Your Skin Color is Not Your Uniform


Thinking about the violent riots in Baltimore and Ferguson, I am saddened at how far we have to go into making a color-blind society where we are judged by the content of our character (if any) and not by our skin tone.

It has been illegal to have skin color preferences in hiring for longer than most Americans have been alive (with the exception of affirmative action based preferences). It ought not to matter. But for political reasons skin color divisions are being kept alive and well.

When we hear reports of incidents between police and suspects, isn’t it crazy to hear that the suspect shot by police had a ‘black’ skin color and the police officer who did the shooting had a ‘white’ skin color? Wouldn’t it be equally valid to report that the suspect had a blue shirt color and the police officer had a tan shirt color? Or that the suspect wore size 11 shoes and the police officer size 9s?

And imagine people listening to that last news report. “You just can’t trust those size 11 people,” says one man. “Those size 9 police officers just never give a size 11 man a break.”

And to think that all of one skin color group has to have the same opinion of such an incident— and that this whole skin color group needs to be placated or some of them will go out into the street and do property damage….. What a sad world we have.

But don’t go blaming people based on their skin tone here. It’s not the people, it’s certain political leaders that want to make careers for themselves as spokespersons for a ‘disadvantaged’ skin color. An example of this is Al Sharpton, allegedly a Christian minister but instead of spreading the Gospel he goes from place to place spreading skin color divisions. Other, only locally known men do likewise. Because without the skin color divisions, ‘black’ people would not need ‘black’ leaders, but could support ordinary candidates of any skin color based on their policies rather than their skin tone, just like ‘white’ people get to do.

One time I researched hard-core racist groups for a story I was writing. I came across the skinhead saying ‘Your skin is your uniform.’ This is bull.

In wartime we use uniforms to tell the two sides apart. But we are not in a skin color war. And if we were, what use would our skin be as a uniform? For most of us our skin color does tend to change based on sun exposure. And ‘black’ people can have such light skin that they are not easily distinguished from ‘white’ people.

Looking at a person’s skin color doesn’t give you accurate information about that person’s ethnic identity, economic level, education, religious convictions or politics. You have to actually talk to a person to find things like that out. And isn’t that what we should be doing more of— talking to one another to learn more about each individual’s uniqueness, rather than to score points off of one another as is the custom of the times?

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