartial discovery process.

That's why God made investigations. And in this case, it will be immeasurably easier than the Ferguson shooting to determine the truth.

So, to automatically assume "race" is simply wrong.

Does anyone of sound mind really believe that, in this day and age and in light of recent events, a white officer is going to deliberately seek out and shoot a young black man "for no reason?" Not only would his freedom be in jeopardy, but his life. That's not to say it couldn't happen, but a long list of other possibilities must be exhausted before coming to that conclusion.

Yet, inciting and woefully inaccurate statements, from the victims being "executed" to leaders stating they were both shot from behind (medical examiners determined neither were), serve only to push race relations closer to the edge. Sooner or later, when we go over the cliff, there will be a backlash of epic proportions, which could make the riots of the 1960s look tame.

If we ever hope to eradicate racial tensions, we need strong leaders of all races to unite and demand colorblindness for America, from police to entertainment to the workplace. "Equal opportunity for all, special treatment for none" should be our motto, where race should be an afterthought.

America's uniqueness makes it the envy of the world, where even its most downtrodden can overcome adversity to become extremely successful.

But that rise must never come because, or at the expense, of race. When it does, we all lose a part of what makes us so special, our common bond: being Americans, and ultimately, members of the only "race" that matters: The human race.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and commentator. He can be reached at CF@FFZMedia.com


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