On my way home from work I was listening to All Things Considered and John McWhorter shared a "racism in America" version of a modest proposal.
The summary from NPR is this: " In light of the resurgence of nooses appearing in places like Jena, La., and Columbia University's Teacher's College, here's a modest proposal: The next time somebody plants a noose, let's just ignore it. Perhaps paying less attention to these acts will take away their racist power. "
As I listened to it, I felt myself agree with the power shift that ignoring racist acts would have, but I also became very fearful of it as well. The problem with ignoring such things is that they won't go away because you ignore them, which Mr. McWhorter said, there will always be someone doing something racist. However, if we don't show our outrage to something as "harmless" as a noose on a tree, don't you think that these perpetrators will go to the next level? I agree that large media organizations do have a responsibility to the public in how they sensationalize and report these minor infractions, however the grass roots response should not disappear. I fear the lack of response would fuel those hate-filled individuals to take further action. I whole-heartedly believe that if a small town in Kentucky or Louisiana has an incidence of hate, there should be a community response. When that story is picked up by CNN and the Post, I agree that we should take a step back.
I also don't feel that asking the viewers of hate to restrain ourselves in these instances is a fair proposal. I do believe that there is an infallible nature that we all have to compare and judge, but I don't believe we should tolerate it when that nature seeks to hurt/harm others.
I do respect Mr. McWhorter for his proposal as it was very interesting. A few hours later I'm still thinking about it, so that says something...
I am curious about what others think as well. Let me know!