Racism and Hope
I went to a talk tonight about prisons and racism. It was a panel discussion followed by a lively
It got me thinking a lot about who the Nazis really are. And really, I have more background in common with them than I do with my representatives in congress. More than almost anyone I see on TV. Maybe even more than with the average Evergreen student.
They are just poor white kids, ripped off of the opportunities they want, and buying into a lie about the reasons for that. They are no more the problem with this country than soldiers are
the problem in Iraq.
Sometimes I have a great sense of hopelessness. Neonazis are just the tip of the iceberg. I think a great many people are pretty happy with racism, so long as its not directed at them. Regular, respectable people. Even people of color. This depresses me.
I want so much for us to have something better than this-better than racial profiling, detention of Arabs, police brutality, ghettoization, English-only education, Indian casinos, supermax prisons, and poor white kids putting on Hitler outfits and assaulting their neighbors.
I want us to rise up and take some of what we've earned. But I don't think that's possible without the help of the same kids who are going to be down at the Capitol building on Monday waving a swastica flag like a bunch of
buffoons. And I don't think its possible so long as many people condemn those kids but secretly snicker at racist jokes, and secretly thank God for white privelege landing them a job with benefits.
We can have better than this.
I have to find hope that its possible and even probable that these nazi kids are going to wake up and start using their white power for good not evil. They are my people, and realizing this both saddens and inspires me.