I have some bad news for folks. You’re a racist. Everyone at some point in their lives will say or do something that will or could be considered racist. Some would argue that doing or saying something only once doesn’t make you racist but the truth is yes it does, it just means your not very good at being a racist. The truth is that has humans we judge and compare other people all the time. Some times we will use racist factors and some times we will use economic factors and sometimes we will judge and compare others just cause we’re in a bad mood or having a rough day. Yet, just cause everyone is a little bit racist at some point doesn’t mean that we are bad, hateful people. There are some racists who have made it into a career choice and a lifestyle and THOSE are the ones that are the bad, hateful people.
Personally I have seen many forms of racism. I have seen it from all races and genders. I have seen it acted out openly and I have seen it subtle. I have even a few times been on the receiving end. So I feel pretty confident when I talk or discuss racism. So, as you might have guessed already I am going to discuss my views on racism. Lets get one thing straight. There is no white privilege, black privilege, Latino or Asian privilege. There are people of privilege but honestly their gender or color has very little to do with it. Privilege isn’t even brought on by money but the contacts that money can.. and I do mean can bring. Money doesn’t always imply privilege it is just the most obvious and common thing we see associated with privilege in our society. In a sense a stereotype so I am not going to address that issue.
What brought this up was today on Face Book a person posted a picture of the Confederate battle flag with the words “Proud to be White.” Instead of saying; “Good for you” the following posts typically came in two varieties. Either they were pro white and racist or they were calling the person racist while being racist themselves. Of course there were slight variations but the gist was the same. To me, both of those are wrong and even morally wrong. Technically both sides were being racist so in that respect they both shot themselves in the foot. Some tried to hide behind the ever popular “Heritage” verbiage, others didn’t even try that hard to hide it. Hence I am going to lay out some truths for people to chew on.
1. As already mentioned every human is a racist. Some are a lot and some not so much but most will swing between these two.
2. Your actions towards other people are what makes you a racist to others not cause you tell an off color joke.
3. It doesn’t matter how many X friends of Y color you have, your still a racist.
4. Under the U.S. Constitution, expression of racism is a right, despite if we like it or not.
5. Just because your proud of someone in your family tree for being part of the North or South during the Civil War doesn’t make you a racist. This person stood up for what they believed in right or wrong and that is worth being proud of.
6. Just because you believe that a person should rise and fall on their own merits doesn’t mean your ignoring racism. You are just trying not to make it a factor in your life.
7. Racism knows no age limit, gender boundary, color or creed. It can be in your face or hidden but it is always lurking somewhere.
8. The first step into not being racist is realize that we are all racist.
9. Most people don’t want to be racist and try not to be racist but the open racists ruin it for everyone.
10. Showing someone a better way to be works much better than telling someone to not be racist.
That’s the point here. I am not telling people to not be racist and I am not ignoring racism nor am I saying that racism is harmless. What I am saying is that we are all racist at some point in our lives and that what separates us from total and true racists is our actions overall. How we act to another person is what defines us and we are constantly working to try to improve that interaction on some level. Racism will eventually be defeated but it may take thousands of years for that to happen and we should never stop trying to maybe it is time to take a better approach and realize that everyone struggles with racism. I know I do. I am totally racist against humans, and I am working on it. Albeit slowly.