Race or Gender Shouldn't Be An Issue

Peeve Week - A woman crossing her arms looking very irritated

I recently watched a Disney film called Glory Road. The movie is about a basketball team (Texas Western) in 1966 that is one of the few teams in the south to have a lot of black people on the team. The team made history when it was the first to play only black players throughout an entire game. During the same game, the team won the NCAA national championship, which also made history. Back then, it was a big deal to have an all-black starting line-up. People considered blacks not intelligent enough to function with the pressures of an NCAA championship. Don Haskins, the couch of the Texas Western team, wanted to prove the nay-sayers wrong; and he did. Back during the height of racism in the U.S., people of color needed to prove themselves to their white counterparts. They had to prove that they could drink out of the same fountain, ride in the front of the bus, vote, own a business, play in professional sports, and run for elected office. I feel that the time of having to "prove" one's race or gender has passed. Racism is no longer systematic. In other words, the foundation has been ripped out of our country. In order to fully eliminate systematic racism, our country needs to rid itself of the acknowledgment of race or gender holistically. Within this article, I will go over some of the peeves I have regarding race and gender. Continue Reading...

Peeve Week - A woman crossing her arms looking very irritated

I recently watched a Disney film called Glory Road. The movie is about a basketball team (Texas Western) in 1966 that is one of the few teams in the south to have a lot of black people on the team. The team made history when it was the first to play only black players throughout an entire game. During the same game, the team won the NCAA national championship, which also made history. Back then, it was a big deal to have an all-black starting line-up. People considered blacks not intelligent enough to function with the pressures of an NCAA championship. Don Haskins, the couch of the Texas Western team, wanted to prove the nay-sayers wrong; and he did.

Back during the height of racism in the U.S., people of color needed to prove themselves to their white counterparts. They had to prove that they could drink out of the same fountain, ride in the front of the bus, vote, own a business, play in professional sports, and run for elected office. I feel that the time of having to “prove” one’s race or gender has passed. Racism is no longer systematic. In other words, the foundation has been ripped out of our country. In order to fully eliminate systematic racism, our country needs to rid itself of the acknowledgment of race or gender holistically. Within this article, I will go over some of the peeves I have regarding race and gender.

“Insert Your Race Here” History Month

Ideally speaking, we shouldn’t need a month to remember or glorify what a particular race has done. It’s a great way to remember the past, but the “race” should be let go in this case.

Take Black History Month, for example. By putting “black” in front of Black History Month, an entire race is grouped according to a person’s color. All other races that are not of that color are excluded. One of the reasons Black History Month was started in February was because Carter G. Woodson wanted to mark two great influences of the black American population — Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.

Black History Month shouldn’t be an issue anymore. In fact, any month that seeks to group a race together should be eliminated.

The First Person of a Race and/or Gender…

Did you know that the person who invented the first Farmers’ Almanac was black? Did you know that Ellen Ochoa was the first Hispanic female astronaut? Did you also know that the popular game of Lacrosse was invented by Native Americans?

Who cares if a person of a certain race or gender invented something or was the first to do something? The simple fact is, that person did something and their race or gender shouldn’t overshadow the accomplishment. There was a time when a person of a certain race did something, it was a big deal. Seeing Denzel Washington when his Oscar should have been about how a great actor finally won. Instead, it turned out to be a, “Denzel has paved the way for other men of color to win Oscars.” When Halle Barry won her Oscar, it was the same thing. Why was race important? Why couldn’t the focus have been on each of the actor’s talent?

Racial Bias

A year ago I entered into a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest. My secretary at work jokingly said, “You’re not going to win. You’re white.”

I corrected her and jokingly replied, “No. I’m white and Hispanic. So I have a chance.”

I won second place. Now was it because I had a Hispanic last name? No. I learned that this year, all the winners of the 2007 contest were white.

So do certain races have a leg up on other races? Does a Mexican-American stand a better chance of landing a job than a White-American? I say, eliminate the stupid questions on an application that ask what a person’s race is. It’s irrelevant. All the “race question” is doing is to give the people at some higher office a reason to say, “You need to hire two more of this race.”

Nobody should care what race a person is, especially on a paper. Quotas should be eliminated. Special privileges should be eliminated. If people want to be treated like everyone else, then they should be treated like everyone else.

Gender Bias

A heard a rather crude quote once that said, “Women always say they want to be treated like men. That’s completely false. Women want the same pay as men, but to be treated like a woman.”

Has anybody ever heard of pay-for-performance? Gender should also be eliminated from the employment forms.

Conclusion

I have laid out my peeves regarding race or gender. I understand that most of the solutions to my peeves are unrealistic and are unlikely to happen. But I can dream, can’t I?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream once also. I bet he would have agreed with me that race or gender shouldn’t be an issue.

4 thoughts on “Race or Gender Shouldn't Be An Issue”

  1. Very good points Ronald! I like your first point about celebrating a specific heritage only during that month. It's like birthdays of leaders, or famous elderly people who die: when they are alive, no one talks about them. But when they die or their birthday comes, everyone starts respecting them.

    Excellent point about "The first person" also. I mentioned long time ago on my site about people getting an Oscar and I compared Russell Crowe with Denzel Washington; how the announcer said "His first Oscar" for Russell while saying for Denzel "The first African American to get an Oscar", as if he was not an individual and could only be defined by his biological traits. You explain it well. Talent should be the element that must be noticed, not biological traits which are out of one's control.

    I also agree with you about the "race" question. I never understood why that was important. If I am buying car insurance, why do I need to mention my background culture? What does ethnicity have to do with buying homes, getting bank accounts and getting treated at a hospital? All these things are for tracking the number of people from each heritage that are out there. The presence of these "ethnic" questions on so many application forms for so many things in everyday life somehow results in many people thinking that there is some truth to the fact that not everyone is the same. Also, regarding gender, that's a nice quote. Gender should definitely be eliminated from all the forms. If someone wants to mention their gender they can put it in somewhere themselves to get extra benefit: like if they were pregnant and were applying for a new job and wanted to get some time off during pregnancy.

    Very well written post! I like your use of images in your posts. Thanks for sharing. I will have to work harder next time to write something as clear and good as this. 🙂

  2. What tends to bother me are quotas. For some reason, schools and workplaces mustly exactly reflect the ethnic/racial make-up of the surrounding area, or maybe of the US as a whole. I am reminded of an article I read (couldn’t dig it up again) about a young girl from India who was Microsoft certified and got to go to Redmond and meet Mr. Gates. She asked him why his workforce wasn’t half female? It strikes me as odd that a workforce should be half female since half of the world (rough estimate) is female.

    I’m for letting free-market competition determine who gets the jobs. Too bad there will always be people around to spoil the process.

    cetroyer

  3. I’m all for an Endangered-Species Act for words in the English Language. Under my plan, words would be identified that, although they are not yet extinct, are in grave danger of losing their functionality and definition. First up would be “equality,” because with very few exceptions, everyone who claims to want it, wants the exact opposite of it. Your ideas would be adopted, post-haste, if equality really meant what it was supposed to mean, when people throw it around…but it doesn’t mean that anymore.

    The second would be “dialog(ue).” I’m looking at a certain Senator from Illinois who is running for President…although he is by no means the only offender. Again, whenever someone calls for having one, what they really want is the exact opposite. The back-and-forth communication that takes place in a real dialog is very different from what they have in mind.

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