Which question to ask?

Something to talk about.



Bob Dylan, the singer/song writer of the 1960’s wrote a song asking nine questions. His explanation for the answers to those questions was “Blowin in the Wind.” A beautiful, thought provoking song, especially when sung by PP & M (millennials figure that one out). 

Dylan’s description of problems within our society were real and easily seen but the solution to those problems was not always readily visible. Like the wind and its everchanging movement, solutions are hard to pin down. Consider the following three questions.  

Is it racism? Is it culture? Is it behavior? 

To hate someone because the color of their skin is different from yours is shallow and wrong. Whatever the evils of history were, they are just that, evils of history. Systemic racism may be believed by some people. However, Candace Owens has stated; “America, does not promise equal outcome. It does promise equal opportunity.” 

Note the following statistics, all from the Institute for Diversity & Ethics in Sports in 2012. 

In the NFL 66% of the players are African American. 

In MLB 39% of the players are non-white.

In the NBA 78% of the players are African American.

In ML Soccer 51% of the players are non-white.

This is just professional sports. In addition, this country elected, not once but twice, a black man as president; color is not restricted from billionaires (Oprah Winfrey), large cities have mayors that are non-white, as are many Hollywood actors. Systemic racism is the new buzz phrase. 

Different people groups that populate the world have developed, over time, varied cultures, such as; the Miao people of South China, Tierra del Fuego people of South America, or the Cherokee people of North America. Many outside influences contribute to these cultures, such as; geography, weather, food source, health, inner action with other people groups, etc. But a driving force for people to leave their home and familiar culture and come to America was to accomplish a better life. A better life that this system was offering. History supports this. However, some people insist on bringing their culture to the US in the extreme to destroy America along with constitutional law and the eradication of American history. If one moves to South China, he/she should learn the language.  

Celebrity people who have a public platform have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate behavior. Denzel Washington, for example, actively and financially contributes to the Fisher House Foundation. This includes visiting wounded soldiers. He is also, a spokesperson for the Boys and Girls Club of America. Or, a backup quarter back can kneel in protest to the playing of the National Anthem prior to a ball game. Or people with no celebrity status can demonstrate behavior, such as; an Alabama man who dumps poison on one-hundred-year old historical oak trees on a college campus, killing them, and then publicly brags about it. Or, a young man walking on a public sidewalk with no shirt and wearing his pants so low, his underwear is in plain view. So, the questions remain. Is it racism, culture, or behavior?  

There is a mighty strong and angry wind “a blowin” across our country. Searching for the answers in its troubling movement will prove difficult. God is no distinguisher of persons. Let’s all humble ourselves in prayer, asking Him for guidance.   


Bio information: Walter Allen has a BA degree from Auburn University and is retired from the paper industry. He is a published author and lives in Laurens County, SC.



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