It’s more about class, than race

CWSheadshotCraig Woolmington-Smith,
Orinda, CA.

I was raised in a military family where discrimination was everywhere and a highly respected way of life, but the discrimination was based on one’s rank and nothing else. This was true up and down the ladder from Privates to Generals and was my first introduction to meritocracy, although we didn’t use that word back then. Based on my 61 years of experience living in every part of the Country, all people, in all cultures, everywhere on the planet naturally segregate themselves from other people (consciously & unconsciously) based on a very long and unarticulated list of factors, like age, race, religion, culture, education, occupation,sexual orientation, culture financial status, etc., In fact I’ve wanted to set up an organization called the “Discrimination Foundation” which would hopefully would assemble a comprehensive list of all the things that humans use to judge others and to set themselves above than those pesky “others”. “We” are always better than “them” and seem to spend our life gathering evidence of that in case it’s ever needed. All said, it seems to me that it all boil down to our perception of “class” for lack of a better word. It’s one of our many character flaws or “Sins” as named by the church. I spent my entire lifetime working, saving and investing in a desperate attempt to create a better life for me and my family. For right or wrong, that means segregating us from all of those things that posed a threat to us. Unfortunately many of those we fear the most, have black faces. We see them every night on the news and every morning in the paper. I know in my heart that the small percentage that are causing all the problems are not representative of the whole, but as the father of the house, who is doing my best to keep everyone safe, secure, happy and productive I put as much distance as possible between us and them, and unfortunately “they” are most likely to be poor, uneducated, criminal, uncivilized and too dangerous to be anywhere around. The poor children who are born into this terrible situation. It’s not their fault, but neither is it the fault of the rest of the civilized world who is desperate to keep their distance, just in a desperate attempt to feel safe. We all lose out, but unfortunately that seems to be part of the human condition. Whether it’s Black or White, Rich or Poor, Sunni or Shia.


Tweets by Michele Norris