Through These Eyes #5: A Call From Arms
It was my first reaction, when I sat down to write this column, to do a sarcastic cheap shot like "Blonds of the World, Revolt!" to reply to a recent call for a racial revolution made by one of my peers. My fingers were just itching to type of the stereotyping done to us blonds, especially the recent string of blonde jokes. I decided against it, as my "tactless satire" would only serve to polarize people on an issue suffering enough from that malady. Not only that, but it would only fan the fires of the revolutionaries' zeal.
A race revolution is a very flawed idea, and it would not be in the best interest of anyone involved. Face it, in a violent revolution there are casualties on both sides. That means blacks, browns, and whites. It is easier when said that way, though--"blacks, browns, and whites." Makes it sound like Xs and Os on a football blackboard. What is left unsaid is that those are people, men and women, parents, children, grandpas, aunts, friends, and lovers dying for a questionable cause. Oh, I forget, it was for THE CAUSE, so that makes it all right.
Would an armed rebellion, in the nature outlined by Alderman McGee, serve to end oppression of blacks everywhere? Would it serve to institutionally change the way that us oppressive whites view and stereotype black people?
The answer to the first question is a hearty NO, worthy of capital letters. An armed revolution is perhaps best for changing the form of government and replacing them with new ones, not for revamping social institutions. Once these new social institutions are in place, how are they going to be enforced? Thought police?
The answer to the second question is an even better one. Guerilla style attacks on the white people of this city, even the nation? Excellent choice of tactics. That way every white person who was afraid that that young black man walking toward him was a criminal and was going to mug him and get all his money will be able to set his mind at ease with the thought that that young black man walking toward him was an enlightened idealist who was going to change the world for the better by pulling a sawed-off shotgun and killing him for liberty. Come to think of it, I think it would lead to an increased stereotyping and fear of African Americans.
Not only that, but isn't it a more gratifying feeling to hate than to fear? Imagine how many white people would get tired of being afraid and take to the streets to shoot black people. There are paramilitary groups of white supremacists who have been training for a race war Armageddon for years. Any way you extrapolate it, that means a lot of people dead and more people hurt.
Although our society is not perfect, a violent uprising on the part of any faction of people who wish to better the common welfare is not the best answer, especially when they oppose an issue like racial discrimination. The best way to combat this sort of flaw in public consciousness is through the use of information, not guns or bombs. It is obviously not the quickest way to a better world, but it is the only certain way to get results. Win the hearts and minds of the people, and there will be no need for a violent outbreak of any sort.
To close, I'd like to close with a quote by a source that might be of a somewhat lower standing in the literary world than has been seen on these pages, but therein lies wisdom nonetheless: "Say you want a revolution/well you know we all want to change the world/You tell me that it's evolution/well you know we all want to change the world/But when you talk about destruction/don't you know that you can count me out...."
Next Column: The Great Mascot Controversy