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  • inequal

    I haven't been able to blog much lately (though I have been writing down subjects I want to address), I thought I'd share an excerpt from an essay I just finished on racial inequality. This only broaches how I feel about the subject to a tiny degree, but I thought I would share.

    Soon, finals will be OVER, and perhaps this summer I can catch up on blogs; or hey, who knows? Maybe I'll ACTUALLY work on my novel. Hmm...

    "Present day America truly is a melting pot of culture, which could and should make it one of the most amazing places to experience on Earth, but old prejudices die hard. We are a country of many proud and selfish individuals, which makes any changes harder to come by, even if we think things have changed. Because of pride and vanity, most people aren’t truly aware of what the world is like around them, or even how they themselves are. Judgment and self-image cloud and mask a lot of the bad (and good) things going on. Unfortunately oppression has branched out to a lot of different areas; social class, religion, race, gender, etc. It is going to be difficult to change, especially when we’re as socially hard of hearing as folks were decades ago. We think, “how could people be so blind, how could they not see blacks as people?!” but stepping back and looking at the big picture shows that not a lot has changed; some aspects have become more subtle, but markedly worse.

    In regard to my role in the present and persistent battle of inequality, racial or not, it seems that the only thing I can do is change myself, which will hopefully inspire others to change themselves. First one has to learn the value of a person, and then realize everyone, be it African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Chinese, Indian, Jew, Christian, Muslim, male, female, fat, skinny, mentally disabled, physically incapacitated, or so many more, everyone IS a person and therefore they have value. Just as much as you or anyone you know. It takes a long time to learn that, but when we do, we are only better for it.

    Personally something I would like to do is use my Anthropology, Creative Writing and Religious Studies training to really dig into research for many different cultures, and I'd like to portray them through some sort of creative fiction or non-fiction. Reading from the perspective of someone in a very different culture can honestly be mind-blowing, especially if the reader hasn't thought much about it before. If I write well enough, or it catches just the right amount of attention to leave a dent in inequality's armor, I'll feel like I've succeeded.

    Culture itself is only misunderstood. We, as part of human nature, eschew the things we know little about; we run away from or ignore or make fun of things we don't feel we comprehend. That insecurity makes it extraordinarily difficult to change our behaviors and attitudes. That's why reading is an effective tool. It's not a confrontation, no one is watching or expecting anything from you, since it's just a bunch a words on a page (they don't bite...well, physically, anyway); someone can take as much time as they need to understand something."

    [photo credit: http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/inequality-a-collection-of-images/]