Racism is for Lazy Haters

To paraphrase the late, great humorist Sam Levenson: Disliking entire groups of people because of their skin color or religion is ridiculous when there are so many perfectly legitimate reasons to dislike people on an individual basis.

I’ve come to believe that racism is for lazy people who love to hate. Take Roseanne Barr’s career-ending tweet.  Her rant against  Valerie Jarrett attacked the former Obama aid’s looks (and that alone is a deal breaker for me. Women attacking the appearance of other women is unacceptable on SO many levels), and she managed to toss a religious and racial slur in to do so.

Now, I don’t know a great deal about Jarrett, but anyone in such a public position is sure to have made statements, taken actions or expressed opinions that one could make legitimate arguments against. That’s what seriously ambitious haters do–they hate people for specific and defensible reasons. Lazy people just default to broad sweeping categories that extend to people they’ve never encountered or even heard of.

Intelligent, industrious haters don’t sweep large groups of people under an umbrella of hate based on race, religious affiliation or country of origin. The best haters hate people based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin (sort of a backhanded way into MLK’s dream).

This is, of course, very tongue and cheek…or is it? Racism truly is the lazy way out–discounting entire groups of people without making the effort to get to know anyone, avoiding the discomfort of situations in which not everyone looks and acts like you, keeping the ease of privilege firmly in place by not challenging existing systems.

Of course, Jesus was pretty clear about not hating at all. We are supposed to love one another. Whether the other is Jew or Samaritan, white or brown, male or female, a socialite or a societal pariah, rich or poor. But if you decide to ditch Jesus and go with hating people, please, at the very least, make the effort to do it right and don’t just take the lazy way out.

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