Racism: America's BIGGEST denial
There are two baby boys born at the same instant and in the same hospital. Their families live in the same neighborhood, so they grow up in the same environment and attend the same school when they are old enough to start. In fact, these boys attend the same grammar, middle and high schools and they took the same college prep curriculum and graduated high school with the exact GPA. As fate would have it, they attend the same college, take the same courses and graduate with the same degree and identical GPA’s. Now these accomplished young men are ready to join the work force and once again as fate would have it, they wind up applying for the same job and there’s only one position available. We have reached the moment of truth in the lives of these two young men who virtually have been joined at the hip since birth. Now … YOU are the hiring manager and you have decided that you’re going to hire one of these young men for the position you have open. EVERYTHING about these candidates is equal from the environment they were raised in and their academic careers and YOU, the hiring manager, have a difficult choice to make. How do you choose between candidates of identical potential? There is ONE difference between the candidates, though. One is black and the other is white.
If you hesitated at all when deciding which one to hire, your hesitation is the PROBLEM. YOU, the hiring manager, will hire the candidate that YOU feel you’re going to be most comfortable with … that you can “relate” to. That is going to be the candidate who looks like YOU. That’s okay. The problem is that most people would act is if it would be an agonizing decision when it wouldn’t be. That is DENIAL. Racism is America’s BIGGEST denial. (A friend of mine says DENIAL is a RIVER in Egypt) We don’t spend enough time talking about it OPENLY and HONESTLY and until we do, America will continue to stagnate. We are a country of diversity and we need to come to the realization that in order for America to prosper once again, our policies toward education, housing and employment, to name the main components, NEED to be inclusive and considerate of ALL.
To be clear, the race of the two job candidates can be interchangeable. Racism is not RACE specific. Racism exists within ALL of us. When I started “The Riggins Report”, my first post referred to the one of my favorite movies of all time, “Crash”. In that movie, the racial insensitivity of all of those characters was on display. EVERY character in that movie had issues of race and worse, they each had issues of MISUNDERSTANDING. That is the same problem we have in America. Unfortunately, in the current political climate, when you talk about anything for the benefit of all, that is labeled socialism. What’s funny is if you asked many of the people who use that term what socialism is, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. That is telling in itself. They are only repeating talking points they’ve been introduced to by their favorite conservative talking head(s). How else can it be explained that the nation’s first black president can be labeled a racist, socialist, a Kenyan and have his position as President of the United States openly disrespected by a members of Congress and members of conservative media outlets?
We need a serious and adult conversation about race relations in America. Without such a conversation, we’re going to continue to flounder. It won’t be unemployment, a tremendous budget deficit or a disastrous housing market that will destroy America. It will be RACISM, pure and simple. How many of you are REALLY ready to have the conversation?
By the way, which of the job candidates would YOU hire?