fights we will never win

By Ipsa Liberalis

My mom died of cancer. So did her parents, although both at a very late age. Not true for my cousin, he had cancer as a child (and in the '70s). We're a cancer family.

There's a lot of talk about eliminating cancer. The thing is, that just can't be done. It's a fight we will never win. Cancer is a cellular defect, life jacked up to an exponential degree, and while we may be able to kill cancerous cells, we'll never really be free of cancer, really.

It's a fight we can't win. That doesn't mean it's not a fight worth waging, though. Research, education, awareness and preventative measures all help to bring more survivors every day.

In the same way, we will never not be a racist society. I'm racist. You're racist. We're all a little bit racist, at the very least (and best). This isn't because we're all shitbags, or libtards, of special snowflakes. This is because we are creatures who constantly seek out patterns. Let me give you an example:

In college, I studied Arabic. I love it. Such a beautiful, algebraic language. My professor was from Algeria. But, as is true for every language I try to learn, I struggled with the vocabulary. So he recommended me to a friend of his, a Palestinian man who tutors.

In his early years, my tutor was a civil engineer and worked throughout Europe. In the U.S., though, he pumps gas in his retirement. Of course, his being of a certain age makes him more likely to cling to old values, but there was something else. In his years as a gas station attendant, especially after 9/11, young black men had consistently been disrespectful to him.

So... he formed a bias. And, to me, that bias was obviously racist, and thus, undesirable. This is my innocuous example of where racism grows from.

Season this with generations of institutional racism and all that grows out from that: apologetics, extremists, can't-we-all-just-get–along-ists, etc., and you're left with a festering cesspool of neo-Nazis and safe-spacers.

It's a fight we can't win. But! That doesn't mean it's not a fight worth waging. Research, education, awareness and preventative measures all help to bring more survivors every day.

I know I have the capacity to get a cancer diagnosis (kind of, any minute now, since I'm predisposed). I also know that I have the capacity to be narrow-minded and short-sighted. I can work against what's in my nature, and even though I won't always succeed, I will do my level best to try.