With all the attention surrounding the George Zimmerman case, I have one simple thought. I did not follow the case closely and therefore I am not looking to get into debates about the nuances.
But the case has brought the subject of race back into the public spotlight in America, yet again. It is a subject that never goes away, at least not more than a short spot of time until it reappears for one reason or another. Fine. Let us place the subject of race in its proper light:
RACISM IS WRONG BECAUSE EQUALITY IS RIGHT
Racism — especially legalized racism — is ugly and wrong for one simple reason, and one reason only: Because ALL men are created equal, because ALL human beings are equal in their inalienable natural rights to their own life, their own liberty, their own property, their own free pursuit of happiness. If the Declaration of Independence is wrong, if human beings do NOT possess equal natural rights, then it’s hard to see why racism in any form is not right. But if the Declaration is RIGHT, then it must be WRONG to treat people differently under the laws based on the color of their skin or any other incidental characteristic.
Racism is nothing new to the human condition. But the discovery of the only principle by which we can condemn racism as wrong, equality of natural rights, is. It was not widely known before 1776. But there it stands in our own founding document, still shining in glorious splendor, simplicity, and beauty, a beacon to guide us then, and now.
UNITED IN THE IDEA OF EQUALITY
So for everyone shouting “racism” today, let us work to ensure that our laws embrace the color-blind principle of human equality. Demand it, and nothing less. Demand equal protection under the laws for equal individual rights. Every law that asks what color skin a person has should immediately be suspect. For that matter, every law that asks what ethnicity a person is, or what religion a person believes, or how much money a person makes, or what occupation a person does for a living — anything dividing Americans into categories for different treatment, perks, benefits, burdens, discrimination — should be immediately suspect.
Racial discrimination in the laws is wrong for the same reason religious discrimination, economic discrimination, or any other kind of discrimination is wrong. Let us stand upon the solid moral ground of Human Equality, demanding equal protection from our laws, lawgivers, law enforcers, and law judges, budging NOT ONE INCH! And when we have achieved that, let us work on being friends with our fellow Americans in the civil sphere of private human interactions, regardless of color. Please let us be grown up and decent enough to strive for that. Any other option is…ugly and wrong, tired and tried and failed.