No race of people should be generally characterized or stereotyped by what some of their race did that was evil or wrongful attitudes entertained toward others. Otherwise, consistency and fairness would demand the same be done to all races; and, surely by now, we know both good and evil exist in all races.
A most prolific form of hate speech—based on negatively stereotyping a whole race of people—is the most ignored. Racial prejudice involves depicting a race of people negatively. This is why any and all races of people possess those of its race who are racially prejudiced. It is not simply related to who has power, as some profess. The United States is proof it isn’t related merely to power, as there are Americans of all races in positions of leadership and power. How can we forget we’ve had a bi-racial President who basically claimed only his black parentage? What about generals, admirals, Supreme Court judges, congressional men and women, governors, mayors of cities, police chiefs, and more? They all hold power over others of diverse races.
When politicians, the news media, or black writers or speakers address articles or public communications specifically and only to white Americans—as if all white Americans think alike racially—imploring or challenging them to change their perspectives or attitudes, that is hate speech. It’s hate speech because it attributes to every white American a negative trait as endemic specifically to their race rather than recognizing their diversity and individualism.
Consider people of diverse races. Do they all perceive or think alike based on skin color or physical features? Think black Africans (As North Africans are considered white Africans—Berbers and Arabs). Do ethnic Bantus, Congolese, Eritreans, Ethiopians, Ghanaians, Kenyans, Sudanese, or Tanzanians perceive or think alike because they are of the same race? Think Asians. Do ethnic Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Laotians, Mongolians, or Vietnamese perceive or think alike because they are of the same race? It’s fairly certain, the unanimous answer would be, “No.” Even within each separate group, people perceive and think differently. Think Europeans. The same is true of ethnic European or European-descendant Americans—all of the same race. Do British, Croatians, Germans, Italians, Russians, Slavs, Swiss, Ukrainians perceive or think alike? Again, the unanimous answer is “No.” They do not perceive or think alike—especially about race.
Besides differences in culture and ethnicity, white Americans differ in religion or non-religion, in political allegiance or position, or values, as well as great ranges of timeframes of ancestral immigration to the United States. It is not impossible to consider the majority of white Americans descend from immigrants who came after the abolishment of slavery. It is also not impossible to realize a majority did not live where Jim Crow laws were enacted—mostly in the South.
Additionally, no race of people should be generally characterized or stereotyped by what some of their race did that was evil or wrongful attitudes entertained toward others. Otherwise, consistency and fairness would demand the same be done to all races; and, surely by now, we know both good and evil exist in all races.
What drives the concept of including all white Americans into a negatively stereotyped race when addressed generally and specifically about race? Sadly, the only possible answer is racism itself, promoted by hate and communicated by hate speech. Isn’t this the very same effort that has been nobly exerted to free black Americans from experiencing—negative stereotyping? To resist implying only negative traits to an entire race of people is deemed to be just, equitable, and non-racist by those who hold a high standard of respect and dignity for all people? Addressing judgmentally all white Americans as having issues with race is one of the only forms of hate speech that is not censored.
It’s time to put to rest the black vs. white, white vs. black preoccupation with one another. In case it hasn’t been noticed, America is not just black and white. No, we aren’t simply the black and white keys of a piano. We have become a beautiful masterpiece of art. America is one of the most beautifully colorful, multi-racial nations in the world. This preoccupation with two races ignores the reality of today’s America. The politicians and the media can do much to alleviate and bury this falsely promoted enmity based on racial hatred if willing by ceasing and censoring the usage of “white Americans” when addressing race issues. Neither black Americans nor white Americans represent monolithic perceptions or thought. We shouldn’t be treated as if we are monolithic. That treatment is based on a grave and huge falsehood—even what could be called a myth.
It’s time to bury a most prolific form of hate speech that is ignored and refuse to apply it to any other race. This isn’t only for the sake of white Americans; it’s for the sake of all Americans. If we achieve this, we will have won another round for justice and equality. Good-bye to another form of racism—hate speech based on racial identity!
Helen Louise Herndon is a member of Central Presbyterian Church (EPC) in St. Louis, Missouri. She is freelance writer and served as a missionary to the Arab/Muslim world in France and North Africa.