Home » Society » Impossible conversations about race & victimhood

Impossible conversations about race & victimhood

victimhoodThe problem with most race conversations is that, at the core, the message is wrong. It’s the same wrong message that we preach as a society to everyone who feels they’ve gotten a raw deal in life. 
 
We are encouraged to believe (meaning demanded to believe) that the real and true problem with any struggling community or person is external… it’s in social trappings rather than choices, morals, inclinations, behavior, cultural values etc, …rather than within the human heart and its intrinsic selfishness.
 
Many refuse to hear anything other than that they are victims of failed systems or failed families even though the hard reality is that they are ultimately victims of their own choices in the face of imperfect systems and circumstances… and circumstances and systems are always imperfect. It’s not us, it’s everyone else; it’s the color of our skin; it’s our gender, etc. 
No society can sustain itself when a high enough percentage of its members believe that their victimization (real or imagined) is an excuse to do as they please without regard for how their actions impact those around them… without regard to law and order. 
While we need to confront injustice wherever we find it, we must never suggest that the key to solving the world’s problems is getting our institutions right… for the problem lies within the human heart and always will… everything else is a chaoskampf [1] rife with trade-offs, incentives (good AND perverse), and temporary amelioration of human evil—There are no solutions. Those who scream for “solutions” are fools. Those who promise “solutions” are liars.
 
Many groups over the centuries in America have found themselves struggling at the lower rungs of society and most have climbed up those rungs through specific changes and better processes in how they engage the world around them… adaptation to society, cultivation of entrepreneurial values and pursuits, work ethic, sacrifice, sucking it up and moving on, accepting the core realities of human interaction and nature and choosing the most beneficial paths forward. Necessity is the mother of invention… but it is also the step-mother of cultural and personal adaptation.
 
Our emotionalization of law and government, leading to psychologically destructive entitlement programs, however, have fostered the notion that people shouldn’t have to change their ways to survive, that people are owed a living just because they exist, that people shouldn’t be held accountable for their choices if they’ve had it rough at some point in their personal or communal history, that the government’s primary job is to make sure that everyone comes out equal in the end regardless of input, talent, effort, investment, labor, personal choices, gender inclinations, etc. Basically, “Make everything equal in the end, Uncle Sam, no matter where we started or what we’ve done with what we have.”  
 
Here are the hard facts… actions beget reactions and those who refuse to govern themselves beg for others to come in to govern them… and the rebellious always hate and resent those whose job it is to reign them in… the unruly always feels like victims of the system in the face of authoritative restraint… in the face of natural consequences for choices made, as well. 
 
I’ll be told that I just don’t understand…. that I just don’t know what it’s like to (fill in the blank)… that I just don’t know what it’s like to be (fill in the blank) in (fill in the blank). My parents were this, my uncle did that, I lost my whatever, my neighbors were blah, my school was blah blah blah, my dog, my disability, my race, my culture, my gender, my friends, my DNA… You just don’t know what it’s like!!!! Well, you’ve got me there. Nobody truly knows what it’s like to be another, but that blade cuts both ways. You just don’t know what it’s like to be me. 
I have natural tendency to whine about my lot in life. It’s something I’ve been striving to overcome for a long time. My personality is strong, my sensitivity to rejection keen, my desire to be liked by everyone almost overpowering at times. Girl friends have cheated on me. Siblings have abused me. Friends have stabbed me in the back. Neighbors have robbed me. My genetics have left me bald, asthmatic and struggling to see. In spite of my academic skills, I’ve been denied two scholarships in my life that went to others with far less skills, test scores, grades, writing samples, and recommendations… one with the words, “You have to understand, you are a white male,” and the other with, “It was down to you to and one other candidate… ummm… and… well… to be frank with you, Mr. Sargent… your white.” I sat and watched as far lesser scholars got high paying positions at strong colleges while I struggled to pay my bills. I’ve raged in my heart when ministers sell millions of copies of books that aren’t worth the paper they are printed on and I can’t get a job.
Here is the reality, however. While there is much injustice in the world, we are responsible for  most of our own trouble. I can fume over those lesser scholars and books if I choose, but, in the end, they know something that I obviously don’t. They know how to navigate people and society better than I do. They have different personalities, different skill sets. When patterns emerge in my life, I have to look at those patterns and take responsibility for them. I don’t always know how I’m causing them, but causing them I am. I need to learn. I need to adapt. I need to discover the secrets of overcoming for myself because nobody is going to alter reality so that I can fit into society more successfully.
 
There are profitable paths of wisdom and destructive paths of folly. Everyone will be called upon to respond to external stimuli of various sorts on their own path (some challenges will seem easy, others will be tainted with unfettered evil, most will be somewhere in-between) They will respond with either wisdom or folly and it is the choices that we make in the face of these multifarious challenges that will define us.
I’m sorry you had those things happen. I’m sorry you feel like you do. I’m sorry that your mind can’t penetrate the reality of your situation or find a magic solution… but the most important question is, “Do you want to move ahead profitably or do you want to stagnate and die where you are, comforted by just absolutely “knowing” that your situation is someone else’s fault?”  You can’t do both. Nobody gets ahead by living out their victimhood. 
 
Stop wallowing in your own sense of victimization and start taking personal responsibility for your choices. Own your life.
If you need help to make better choices, then ask for it… but you better be prepared for the harrowing adventures that await you on the path of personal responsibility, growth and change. You can do it. 
[1] Chaoskamp means a war against chaos forces that strive to tear down the world and the order of society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: