Americans of varied political stripes have stated a desire to end racism, certainly a valid goal. There are two problems with how the ending of racism is being accomplished. The first is that statements indicate that the common belief is that racism is an American problem and is promulgated by whites. This is far from the truth.

Racial bigotry is a universal human failing, with examples existing of racial prejudice perpetrated by all races. During the first half of the 20th century, wealthy Black American communities prized those who had lighter skin over those with a darker skin tone. This ended with the popularity of the “Black is Beautiful” effort.

Look at samples of prejudice in African counties where the majority of the population is Black. For generations in Liberia, citizens whose ancestors were freed American slaves had higher status than Liberians whose families had always lived there. In 1994 almost one million Tutsis were massacred by members of the Hutu tribe. The killers and the victims were all Black.

Throughout the world there is bigotry and murder based on religion. Conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, between Hindus and Muslims in India, between Buddhists and Muslims in Miramar, and between Sunnis and Shia in Iraq. Racism is universal and attempts at white guilt will likely not solve the problem.

The second problem results from those attempting to overcome racism not being well-trained problem solvers. The first step in solving a problem is to identify the root cause of the problem. Most statements on ending racism do not include a root cause, rather they claim that additional money is needed to solve the problem. It is difficult to believe that racism is caused by insufficient funds being applied. How about the billions that have been spent since 1965 on poverty, education, job training and food assistance programs?

If wealth was the answer, consider the following scenario: A successful Black man is driving his BMW in a wealthy neighborhood, where he lives. He is much more likely to be stopped by police than is a white neighbor.

Racism is caused by a group in power demeaning the existence of a group out of power, and a recognizable difference such as skin color helps to identify those out of power. A white officer serving in an urban setting most likely lives in a suburban neighborhood. The minorities the officer sees are mostly criminals or victims of crime. A Black man running is seen as escaping arrest and a Black man reaching into his pocket is seen as a danger.

The answer to racism is familiarization with those who are different from you. How does the federal government do that?

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