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Let’s be clear: racism and tribalism are learned behaviors that are often administered in the shadows, away from public view. Forget platitudinous public speeches. Disregard public displays of affection. Skip the propaganda. Eschew bold claims of not being racist. Pay little or no attention to those at public fora who grandiloquently proclaim to love all ethnic groups. Heed not the pleadings of the accused who shouts: ‘Look at my friends, I am not racist’. Dispense with the politicians’ cries of ‘all the people’. Don’t worry too much about government and private sector politically correct public service announcements. The epicenter, the nucleus, the crux of the matter lies with those moments which are unseen and are within the confines of the most concealed of human existence. I speak principally about private conversations where individuals speak with complete abandon and cavalier comfort. I refer to the circumstance where we are among family and friends within the bounds of our tribal enclaves. These represent the times when persons express their truest sentiments. In this regard, the dinner table within private homes is the main place where these genuine and unvarnished sentiments are conveyed. Whenever this occurs, those who condemn in the dark are unsung national heroes.
POLITICS AT THE DINNER TABLE
At this little place of performing a non-negotiable biological function that provides energy, a fiefdom exists. A King and Queen sit on their thrones imbued with omnipotent powers to shape the worldview of their subjects. Dinner table conversations, when fraught with political discussions on issues such as ethnicity and race, are pregnant with the possibility of shaping the general outlook of those participating. Never take those chit-chats, jokes, innuendos, sermons, conversations and ‘gaffs’ for granted. If those who hold the economic reigns over their households state what they prefer, nay, want, or demand, it sets the tone for the behaviorism which will manifest in the various spheres of societal existence. If what is proffered suggests: you cannot marry outside the race or there is the perpetuation of racist myths, legends and fables, the nation is in for a ride. Hence, it is inestimable when unsung heroes at these gatherings take positions of principle, in the dark, against attempts to indoctrinate. Those heroes exist.
WHEN THERE IS NO DINNER TABLE
Once convinced or mandated to operate in a certain way within the society by the dining table generals, it is difficult if not near impossible for other sources of influence to undo what is done. The teacher, the pastor, politicians and other sources of information would be hard-pressed to eclipse the supreme powers of this method of brainwashing. Notwithstanding all of this, we do all of things at the dinner at the food bureau: spill liquids, belch unexpected, manifest all manner of poor mannerisms and above all, it is a good time for essential family time. But what happens when one is not afforded this culinary console? Does the diabolic attempt to influence minds end? Do the racists stop imparting divisive information? An emphatic ‘no’ is necessary at this point, they never sleep. So, family limes, garages, the streets in tribal enclaves and other areas of perceived comfortable refuge for the conveyance of truest reflections of the jaundiced heart, become the facilities that serve as conduits for persuasion. So the train never stops but conversely, the unsung heroism simultaneously never ceases. I am confident: some function within these tribal succors and raise their voices against the racist who thinks it is safe to speak or advance their poisonous doctrines.
THE COMFORT ZONES
You and I may never get the opportunity to hear the true feelings of a closet racist. We may never get to witness them in operation. Their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins and other family members are the ones who are in a position to be subjected to infamy. Therefore, the opinions and activism, though, unseen, of those family members are absolutely critical. If indeed unsung heroes pop up in these circumstances, their input is invaluable. It is they who can snap the zombies out of their erroneous and destructive conceptions.
Much hope lies with the unsung heroes at the dinner tables.