Life may never be fair, but we can do our best to make our society that way.
Society has evolved. To deny that is to deny the history that has brought us to our current place. We have made slavery unacceptable. Women have been granted the right to vote. The number of people who admit to an affiliation with a specific religion has declined. A black man is our sitting president. As our civilization has evolved, so too have the things which we find to be wrong. Normal two decades ago is no longer normal now.
We have learned through deeper understanding of our culture, through studies and by simply opening our minds that some practices are wrong. The motive doesn’t matter. The root of the problem is the perception. Growing up, my mom used to say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Just because we mean well doesn’t mean we are doing the right thing. Sometimes it’s better to just ask.
With that in mind, I awoke this morning to find the following on my Facebook news feed:
Apparently I’ve been living in a cave because I just found out tonight that Bellefonte is in the process of changing the name of the Red Raiders to the Dream Catchers because the Red Raiders is apparently offensive to the Indians. I can’t even put into words my level of irritation hearing this. I honestly felt this kind of crap wouldn’t reach this area. For all of you politically correct IDIOTS that truly feel that something like this is really offensive to the Indians, it’s time for you to pack your bags and move to a third world country. People like you are turning this once great country into an insane asylum. Shut your mouths and seriously go away. Before you do, consider this, that when the name Red Raiders was picked God knows how long ago that it was to honor the Indians not offend them. All of this is getting way out of hand!!! Get a grip and go away!!!!!! (I will not call the person out in public, so this quote will remain anonymous.)
For a few minutes I thought to myself, “Maybe he has a point. Perhaps we have taken it too far.” I mulled it over for a few minutes and tried to look at the logic from another point of view. If Native Americans find the name offensive, why should we be offended perspective? What is so wrong about looking at the world through the eyes of another?
Let’s put it another way. What if we’d called them the “Big Nosed Kikes” or “Illegal Wetbacks” or the “Moronic Rednecks”. Even if we’d meant to “honor them” when we chose the names, times change. We’d all agree those names were offensive and inappropriate whether they’d been used for days or centuries. We, the white people in power of this great nation have a history of missing the point. We are missing the point of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We screwed the pooch on the Civil Rights Movement. Now we’re missing the point of the politically correct movement.
We intentionally slaughtered Native Americans by the millions. We stole their land. We forced them into reservations far from their homelands. We broke promises, raped, pillaged, ridiculed and disenfranchised them. We are in no position to dictate to them what they find offensive. Believing otherwise is to forsake the subjugation and suffering they have endured at the hands of those in power.
The bigger issue here is power, not an over reach of the politically correct movement that has gained steam in recent years. The traditional power structure of our nation and indeed our world is changing. White men still dominate, but the foundation of our rule has begun to erode. The powerless have been given the tiniest fraction of power and they understandably want more. They want their share. They want a voice. They want to be heard. Who are we to take that away?
As we lose our stranglehold on the power in our world, many will fight it. They’ll long for the status quo. They’ll lament the “good old days.” They’ll get defensive and resort to ad hominem attacks. They’ll defend the indefensible. Me? Bring it on. I’ll stand with the powerless. Call me names. Tell me to leave. It only strengthens my resolve to help make the world a little more fair. Will you stand on the right side of history or will you continue to promote an unfair world? Life may never be fair, but we can do our best to make our society that way.
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