Now, I don't think women, Catholics, or even TVs are a different biological race. But my point remains the same. And what is that increasingly confusing point?
That the term "racist" isn't even relevant anymore.
Hold up, wait a minute, is this fool crazy? Did he just say racism isn't relevant anymore?
That is exactly what I am saying my observant friend. Racism, as defined by Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, is
1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race; OR
2: racial prejudice or discrimination
Now I believe that prejudices can still exist based on things such as, language, economic background, and even someone's name. That's called human nature. Everyone always has to think they're better than someone else. But racism as the first definition listed above, that's become obsolete. There isn't a collective mindset that one group of people is better than another based on physiological traits or characteristics.
There isn't even a need to keep track of the differences in physiological traits or characteristics. In fact, it seems like the only people who are at all concerned with race, are those who claim to be victims of racists. Why does any instance of prejudice or dislike for a person of different skin color or background in general have to be a case of racism? Some people simply hate other people. Take, for example, the case of LeBron James.
LeBron James was a hero to the city of Cleveland, Ohio. He was the star player on a successful basketball team. He had brought recognition to the city of Cleveland, and they loved him. But in the summer of 2010 his contract was up and he was a free agent. This meant he could choose to play for any other team in the NBA that could afford him. Many in Cleveland hoped he would remain with them, although they didn't expect it. Other cities, like Chicago and New York, thought he might sign with their teams. In the end, he chose to play for the Miami Heat with friends he became close with during the 2008 Olympic Games, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.
Now, no one can fault James for the decision he made. A free agent may go where he pleases when his contract has expired. However, that isn't exactly how it happened. In a big debacle "cleverly" named The Decision on ESPN, LeBron James took a primetime hour to announce where he would play ball in the future. Most people could see he had already made up his mind. And instead of thanking the city of Cleveland for all the love they had shown him during his years there, he basically made a show about all the good things he had done for the city; everything he had brought there. He basically chose to play in Miami and spit in Cleveland's face as he left.
Oh, plus he's black. At least, that's the only reason ESPN columnist Vincent Thomas could find for why people in America suddenly hated LeBron James. Nevermind that he acted like a complete a**hole on national television; America simply doesn't like him because he's a black man. But wait! there's more. Black people like James even more, says Thomas. He claims black people rally in support of a fellow black man, and then goes on to compare the trials and tribulations of LeBron James' off-season free agency with the actual racism legendary sports figures like Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens.
Thomas uses the Q Scores Company data for his commentary, the "Q" most likely standing for questionable. The Q Scores Co. uses polling data across America to rank everything from brand recognition to TV show likability. Advertising companies pay top dollar for this polling data. But it's not as if LeBron James went from first to worst after The Decision aired on ESPN. And sports figures are already anathema to love/hate polling data. Tim Tebow, a talented athlete and amazing human being by most standards (eww, I can't believe I just typed that appositive phrase), is deeply hated outside of the University of Florida. Does that mean everyone who dislikes Tebow hates Christians or charity work?
The other problem with throwing out the "racist" label whenever someone is offended or put off by a group is that it diminishes the discussion that could be had otherwise. Many people have tried to label the conservative Tea-Party movement as racist. They know that when the word "racist" is thrown around, it ends any possible discussion, just as calling someone a "fascist" or "nazi" closes the avenues of conversation. Instead of arguing about the demands of the Tea-Party on a rational level, such as what can be done about the massive debt America is in danger of collapsing under, detractors call the movement racist because it was started seemingly in opposition to Barack Obama and his policies, who also happens to be the first black president the United States has elected.
Keep the lines of communication open. When speaking with someone who does spout prejudiced speech, point out out the error of their ways. If all else fails, you can write them off as an incorrigible idiot. But there is no reason to cry out "Racist!" and ask for their head on a plate just because they offended. The biggest problem with living in a free society means we have to put up with the people who say things that offend us. But that's a small price to pay for all of the luxuries and rights we do enjoy.
The shackles of disparity have been removed ("That's racist!"). Americans from all walks of life are finally on level playing field. They can be whatever they want to be. The only thing standing in a person's way is a feeling that the system is gamed against them. If you go in thinking you're going to lose, then how can you win?