This is the second of our tripartite series of recommendations for countering the bias and perversive influence promoted by the ignorant “underbelly” of our Nation. The previous essay, (“ROSES AND SPADES”) espoused the tactical mandate of refraining from the grant to such organized groups of miscreants, the designation of any popularly familiar name (like “conservative” or ‘extreme right wing”). The latter tactical and prudent recommendation is made in the interest of denying to such reprehensible and dangerous cohorts, an undeserved and misleading appearance of attributed and legitimate status. We have suggested that a more suitable designation be “societally nihilistic.”
In this second writing, we would recommend the prerequisite process of candid self-examination as to the extent of one’s [own] genuine belief in the ideal of truly universal equality. The exercise might be personally enlightening, based upon the remote possibility of the repressed existence of any vestigial impact, of the dark side of American racial history, in the form of some conceivably, subtle, unconscious bias. As an illustration in aid of clarification of this concept, we would reprise an anecdote, created by us for inclusion in an earlier essay on the subject of our despised noun, “race,” [“THE DIRTIEST WORD”]:
“A young white mother is routinely walking Linda, her six-year-old daughter, to school. The mother is a moral, literate, well-intentioned and properly socialized citizen. As an avid supporter of the principle of universal racial equality, she has been a regular donor to the local office f the NAACP and frequently attends meetings on the subject. Her Master’s Degree in Sociology from Barnard was earned by her intensive studies and thesis on the subject of underprivileged youth.
As she continues walking her young daughter to school, she soon sees a familiar black friend, similarly walking her own young daughter to school, and, immediately upon seeing the black friend, her daughter, Linda, suddenly, feels a subtle, slightly alarmed, but discernable hand squeeze.”
Lessons in racial difference are often unwittingly taught to young children by early, well-meaning lessons dealing in the subject of “we” and “they,” then, perhaps later, by occasionally overheard careless societal comments, and, generally, by occasionally thoughtless and insensitive social interaction. Additionally, it is impossible to view the daily media and not be cognizant of the subject of racial differences, in the virtual plethora of contextual presentations.
To seek to eliminate racial bias, emanating from those disreputably described individuals, who think and behave in an intentionally biased and unamerican fashion, is an inarguably commendable aspiration and, in fact, defines our purpose in the presentation of these three essays. Logically, one can do so, with greater effect, if he can assure himself of the absence of any unwitting, subliminal inclinations [as in the anecdote] on his part, to perceive racially qualitative differences, early taught or, experienced, in the context of our less than ideally complete, egalitarian society. This matter requires personal, candid, contemplation of past experience, present conceptions of value and excellence, and of nuanced personal criteria for the choice and maintenance of friendships. Do we socialize or participate in activities with others who are racially disparate from us? Do we read their books, value their art and music, accept their folkways [if different from ours] have equal expectations of achievement and behavior? Is our doctor or dentist, by chance, a member of a racial group other than ours? Is there complete and absolute equity in our standards of general evaluation of individual achievement?
In the existentially vital process of minimizing the impact and influence of the various [underbelly] insurgent groups and their un-American behavior we, usefully, and with analogous zeal, might objectively examine our inner selves to see if, or where, improvement in healthy and moral egalitarian perception is needed. At such point we can justifiably armed with confirmed good conscience and civic purpose, take responsible action to counter the Nation’s chronically existing cancer of prejudice.