by Darrell Bernard Harrison
I've lost count of the number times someone has said to me, "Racism still exists", as if 'racism' were tantamount to a carton of milk with an expiration date. Not once has anyone said to me, "Murder still exists." or "Lying still exists." or "Adultery still exists."
Why is that?
Why is it that 'racism' - a word I personally detest but will use for purposes of this commentary - is viewed as a special kind of offense deserving of its own unique context in contrast to other moral biases and inclinations we express?
Can someone please answer that for me?
To say that racism 'still' exists is to imply that racism has a definitive point of origin in human history; a date-certain that we can point to and say that racism began "back there" and that it "still" exists today in the here and now. It's as if to say to someone that it's "still" raining outside. "Still" in what chronological context? One hour ago? Three hours ago? Yesterday? Last week? Conversely, to say "Racism still exists" is to suggest that it is composed of elements of which society can permanently rid itself by itself. But this begs the question: If society were inherently capable of such self-restoration, why hasn't society done that by now?
To argue that racism "still exists" yet be unable to define an objective point of origin of racism is nonsensical. Hence, the equally nonsensical argument that it is possible to bring an "end" to racism when you can't say when or how it began! It is that kind of logic that results in circular arguments that are not only unproductive but naive, because they are grounded in historical socio-cultural philosophy as opposed to biblical theology.