BY PETE PETERSON, CHAIR
Before you can fix the problem, you must first find out what caused the problem. Race problems have existed since biblical times, yet we in America think that we can solve the problem simply by talking about it. Over the years, we have spent enormous amounts of time talking about how we want to talk about the problem.
No one has had the guts to call it like is, or maybe no one wants to admit what the root of the problem is. The problem is simple. We have dehumanized segments of the human race. When you devalue and dehumanize something, you can do anything that you want to that “thing.” It is no longer a human being. All races have members of their race that they have dehumanized. The stratification of a society is normal. As the pig said in Animal Farm, “All of us are equal, but some of us are more equal than others.”
The establishment of a pecking order is normal for human beings. In order for us to harm segments of our population, we must dehumanize them. We put them into categories. Once they are categorized, we dehumanize them. Once they are dehumanized, we can do anything that we want to them because they are no longer human beings. Rather, they are objects and things.
We are all human beings created by God, yet we—all of us to some degree—have decided that we are better than certain segments of the human population. We have decided for whatever reason that we are better human beings than they are. In order for us to justify our warped way of thinking we have used objects, education, lifestyles, money, religion, political party, color, ethnicity, sections of the country that folks live in, and all sorts of ways to categorize human beings. Notice I said “human beings.” How did we arrive at the conclusion that we had the authority to take God’s creation and make it less than what he intended it to be? Calling a human being by anything less than a human being does not give anyone the authority or justification to abuse, kill, or subjugate that human being.
If America truly wants to fix the race problem, we can start by getting rid of all the names that we use to describe human beings other than human beings. When we start looking at human beings as human beings we will treat each other like human beings and the problem will solve itself.
This is a huge task, but we can start by admitting that the premise is correct and treating our fellow human beings as human beings.