It seems like the last year or so my newsfeeds have been cluttered with buzzwords about the latest racial or gender inequality “scandals”. I don’t need to name them; you all know them. I would like to address the phenomenon and offer my take on how to (in my opinion) learn from it and move forward.
Whenever one of these events happens (someone kills someone of another race or a person of one gender is bullied by that of another), every Tom, Dick and Harry weighs in on the issue with their opinion. Whichever “side” they choose, they often search for statistics to back it up. “Gender X receives more foodstamps than gender Y” or “race A has more inmates than race B”. While it is good for us to use these events to take a closer look at society, we make the fatal mistake of abusing statistics to quickly justify, or at least explain the phenomena. This is wrong. A statistic is a statistic, but it is not law. Any good statistician will tell you the inherent fallibility of collecting statistics (location, time, willing participants, agenda of the data collectors). So after some sample data is taken, the next step is to analyze the data. Some people have multiple PhDs in this area and would still consider themselves fallible when it comes to “properly” interpreting data. So why do we read articles on the internet written by some “professional blogger” with little more than an associate’s degree in “media”? The very idea is preposterous!
When one truly looks deeper into the local, national and global statistics, and compares them to the general feel they have BEFORE the event in question happened, then one can form a more even opinion. “I haven’t seen any people of race X kill anyone of race Y in my city. Or at least I never heard of it happening. And the statistics show this phenomena localized largely in communities where race has historically been an issue and there is a large social gap between the various races.” This doesn’t mean that racial violence doesn’t happen, but it also doesn’t mean that it happens all the time. However – violence (interracial or otherwise) happens too much. I think we can all agree on that.
So how do we continue? Well, I’d suggest we continue doing things we’ve always done: promote peace and understanding among every race, creed, colour, sexual orientation and species. This isn’t anything new. Prophets who are the cornerstones of many modern religions have been saying this for centuries. Activists have been saying it and in the modern world, we have many laws aimed at preventing undue prejudice. We’ve come a very long way from the time of slave-trade and gender-specific social roles. I dare say they have been all but obliterated! The very last step that remains, in my eyes, is to.
STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!
People may continue to kill other people and people may continue to bully or treat other people poorly, but as long as we continue bringing race, gender, creed, sexual orientation into it, WE are the racists/genderists/hatefuls. It may be inherent in human nature to look for someone to blame and to try and make sense of all the information that comes our way, but if we look at things as Mr. Ockham (see: Occam’s razor), we can see that often the simplest explanation is the “most correct”. Now I’m not saying this is how everyone should live their lives, and we should be thankful the judicial system considers ALL evidence before making their verdicts, but the simplest truth or the core information we can garner from looking at all the hate in the world is and should be devoid of race, creed, sexual orientation, gender, etc. It’s an unnecessary classification we try to impose on all the information we receive. And while it is important to be able to differentiate between genders and races, and it is important to celebrate those differences, violence is violence is violence.
I will stop here and allow you to form your own opinion, but before I do, perhaps we can see what our cheeky little friends over in the small mountain town of South Park have to say about this (cannot be embedded due to international copyright laws):