Monday, December 13, 2004

The Absence Of Discrimination

It always bothers me when I hear someone say "Clarence Thomas, the black Supreme Court Justice" or "that black lady" or otherwise refer to somebody by their skin color when they could easily have referred to that person by her other characteristics. It seems to me that if race really didn't matter, then Shaquille O'Neal would be "that tall basketball player" and Condoleeza Rice "Bush's National Security adviser, soon to be Secretary of State". Instead, we constantly hear it mentioned that these people are black, as if this was some truly significant feature.

On a related note, how many times have you heard "the Mormon Senator Reid" or "the Mormon singer Gladys Knight?" That's because nobody thinks being a Mormon makes all that much difference to Senatorial or singing careers. Mormons are, thankfully, not discriminated against much any more.

We'll know we've finally arrived at the day when people are no longer discriminated against, not when we hear the words "black" or "Hispanic" in every venue, but when we don't.