The Two Races in America

b Müller

There are two races in America. The race I’m running is the 100m. It’s tiring (I didn’t bother training properly), it’s intense but if I keep hauling my bones along eventually I’ll get to the end. Even if I don’t, someone can probably help or carry me over the line. I’ll need to make a big effort, at the end I’ll be short of breath and exhausted, but I will have run the race.

But next to me there’s another race going on. From high above the stadium, in the TV blimp or police helicopter, both races look pretty much the same in a bird’s eye view. But come down closer until you can see the faces of the runners and feel the texture of the track: These two races are different.

The race next to me is the 110m hurdles. It is slightly longer. It is harder fought. It involves more skill and nerve to negotiate. If you hit the first hurdle and stumble, it hurts but you may stay on your feet. But hitting the second, third, fourth hurdle, at some point you may well be taken down and not be able to get up at all. By then you will be hurting and winded. You can’t breathe. By then the race is lost anyway. A few adept runners may be able to excel and get safely over all the hurdles, may be able to run that extra 10m to get to the finish line. But helping or carrying someone to the end of this race, hauling them over the hurdles, is a whole different proposition.

In one race the starter pistol starts the race. In the other it takes aim.

Back at the end of my race, the 100m, the runners (who all finished) are standing around. Most are silent as a few loudly run their mouths:
“Why is everyone talking about how hard the 110m hurdles is?”
“Our race was tough too!”
“We had to run hard!”
“We had to put effort in! Nobody did us any favors!”
“If they’re complaining so much why don’t they just come run this race? They’re just being lazy”
“If it will stop their complaining, let’s just reduce the number of hurdles from 10 to, say, 5!”

Or maybe everyone should be allowed to run the same race with the same rules and the same challenges.

#EricGarner #TamirRice #JohnCrawford #MichaelBrown #Ferguson #FergusonDecision #alivewhileblack #BlackLivesMatter #CrimingWhileWhite #ICantBreathe #NotOneMore #gunsense #p2 #uniteblue


42 thoughts on “The Two Races in America

  1. D. Arthur Wargo

    Races all start at the same point, but due to economic, social, and cultural differences the races can have different hurdles. I’ll give you that, BUT who sets the hurdles in place.

    That is not so easy an answer.

    Cultural hurdles are set………

    Political power plays, put hurdles in place……

    And economics throw them in here and there……..

    All of these;

    2nd Amendment, Call for Action, Gun Industry, Gun Manufacturers, Gunsense, NRA, Police Officer and tagged alivewhileblack, BlackLivesMatter, CrimingWhileWhite, ericgarner, ferguson, fergusondecision, gunsense, ICantBreathe, johncrawford, michaelbrown, NotOneMore, p2, tamirrice, uniteblue

    Your tags have to deal with these hurdles. Both the dead and the living dealt with them. Both are set on the stage of this issue by “the producers”, and they are playing their parts as intended.

    If your point is the obstacles need to be adjusted,….. I’m with you.

    If your point is change the rules,….. I’m not.

    Remove the unfair obstacles, so everyone can run the same race……. don’t change the rules, because they are the same for everyone.

    I think when you find where these obstacles are really coming from, in some cases you will be very surprised.

      1. D. Arthur Wargo

        Then the rules become unfair for others. You can’t have a competitive event with two sets of rules……

        It is the obstacles that need to be removed.

        That is the hard thing. Changing the rules is easy, but unfair.

        Obstacles being changed forces us to look at the reasons why we feel the rules are imbalanced.

        For instance, we can lower the basket for basketball, because 5’10” people can’t dunk, and we can move in the 3 pt. line so 7′ people can shoot 3’s, but we really haven’t made anything better. 5’10” folks still can’t dunk and 7 footers still can’t shoot the 3.

        We just hid the real problem.

        Hiding the real problems in this issue will only cause the obstacles to be ignored….. kicked down the road for another day, and nothing is going to get fixed.

        The old you don’t put a band aid on an amputation.

        Also you don’t put a band aid on a festering wound.

        You’ve got to clean the wound…..that is a lot harder, but don’t you want the issue fixed! Fixed for good?

  2. SwirlGirl

    This was really, really well said and I think can help a lot of people understand. I’ll be reblogging it tomorrow! It’ll work really well within our Empathy and Privilege sections over on HypheNation.


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