Racism: A Danger to Us All
As I prepare my courses for the fall semester, one of the most enjoyable aspects is choosing new books. This semester in world history at College of Marin, I will ask my students to read, among other things, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalinby Timothy Snyder. An amazing work, Snyder details the use of race and ethnicity in the murder of 14 plus million people in an area of Central and Eastern Europe by the extremes of both sides of the political spectrum during the 1930s and 1940s. As Martin Luther King, Jr. would say a few years later, “In the final analysis, racism is evil because its ultimate logic is genocide.”
I chose this book because, as a history professor and citizen, I continue to believe that racism is the central topic of our nation today. When we speak of a diverse country, we are going against the tide of history by trying to create a place where people can be who they are without the restriction of the artificial human construction of racism. It’s not that one group deserves more consideration, it’s that we all deserve to live without persecution.
E pluribus Unum. Out of many one. America is special because we can, relatively, live in peace with each other. We are not without our issues, of course, as the events in Gilroy again demonstrated. But ensuring that the rule of law prevails allows us all to work toward a more perfect union.