Racism, Part II

Prison Life

Apr 19

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 |

I’ve had somewhat of an epiphany lately regarding the problem with the guys I previously described as racist, rude and loud. This problem is immediately personified with a black guy in the bunk opposite mine on the beach.  Roland despises me and he has no problem showing it.  Over the last two weeks, he has made a significant amount of anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic comments that were said to others so that I could hear.

I don’t think it does any good to argue with someone looking for a fight. Arguing won’t accomplish anything.  But, it will accelerate the tension so I have been ignoring the comments. My thought is that these guys condemn themselves by their words and actions. Other campers can see through these things, even if they laugh while these things are being said. You can’t argue with bigoted morons and expect to get anywhere.

To isolate myself from this foolishness, I have been wearing my headphones listening to classical music and keeping my mouth shut. I think that this is the more Christian thing to do.  This may not be the “prison thing to do”, but it has been working for me lately and the problem is gradually getting better.

White-Collar Resentment

As I said before, there is a significant amount of resentment by staff and other inmates of the white-collar inmates. They know that we enjoyed wealth and success beyond our “case”, something they will never experience. They also believe that our crimes are more significant than their crimes which are mostly drug cases. I think that they believe that dealing drugs isn’t that big of a deal. I would expect most of these guys will go back to dealing drugs when they are released. It is the way they know to make money and they have no job skills.

The other obstacle for white white-collar guys is the prevailing belief by bigots like Roland is that they have been abused by institutional racism. It is the white man’s fault that they are in prison, and that they never had the same opportunity as whites. The problem, of course, is that this hasn’t been true for decades. We have a black president, black cabinet members, black Supreme Court justices, and every conceivable aspect of society is fully integrated. Those people of all races who have applied themselves have achieved success in our integrated society.

Racism

It is a human tendency to blame others for their problems, and not take responsibility for one’s own actions. I wrote previously that some older blacks are more likely to rely of the institutional racism issue than the younger blacks. The younger blacks are more likely to understand that they are in their current position because they made the wrong decision.

I’m certainly not saying racism doesn’t exist. It does. But, it is much less prevalent in society, especially by those that are educated and productive. I was called a racist by Roland for no reason other than his desire to provoke an argument. You would never see this behavior in any type of educated or professional environment. It is just that some believe that all whites, or all blacks, are racist against the other. I don’t get it. This whole prison thing is a real enlightenment.

 

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