Friday, February 28, 2014

Hey remember that post about Racism?

Remember that?  Hmmm?  Yeah I had some libertarian friends of mine comment on Facebook how I was wrong, how I was amping it up, over exaggerating the problem. Actually I do not think I am.  If anything I am understating the problem. 

The fact of the matter is, we are really numb to it.  I experienced extreme levels of it, and now, outside of a few things, I am numb.  Accordingly, I did some digging, as a post made to Facebook mentioned Sharmeka Moffitt, brought up to my attention a few things. First there are an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 hate crimes in the United States every year.  Out of that number the FBI claims around 7,000 are reported and or investigated.  See the problem, we really don't know how many incidences of hate crimes really happen.  People do not report it, and I cannot say as I blame them.

It is a hell you really do not know or understand until you have been there, on the receiving end of it.  I know a few will jump up and say "I saw it," or "I know what it is all about."  But the fact is, you really don't.  I know what racism and bigotry is, I saw it first hand, I experienced it.  But I am in no position to tell someone like +Larry Dillon what its like to see bigotry from the eyes of a gay man.  I cannot tell someone like +Spirit Guide what bigotry is because he is Wiccan.  I cannot tell you what it is like to experience racism from the eyes of someone like Michael Harris, because his experiences a African-American are different than mine as a Jewish man.  Their experience with bigotry and racism is different than my experiences are.  We can we can understand where we are coming from, we can talk about it between ourselves, and we know what the other is talking about, we might even have similar stories about what happened to us, but they are all different.  I could never fully understand their hell, as they can never fully understand mine, but we can all understand the common ground between them.

That brings me to those who fake hate crimes.  I dislike liars.  I dislike people who would become an attention w###e, just to get some attention and use the guise of a hate crime to get it.  I do not know what happened in the case of Sharmeka Moffitt, I just know she reported that members of the kkk attacked her, set her on fire, vandalized her car.  I know that the evidence did not point to that, according to all the sources I have seen, that she was arrested for false reporting and terrorizing.  Outcome of the case is unknown to me. 

But what I do know when someone lies about a hate crime, it lessens our standing when it happens to us.  As Larry sagely pointed out, it is like rape.  The thousands of women (and men) who are raped deserve justice, but when a woman (or man) lies about being raped it takes away credence from the legitimate cases.  See, this is another issue I take with humanity in general.  When we see the negative we focus on it, unless of course we can twist it to suit our own desires.  When I say I have been, and currently am being discriminated against, I am largely ignored, just as Spirit, Larry are, and Michael might be.  However, if we did something to draw attention to it, and it is not exactly as we say it is, one "t" uncrossed, one "i" left without its dot, people turn that into we are lying, and therefore all people who claim hate crimes are lying, or it is an over exaggerated problem.

They forget that things like hate crimes (rape and other crimes) are grossly under-reported.  And people also tend to blame the victim.  In their eyes, Larry could "choose" to be straight, Spirit could "choose" to be Christian, I look white so I could "choose" to be white (Jewish is by blood and religion is appears).  Michael, he just gets the short end of that stick, sorry brother.  But the truth is, Larry, Spirit, and I can no more choose those parts of who we are, because we would be hypocrites.  We would be denying to ourselves who we are.  But racism and bigotry is real, it is here, and until we get over ourselves as a skin color, sexual identity, or religion, things will never change, and these types of crimes will continue to grow, and occur.