Racism and racial exploitation may seem to be the same thing. They are far from it. Racism is real. Racial exploitation is when someone uses any excuse to accuse someone else of racism – even false and oft times manufactured or purported racism. Look around. It’s a blemish on reality.

Racism accusations are thrown around in any situation and for any real, perceived, of exploitative purpose. Such widespread manipulation of truth is a convenient excuse used to seek advantage in almost any faceoff on any issue, real or fabricated.

False racism accusations these days are at the core of just about every national and state political issue. It’s a charge guaranteed to generate publicity over partisan differences and/or to paint an opponent in hateful terms. It’s amazing how racist allegations can become the first words out of the mouths of political antagonists or real racists of every color. It’s also amazing that charges are too often blatantly fraud, and yet, unfortunately, they often have the intended effect.

Deceit is not a factor just among politicians. It has become a standard excuse to undermine an individual, a group, or issue. Many Americans know these things. They have learned the way the David Dukes and Al Sharptons of the world operate. It’s done so often they are getting more and more knowledgeable and dubious of political and race-baiting trickery.

It is a gross offense against humanity when racist scam artists and elected officials tell the public they are for accountability when all the time they are lying. They obviously think if the lie is big enough and is repeated enough, the public will believe it. Sadly, that is too often true. On the whole, though, much of the public recognizes a lying blowhard when they see one.

Nevertheless, racists of all colors manage to keep many followers boondoggled and continue spewing their racist spiels without shame – for some people. Others, though, have no problems seeing through the rabble-rousing rhetoric that is integral to those who make mendaciousness part of their character.

It’s not difficult to identify the “usual suspects” in the crowd. Their arrogance, year after year, decade after decade, shines a spotlight on them pretty much every time and anytime they speak. Furthermore, most of them have been around a long time and are no strangers to those who recognize deceit in every word they utter.

It’s clear that race-baiters and race exploiters use alleged racism for selfish reasons. From the looks of things the assumed “reason” can and often is as trivial as possible. The more inconsequential, the more they make it out to be a big deal.

Accusations of fictitious racism by race mongers have had a malicious effect on the civility among the American people. Those accusations have been at least partially responsible for so much hatred among us. Abnormal hatred has permeated the very essence of the freedom that makes this nation the “shining city on a hill” that people from around the world want to be a part of.

There are all kinds of racism in this country and around the world. There is economic bigotry, social bigotry, status bigotry, athletic bigotry, and, yes, racial bigotry. In fact, there are all kinds of bigotry. It’s something that tests us, challenges our way of life. It’s when racists point scheming fingers that is the proverbial fly in the ointment that helps prevent real solutions.

We’ve made progress and will continue to if we can eliminate the contemptuous naysayers among us. Good luck!

Collins lives in Greenwood and is retired from the Index-Journal where he served in several capacities, to include as the paper’s executive editorial editor.