Monthly Archives: May 2018

Racial Labels and the Royal Wedding

The whole world seemed to be enchanted by the Royal wedding. The marriage of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle took place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2018. The courtship, wedding, and the beginning of their lives together was the stuff of fairy tales.

However, the American media just had to mention, on several occasions, Meghan’s ethnicity. Because her father was Caucasian and her mother was African-American they labeled her “mixed race”. What is this crap, there is only one race that we need to be concerned with; the human race. And, of course, virtually everyone in America, and the UK, are some mixture of various ethnic backgrounds. So what is the reliance of the term “mixed race”? In these times we should be morally and socially evolved enough that no further sub-divisions of the human race are required. The British press being more socially refined, did not mention this frequently like the American press did.

However, this got me to thinking of recent history and another “mixed race” celebrity. The past president of the US, Barack Obama. He, and the press chose to downplay his parentage ( Caucasian mother and African father). He was always referred to, in the press and elsewhere, as America’s first black president. He never got the “mixed race” label applied to him because it would not serve his purposes. Of course this was done because the collective consciences of the American people felt it was time for an African American to be president in order to demonstrate that racism was finally dead in the US. Of course, the very fact that he and the press felt that he needed a label is de-facto proof that racism is not dead.

So, two famous people with similar ethnicity get different labels by the media, depending on what distorted message they are trying to convey. I hate labels and I hate media distortions!

Misguided School Violence Protesters

I am getting increasingly bewildered at the recent wave of protests in the wake of shootings in America’s schools. Why don’t our school age children want to address the real issues in the recent wave of school violence. First the terminology. Why are they calling it “gun violence” and skipping school to protest in the streets. Yes there is violence in our schools; and the level is increasing. If the protesters were really serious they would be protesting “violence”, all violence, instead of trying to deflect the problem onto gun ownership and off the real issues.

Gun ownership by the general public has existed in America continuously since before it was America. However, the increasing violence in schools is a relatively recent phenomenon. So it is not possible to correlate the two.

If we are to believe the news media reports, virtually all the school shooters in recent times were loaners, socially outcast by their peers, even bullied in some cases. There are many factors in todays society that are promoting each generation to become more and more violent. They include the dissolution of the traditional family unit, violence on TV, movies, and in games, increasing peer pressure to conform socially, increasing prevalence of gang activity, increasing availability of narcotics, and and the list goes on. Being a high school student in urban America is a very stressful place and some people simply can not handle the stress; and some resort to violent attacks on their oppressors.

If the school protesters really wanted to curb the rise of school violence, they should first look inward instead of outward. They should work diligently to make their school’s social climate one that includes everyone. They should demand an end to social media shaming of others, bullying in all forms, and ostracizing individuals who they deem as social non-conformists. These are things that they could actually change.

However, it is easier to follow the example of our politicians; if a problem is hard to fix, try and deflect onto something that is easy to change but not necessarily relevant to solving the problem. Sure, skipping school and having a meaningless protest rally is fun, trouble is, it is deflecting from the real issue, and the problem continues.

School protesters please stop misusing the term “gun violence” to describe all violent behavior and make a real effort to create a more humane social climate for all students. This would do more to curb school violence that any day of skipping school could do.