Given the attempts by many on the left to discredit opponents of Obamacare by tarring them as racists, it does seem so many people are so fixated on race that they assume anyone objecting to the policies of a black politician must needs be racist. And yet, as America moves away from the ugly legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, more and more of us have come to share the vision of Dr. King’s great dream that we be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.
Still, however, all too many remain fixated not just on the color of our skin, but on any identifying characteristic which separates us from the “norm.” And perhaps because that characteristic put us in a disfavored class, we reply by becoming proud of our difference.
With gay people, the pride replaces the shame previous generations thoughts about our difference. Perhaps, had I come of age a decade or so before I did, I might feel proud to be gay, but I don’t. I’m not ashamed of it. It’s just part of who I am. One characteristic among many.
I got to thinking about this notion again when I was reading Tom Maguire’s commentary on the hullabaloo over a recent Rush Limbaugh parody (inspired by a Newsweek article on race). He offers an excerpt from the piece:
That leads to the question that everyone wonders but rarely dares to ask. If “black pride” is good for African-American children, where does that leave white children? It’s horrifying to imagine kids being “proud to be white.”
So, I wondered why we still dwell on such notions of ethnic pride. It is a good thing to be aware of our heritage and the traditions and accomplishments of our forebears and peers. But, sometimes it seems the notion of pride causes us to dwell on the identity of which we are proud and make it the very focus of our being.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Young Padawan offers: “It’s interesting the idea that once what separated people was the shame of being different but now it’s changed to the pride of being different.”