Monday, December 1, 2014

Tolerance

I don't know if I should write anything about this, actually I definitely shouldn't. I'm a white middle-class American, I may not have ever won the Powerball but I definitely won the genetic and origin lottery. When you grow up in a white middle-class suburb it's almost impossible to imagine people aren't privileged in the same way you are. Alll of your friends are from a similar upbringing, all of their parents live little cookie cutter lives, and it's easy to get lost in the safety and simplicity of suburbia. That being said once you've moved or experienced something outside this existence it's easy to see that you are in fact in the great minority. 

Now I truly believe America is the land of opportunity and no matter where you are born or what circumstances you are born into you can make it out and be a success. It's just a lot, LOT harder for some people than others. We've come along way in the last 50-60 years and we like to think of ourselves as extremely tolerant and understanding now, but the truth is not too many generations ago the world was a very different place. And while technology and inter connectivity have expanded our lives and our understanding and appreciation of different cultures and people, it's impossible for people to change over night. We still live in a world filled with racial intolerance, and hatred towards those we may deem immoral in their practices, and this goes both ways. Black people can have just as many prejudices as whites, who can have just as many as latinos, but we're starting to move away from it. The key with evolution is passing along traits, birds didn't evolve into flight from one ancestor to another, it took years and generation upon generation of mutations passed down. That's what we need to continue to do with our youth and continue to instill in ourselves and maybe someday we can truly live in a world without preconceived notions and ideals. (hopefully the world will not be destroyed of all natural resources by then). 

I read something interesting today, and it's basically what spawned this desire to write something outside of my normal travel blog. Chris Rock recently did an interview in which he stated that Black People aren't now accomplishing more, White people are simply nicer now. It's a pretty dramatic statement but not to far from the truth. Basically what he was getting at was in our society, in White American Society, whites have held all the cards and controlled the playing field for, while, forever. He was saying that many who see having a Black President as a huge step forward for Black Americans are missing the point. He's saying we`re finally letting them have a President. There were plenty of qualified Black political leaders in the last 100 years (Colin Powells almost campaign comes to mind), but from Rock's perspective it wasn't that they weren't qualified to hold the position, it's that those who were, and are in control, wouldn't let them. It's a double edged sword, it's not exactly a total shot at White Americans but it's definitely not a compliment. But in this interview I can see the silver lining, and I think because I was born with the priviledge, and skin color that Mr. Rock was not, I think I can say certain things he might not be able to get away with. Basically we are on the cusp of crossing a momumental boundary. There was a lot of things wrong with the baby boomers, and Gen-X, and by no means are we "Millenials" any better, but what we are, is progressive. Some people take that as a negative stereotype, "those kids don't care about anything", but really it means we've become open to more. We didn't live the hard knock life of the depressions, and World Wars, and Vietnam, and we've had time to dwell on things that aren't a focus when life is in turmoil, and society is challenged. 

That's why our generation is worried about Global Warming, and animal cruelty, and probably even part of the reason we like terrible, crappy, CRAPPY music. But overall it's a good thing, it's given us time to care about those less fortunate than us, to believe in something other than religion, and patriotism (cornerstones of a country in war, or economic distress), it's given us time to care about people. More and more of my friends have slowly moved away from organized religion and pre-selected notions we were taught as children, not because the pride comes before the fall, but rather because without troubles in our lives to worry us we've had time to puzzle other deeper questions. We've examined what is inherently right and wrong, and we've come to the conclusion that people, shouldn't be judged because they're different, because they're gay, or poor, or black, or brown, or purple. This age of technological freedom has opened the doors for discussions that in the past would be pushed behind closed doors. You  can now reach the world with the click of an "Enter" key, and for all the negatives placed upon my generation, the one thing they can't argue with is we've created a voice. I just hope we continue to use it for the good and betterment of the world we live in, as we have children of our own, and pass down our beliefs and ideals we will see the departure of the previous generations. Those who were close-minded who came before us, and created this world that Mr. Rock was referring too, soon enough they will be gone. It will be up to us to continue to carry that torch in the right direction, so someday it won't be an issue of "white people being nicer now", that will simply be the way society is. Or not, we could definitely fuck this whole thing up to... but here's hoping, fingers crossed!

















1 comment:

  1. Keep up the good work old friend

    Gilmore
    Eta Psi 293

    ReplyDelete