I AM A RACIST5
October 22, 2017 by kittynh
I admit I’m a racist.
Racist, as defined by modifying my behavior by a person’s race.
Racist, as stereotyping people based on their race.
Racist, as treating people differently based on their race alone.
Racist, as, other races should trust me, but only so far. Because I’m a racist.
It seems whenever someone does something that other people find offensive, the first defense is to say “I’m not racist. Anyone that knows me knows I’m not racist. No one should be offended at what I just said.”
Liberal whites especially hate to be told they are racist. They like to talk about how if they are not treated with respect, and called out on their racism, they will just quit helping their Black fellow Americans. They are not racist like, say, Trump! He’s racist. How could they possibly be racist? Often there is the “I have friends that are Black.” Even “I’m married to a Black person.” Perhaps “I adopted a Black child.”
If you need to explain why you aren’t racist, that’s a red flag you probably are a racist.
Yes, even if you have LOTS of friends and family of other race.
I’m a racist.
I’m also several minorities-
I’m a woman.
I found out I have some Native American DNA.
But I’m still a racist.
Racists are not just white males. Anyone can be a racist, and most of us are.
It’s our denial of our racism that causes problems. If you don’t admit you are a racist, you won’t be open to learning how to learn from your mistakes.
Mistakes you make because it’s a rare person that can overcome growing up in our society and not be racist.
Movies. Television. The internet. Relatives. Friends. Bosses. Teachers. Co workers.
All sorts of influences have taught us to be racist. People we like and admire are racist. They just don’t admit they are racist.
The politician, who claims our current racial climate is because of President Obama, as “America just wasn’t ready for a Black president. It wasn’t time for that to happen. There wasn’t this division and hatred before he was elected.” is a racist. He’d deny it. He truly believes in what he says, and sadly this theme of “Blame Obama” isn’t a funny meme. It’s a widespread belief.
There are the non Black people, that feel Blacks should not be insulted or upset if other people take control of words, that Black people have deemed upsetting. “These are just words, and my using them makes them meaningless. If there are words that are racist to use, that just gives more power to those words. Everyone should say those words until no one even cares if anyone says them!”
I can only think, “Thank you for figuring out the solution to a Black problem for the Black race. That is nice of you, non Black, because gosh knows their solution to the issue of these words is not one you, non Black, agree with.”
White people often seem to say to minorities, “I don’t agree with how you want to deal with this issue, so as an outsider, I’ll tell you how you got it wrong.”
Then there are the non Black people that say “Well, I have pulled myself up, it’s your fault you are still living in poverty.”.
To a young Black teenager, wondering if he’s going to be shot going to school in Baltimore, things like college and getting out of poverty aren’t always the top priority. It’s getting by day to day. It’s staying alive. Some places are close to a war zone. It would be like asking someone in the trenches of WWI if they have time to take their SAT test during the battle of Ypres.
Maryland, one of the wealthiest per capita states in the USA, has Baltimore, one of the most dangerous cities for anyone to live in. Instead of being ashamed and thinking “We can work together as a state to fix this”, many people find it easier to stay in their McMansions and talk about how they worked hard at McDonalds all summer to get through college when they were young. The summer job in a safe neighborhood , and they could borrow dad’s car to get to work. When help involves things like money, time and commitment, people tend to fall back onto advice, which is free. “They should work harder.” costs nothing.
I am a racist.
I like to think, that means I am open always to learning how to be less of a racist.
I admit I still cross the street if I see a group of males of some minorities walking toward me.
I admit I hesitate before getting into an elevator with a lone Black man.
I admit I make jokes, that aren’t funny. When my daughter moved to Africa, and she talked about the need for better care for children, I made a joke about “Well I guess if you ever want to adopt you can find a baby easily!” She pointed out, that was racist. “It was just a joke.” was my response. Then I stopped. No, she was right. The joke that rich white people can just swoop down and save a poor African child, is racist.
I also admit that while I point out to others how something they have said could be wrong, I rarely tell people “You are racist.” They are racist, they just don’t know it yet. Calling anyone a racist just upsets them. Pointing out how something they said or did might be wrong, is more acceptable. Racism is a character attack. People fight back. It’s that deep dirty secret that they don’t admit to, yet. To admit you are a racist takes admitting you are fighting an entire culture and environment filled with racism, and admit you will keep making mistakes.
Now there are those that will correct constantly. They live to judge everyone else. YOU ARE RACIST. THAT IS RACIST. But, they never seem to admit that they might also be prejudiced in some way.
President Obama addressed this issue when he travelled to Africa. He was clear. Heritage and culture does not mean oppression and inequality. Human beings are what matter, not history. Respect the culture, but as he pointed out, when it means half your population, the women, are treated unfairly culture must be changed.
President Obama was basically saying to the males of an entire nation, you are wrong. Know you can be wrong you and then make the necessary change in yourself and in society. If we are always “right”, if we are never “racist” or prejudiced, then nothing will change.
Well said, Kitty.
An interesting essay. I am reminded of a fellow who was a second-in-command at the Simon Wiesenthal Center some years ago. He had started out his life as a White Supremacist, Neo-Nazi, Skin-Head. He was very active in that pool of hate for several years. Then, as he recounts, one day, there was a break from the “2 minute hate” sessions, where the group had been chanting about killing people different from them, or sending them back where they came from. He and his buddy were there, talking about how great America would be if all the people of color were removed. Suddenly…this fellow had a thought. He asked his friend..”so what will we do then? What would we do if we get our wish, and all the people of color are gone?” His friend, still kind of wired from the energy of the mob replied, with enthusiasm…”Don’t worry! We will find SOMEONE to get rid of”
At that moment, he had a moment of insight, and realized that when the people of color were gone, this group was likely to turn its attention to some OTHER aspect…and since he realized he was the ONLY Red-headed member in sight, he wondered if he would be next.
So…he pulled away from the group, and, turned his life around to focus on rooting out Evil and exposing it to the light. In an interview on NPR that I heard many years ago, he said “We are all racist, in our hearts. That is not important. What IS important is whether or not we allow it to control our lives”
I have written a blog post myself, talking about “The Other” and how we instinctively react to it. It is so deeply ingrained in our makeup that it is not possible to eliminate it. However, it is possible, with mindfulness, to NOT allow us to be controlled by it.
I will say, also, about the joke on adopting kids…When I read it, I saw it as a sad commentary on the situation in the world…where, in many places, there are a flood of unwanted or orphaned children out there, who desperately need help. The interpretation that this was Colonial Privilege, or White Racism did not cross my mind, until it was explained in the post.
If it seems appropriate…here is the link to my blog entry…
thank you for sharing!