Hope this finds you well.
Democracies are, indeed, problematic, and the process will often appear to be wasteful and even chaotic. But give a closer look and something else will be found.
Societies, like individuals, are in a constant search for higher integration.
In the individual, the pressure is to integrate the emotional and the intellectual, for the greater the integration the better the overall functioning and hence, personal satisfaction.
So, too, with nations.
In America, while making significant advances in science, technology and industry, we have not kept pace in our collective emotional development. Thus, the profound dysfunction of racism.
At the core of racism is the premature closure of the inquiry into what it is to be human.
When one looks at someone superficially different than one is and, failing to remain open to what that person may offer, devalues them instead, then one turns oneself into a hindrance to one’s personal development and the larger group we belong to becomes the poorer for it.
Racism is an ugly blemish for each of us individually and for the nation as a whole.
It has held back the development of the discriminated against and of those doing the discriminating.
America is guilty as charged as being a racist country and yet, we are a democracy.
We are both racist and democratic. There is no contradiction there.
We are profoundly imperfect and still a democracy.
People can protest in favor or against racism and the government will not censor what they have to say.
But is this useful?
I hold that it is because it keeps the problem on the table. It does not push it down and out of sight. If we can see the problem, then we are more likely to know its true extent and thus talk about it.
The racist in America can go on believing that White is better than anyone else, but it is to their detriment. In holding on to such belief they harm themselves for they are deprived of the richness that expanding their understanding of others brings to their own existence.
They lessen themselves by their own hand.
You may ask, if not prohibiting such beliefs is favorable, how come racism is still present in America?
Racism is still present in our land because there has not been the leadership to emphatically and consistently say to all Americans, ‘it is wrong to be racist and we must make it a priority to overcome it.’ Then go about the process vigorously, without fear they will be voted out of office.
Racism is still present in our land because there have not been the same opportunities for the development of Blacks that Whites have enjoyed. Lacking those opportunities, the rest of the nation has not seen all that Blacks can do.
Racism still lives in America because many Whites have not confronted their fears that Blacks may show abilities they do not have.
And so Americans are poorer because of racism. We are weaker because of it.
The good news is that things have been changing.
Let me turn now to the question of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province. They are Muslim and have their own language and your leadership has settled on a policy to reeducate them against their will, forcing them into special camps.
China is wrong to pursue such policy.
It is one thing to tell the Uyghurs, ‘we need you to learn Mandarin because it will allow you better opportunities for advancement in our nation and we wish for you to be part of us’. It is quite another to force them to abandon beliefs they have grown up with and long cherished.
You may be thinking that in another generation or two, Uyghurs will forget about their origins and embrace only Chinese values. They will not. And they will not because it has been forced.
Blacks in America will never forget that they were enslaved, bought and sold, abused, lynched and treated like chattel. They will take advantage of what opportunities are opened, but they will never forget having had their growth stunted, generation upon generation.
Uyghurs won’t either.
So learn from us. Don’t make the same mistake we’ve made. Change course and woo the Uyghurs into your society, not force them.
The way you have chosen to treat Uyghurs derives from the power your government has amassed and from the lack of resistance of your people. You have chosen such actions because Chinese have lacked the free speech that could have brought you to your senses.
By depriving yourself of the dissenting opinions of other Chinese, you miss out on the creative solutions they may have offered.
You do not own the truth. Neither you nor your politburo nor the Chinese Communist Party. Solutions need to be agreed to by the majority of the people of a nation because they have to live with them. Allowing them to have a say in the nation’s choices is essential for the emotional and intellectual integration necessary for the healthy civic growth of a country.
Should you persist in your present course of forcibly reeducating Uyghurs, China will live to regret it. Power unchecked by dissent or free speech leads to abuse that is never forgotten and instead festers like an infected wound.
Will America ever conquer racism? I believe it will. In fact, we have no real choice. Should we not conquer racism we will be unable to compete effectively with you.
Americans understand the challenge you represent and we will rise to it.
Oscarvaldes.net oscarvaldes@widehumr oscarvaldes.medium.com