RACISM AMERICA'S ACHILLES HEEL (Part 1)
The Backstory's Backdrop (Part 1 of 3)
Dr. Paula Price
Stating the Case
This article focuses on our nation’s most primal faction. The principal shatterer of our nation’s unity came into existence with our constitution. That faction is racism, the equivalent of our Achilles heel is intrinsic to our identity. It made us vulnerable to whoever responds to the outcry of our ignored and neglected groups beside us. Among the numerous elaborate schemes and tactics devised to dismember the United States, racism serves as the most unfailing weapon. And it is futile to claim it does not exist because, here we are, battling demolition plots that propagated our inherent bias to dismember us. Failing to purge it from our foundation costs us greatly. Also, continually denying its existence passed it from generation to generation. Racism, the root of bias, became our nation's undoing, and perhaps the blow that brought us to our knees. Its entrenchment mushrooms today to expose its threat to our destiny. In the process, discrediting the magnitude of righteous stances America took over the centuries. That discredit bred the contempt motivated outsiders to conclude we should no longer be a nation. Racism’s victims turned to enemy nations for what their country withheld from them. Indifference to their mistreatment by the institutions that made us great, forced them to reach beyond our borders for compassion and acceptance.
What is Racism?
But what is racism really? As the suffix -ism suggests, racism is a divider that relegates the lower stratum to the top. Why was it enabled for so long in our history? Mainly because racism inserted itself when our nation was constituted. Coursing through the veins that bore us, racism subtly engraved and fractured our populations by ethnicity, mostly color. What made it so appealing to our foreparents and how does it continually pass onto to our descendants? The appeal was insulation, what the intolerant used it to remain unaffected and unresponsive to the perceived undesirables. Inheritance propelled bias. Accumulated possessions and wealth were bequeathed to family members to secure prosperity. Accompanying power and prestige strengthened the practices that kept the top above and the bottom beneath them.
In the spirit of the old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words," the image to the right portrays it best. It is map shaped to stress the point, not to suggest territorial bias. As you look over its terms, consider this. Racism, oddly enough, has no color or cultural bias of its own. It is neutral, an unbiased bias expressed through people. The word cloud’s terminology map can apply to anything preferred over something else. This distinction may prove helpful in healing our land and curing its cultivated biases. .
Bias enters the picture when a preferred object becomes choosers’ rejection. What happens after or as a result of the choosing determines the treatment and fate of the rejected. Still, a power group seeking to shatter unity for its stratagems will find a nation’s bias indispensable. To harness the land’s flaws, it draws on its seethers’ resentment. Tapping into their real or perceived injustices, it surreptitiously instigates civilian unrest to provoke riotous outbreaks. Suppressed anger is stoked with criticism and blame to goad unhappy citizens into destroying their land. Apart from a propagative goal, words like bias are nothing more than communicators of choice or preference. They are not utilities destined to affect anything except what their users’ choose or reject. The bias tree’s content can apply to whatever a person declines to select what best fits their purposes. Words then, are innocent victims of the human will and ulterior motives.
Words' are Innocent Instruments
Words in themselves are innocent. They need combination and composition to make them robust; here is why. As with every other idea brought to life, or word meant to become flesh, words must have bodies to visualize themselves. For these two reasons, terms are generic: they are nonspecific in themselves. Spoken words serve objectives and agendas and can be skewed to their users' advantage. Terminology does both good and evil, depending on its composition and the predetermined intent of its users. Take the word bias, racism's actionizer. It can apply to numerous positive and negative purposes in many ways. As shown in its tree below, it takes human convictions and actions to be either. A bias can save a creator or builder from costly imbalance or inconsistency or slant something too upright to a more favorable direction. A case example of the words' duality, as well as that of all terminology, is the word constitution. Fundamentally, all of them originate as flesh and become literature or print to express themselves to the same kind of people that create them.
To illustrate our point, let's take a moment to examine the word constitution because ours hangs in the balance this November. To ensure we all know what the term means, its etymology is examined. The images attached aim to minimize the common practice of slinging the word around so often that its hearers become convinced they know what it means and how it pertains to them. Looking at the pair of word clouds below will acquaint (or reacquaint) you with the constitution's generic meanings as it was employed to form our nation. Before its literariness, the word constitution in the 15th century referred to "the physical health, strength, and vigor of the body, including the mind, "temperament, and character."
Future discussions will expand this further for you. But, for now, these meanings are to enrich your perceptions and hopefully strengthen your convictions on the elegant document that constitutes the United States of America. So, do we agree on what we mean when we say constitution? Is there a way to create a consensus on what it should mean to voters?
Study the word clouds guided by what you just learned about constitutions. Ask yourself as you read them if what they say is what you have in mind about the word constitution in general and the United States Constitution in particular.
To Be Continued...
Footnotes: [From] mid-14c., constitucioun, "law, regulation, edict; body of rules, customs, or laws," from Old French constitucion (12c.) "constitution, establishment," and directly from Latin constitutionem (nominative constitutio) "act of settling, settled condition, anything arranged or settled upon, regulation, order, ordinance," noun of state from past-participle stem of constit. Etymology Online Dictionary.