Are you a victim? Have you been judged worthless by someone based on your skin color, religion, gender, sexual preference, height, eye color, shoe size, haircut, or fashion sense? I’m sorry to hear that. That’s tough, and it sucks, but let me let you in on a little secret-discrimination is everywhere.
You see, there are two problems with our society I’d like to address here. One is discrimination. The other is personal responsibility.
Discrimination is bad for everyone. It limits the opportunities of those who are discriminated against without so much as considering the individual capabilities of the person. It limits the opportunities of the person discriminating against someone to have access to another individual and their input, when that individual may be the best humanity has to offer to help them in life or business or whatever, simply because of some unrelated factor.
It’s sort of like saying,”I don’t like books. Somebody wrote a book that was boring and a waste of someone else’s time, so I’m never going to read a book because there are no good books and I am not going to waste my time on them.” If you agree that this is a good way to think… I have no idea where to go from there with you. I suspect, however, that you don’t think this is a good and logical way to think, and in that case, read on.
Now, let’s consider personal responsibility. We live in a country that is defined as “The land of the free”. Freedom, at it’s ultimate core, is the ability to make a choice. The followers of Caligula, Nero, Hitler, Pol Pot, every one of them chose to follow that person. Everyone who commits a murder makes the choice to do so, just as everyone who adopts a child with special needs makes the choice to do so. Choices are what define us, and show our character to the world.
Personal responsibility is the simple concept of “owning” your choice. You made the choice. There was a consequence. You accept the consequence because you made that choice. Simple.
Now-as to why I don’t feel sorry for minorities.
In our country, what is supposed to happen, if you face discrimination, is that you make the choice whether or not to lie down and be a victim or stand up and fight it. Susan B. Anthony made a choice. Rosa Parks made a choice. It’s a choice.
Today, we don’t face the same things that Susan B. Anthony or Rosa Parks faced. The last “Jim Crow” law faded into antiquity when they were declared unconstitutional in 1967. I was born in 1977. I have never owned a slave, nor did my father or his father. I choose to assume every individual I meet is a decent human being until they show otherwise. That is my choice.
Minorities do face discrimination. It happens. I have faced discrimination. It happens. People make bad choices and decide that they should judge a person based on something besides the person’s shown actions and learning something about the person.
This is where freedom and personal responsibility come into play. Anyone who faces discrimination has a choice, at this point. You can lie down and give up, accepting the idea that you are a victim of circumstance and that you have no real control of your life, or you can take the experience and let it become a drive. A drive to become more, to show that you are far better than the image that has been thrust upon you by some incompetent, unthinking individual.
Anyone(including minorities) has legal recourse if they face discrimination. If you face discrimination, you go to court. If you are smart, and do what you need to do to get evidence to support your claim, then you will get compensated. It’s the perfect revenge, forcing the company at fault to now pay you for no return whatsoever. It doesn’t stop there, though. The individual who wins or loses such a suit has the opportunity to go on, to try again, to refuse to serve up some discrimination of their own, and go to another individual or company and shine as an example of how the discriminators are “missing out” on an opportunity to have had such a person on their side.
This is where the government, the media, and all those out here with good intentions pave the road with obstacles. Someone, somewhere, decided that it was ok to choose to be a victim. That victims should lie down and be taken care of, and basically give up trying to compete in a harsh world. This madness is pushed upon us constantly by the government, media, and even by those who claim to be “staunch supporters” of minorities.
You have the freedom to lie down and give up and submit to this persona of being a “victim”. If you choose to do this, then so be it. You should realize, though, that you are trampling on your own freedom by making this choice.
You also have the freedom to turn right around and take a college course, to get a new job, to do whatever it takes to show that you are not defeated. Everyone that lies down in this pose of “woe is me, I am a victim” encourages discrimination, because those who have discriminated against you have won. It may cost them some money or prestige, but they have won because now they can point at you and call you a part of the stereotype and to look at how you gave up and lay down. That it was all a ploy to avoid having to contribute to society.
No, it may not be true, and your motivations for giving up are approved of by many in our culture, but that doesn’t matter a bit. You just became a part of the problem.
I don’t feel sorry for minorities. I don’t feel sorry for people who choose to lie down and give up their hopes and dreams because life was ‘hard’. Life is hard. Everyone faces some kind of adversity, some from the world, and some from within themselves. It is freedom that not only allows, but encourages us to overcome the adversity we face. It allows us to be tempered by it, into something stronger, sharper, better than we would have been without it.
People who face discrimination: Make the choice to stand up and show how awesome you are. Make the choice to defy being a victim. I don’t want to be “sorry for you”, I want to envy you. Make me envy your courage, your strength, your resolve to overcome.
Be the person, the individual, that outshines every stereotype. If you do this, you will have overcome, and will be put forth as an example of why discrimination is madness and pointless. If you do your part, maybe, just maybe, our kids and grandkids can groan over the history lesson about how stupid people were to discriminate in the first place.