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Racism - Just Don't Play

blue knotted tug of war rope in mud, a thought for the day, racism - just don't play - S Chavez

Tug of War is one of the most popular lawn games played worldwide. Two teams pitted against each other in a test of strength, pull on opposite ends of a rope with the goal being to bring the rope a certain distance in one direction against the force of the opposing team's pull. There are many reasons as to why it's demanded at picnics, but a few commonly accepted reasons are that it gives some people the opportunity to show off their large muscles while others draw attention to themselves by making loud noises or showboating. However, many other players never really wanted to play at all, but joined because somebody forcefully coerced them, and so they picked up the rope because was the thing to do just to fit in. The tug of war contest usually starts out friendly, but the longer it continues, the more invested each side becomes, fighting for their side harder and harder. However, in the end, win or lose, most people go back to their friends and families a little embarrassed that they got involved in the silliness at all.

To these eyes, this is racism in America today.

Most people couldn’t care less one way or the other about the color of a person's skin, but someone early in life instructed them that they should distrust or hate a person because their skin color and now they do. In spite of the fact that there's absolutely no real reason for it, eventually these people begin to believe righteous to feel this way. However, when someone makes them literally look in the eyes at the object of their blind hate, oftentimes they will be a little chagrined over their actions because it goes against every other moral upbringing they've had in their lives.

Most of the world's other civilized countries solved this push and pull struggle of colors centuries ago. They came to realize that it's not what a person looks like from the outside in, but rather what they do from the inside out. The rest is just mere aesthetics. The value of person has in this world comes not from the melanin, but the heart, soul, and brain. They look at the American people and shake their heads in confusion and pity. So much energy and time wasted pulling ourselves apart that could be used to make our society even greater.

When someone on one side decides to act in a prejudiced or racist manner, it invariably causes the other side to react to one degree or another, forcing the contest to continue on. People's pride come to the forefront and they start fighting harder and harder, refusing to give up, becoming more and more convinced that their side must win the struggle. In their blindness, they forget they share many core beliefs. They forget that these are people just like themselves with families, children, jobs, and responsibilities just like themselves. They have many of the same basic foods in the refrigerators and when they get hurt, they go to the same hospitals. And when they die, they are often buried in the same cemeteries.

So in the end, the question still remains: how do we end this seemingly endless tug of war we call racism in future generations? In this writer's opinion, I say we should teach our children to simply not pick up the rope.

- S Chavez


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