Attorney General Eric Holder called Americans “cowards” this week when it comes to race, pointing out that while workplaces and even cities are integrated, most Americans spend their free time segregated inside what he called “race-protected cocoons.” He thinks that not talking about race means there’s a problem.
I have a little newsflash for him.
Frankly, I’ve always been color-blind (as have been most of my generation) and in my time have happily cavorted with anyone of any ethnicity within my sphere of dealings (and they are admittedly often quite broad) whose personal values match or complement my own. Unfortunately, remarks like these tell me there are still some black Americans who are still trying too hard to “integrate”, who continue to see a country made up of blacks and whites instead of a collective of fellow Americans; who are more content to waste their time – and my time – drawing lines rather than simply being their best selves and pursuing our Constitutionally-protected right to chase after their own happiness. For heaven’s sake, the law is on the side of equality for all so why continue to make an issue of it? They sound like spoiled brats and reinforce the stereotype of the “entitlement mentality”.
Did it ever occur to anyone that constantly being reminded of something that doesn’t exist is the surest way to make it real? You know, like those politicians…errr, those people who actually believe the lies they tell others. I don’t need someone telling me to be nice to anyone, regardless their race or gender or any other thing that makes them appear on the surface to be different than me. But, as an example, I have nothing in common with what I’ll call the hip-hop mentality, so no, I am not going to invite someone who lives that lifestyle over for dinner just because they happen to have black skin and it’s someone else’s idea of the “right thing to do”. Yet if I’m in a situation where I have to deal with a hip-hopper on a regular basis, and in getting to know one another we find other things in common, then maybe I would invite them over for that Saturday afternoon barbeque. And I’d expect a similar invitation from them. (Maybe, because who can afford to put anything on the grill these days if that grill isn’t on the White House lawn?)
The bottom line is that opening my home to others is my choice, based on an individual-by-individual assessment. And that does not make me a coward, Mr. Thinks-We-Must-Still-Be-Beholden. That makes me a normal human being living in a culturally-diverse society. That makes me a normal American who gives everyone a chance and doesn’t want to spend my own, personal time with someone whose values are in conflict with my own.
I’ll tell you something, though. You, and those who continue to create a problem where none exists, are most definitely NOT on my Saturday afternoon barbeque invitation list.