Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Racist? Not me!!!

I have been accused of being racist. I logged into my classroom forum (jeeze, I have trolls everywhere) to see a classmate had responded to a reply I had written. I wrote:

"I would not look down on or doubt a practitioner because of their skin color or cultural background, and the mistrust in the different communities is something that continues to breed and foster because people have such a hard time evolving past what their parents or grandparents encountered. While I do not doubt what you are saying, I view it more as racism (meaning prejudice or discrimination) to a certain degree. Maybe it is just a matter of people stepping out of their boundaries, traveling around, opening their mind, and experiencing other cultures to be able to end that way of thinking."

While writing that I was speaking of all races, all cultures, not just one... but I got this response:

"I don't know your cultural background or age and don't want to speak to your experiences. I will say no problem will ever be resolved if people don't know the truth. As arbitrary as you may think the attitude of blacks may be and the fact you think we are carrying the attitudes of our grandparents and parent, you don't know our personal experience. The attitudes of my grandparents and parents don't "continue to breed and foster because people have such a hard time evolving past what their parents or grandparents encountered."

(Insert her personal experiences here)

When you speak of evolving, it sounds like you are saying blacks want to be victims of racism. Your comment is what seems to be racist as you believe racism is based on the fact blacks cannot evolve. Racism would have never started if it was up to blacks, Indians, or any other group victimized by racism."     

Is there ANYTHING in my response that points out any race? No... so I responded to her:

"See, this is not what I meant at all. When I spoke of evolving past this you immediately thought I was speaking of one side, while I meant everyone of every race. I am far from racist, but I tire of having to watch what I say because someone looks at me and immediately assumes that I am. You stated my words were racist, of whom? Of everyone? Read over my words again and show me where I stated blacks cannot evolve. I never did. This proves my point exactly."

She goes on in another response to say that black people are taught early on to "detect racism in whites. This is done for their protection. One thing parents did not want was to cut their child down from a tree. Although there are not too many hangings these days it is a skill still taught. If you are racist, you won't be able to hide it no matter what you do and this will get the affects you experienced."

Now it makes sense to me. She was taught early on to be taught not to trust white people and to detect racism in white people. She is automatically on the lookout and paranoid of it. So while learning that made me not as angry over the prejudice I just experienced from her, it still bothers me. It bothers me  because I am not racist at all. I do not look at color, and I befriend many people quite easily (if they are not offended by my mouth) no matter what their skin color or cultural background. I am offended that people may think because I am white I get special privilege. I do not, I have one hell of a life with plenty of hard struggles. All I can do is try to plead my case and hope they understand at some point (if they stop long enough to listen). At what point should I drop it? My oldest son thinks I should have dropped it from the beginning, but I could not let a comment like that go without defending my position.

So my point is thoughts like this from ANY side continue to breed and fester the negativity and racism in the world. It is not about white, black, brown, whatever, it is about the HUMAN race. Educate yourself and move on with life!   


SJ said...

You mentioned the word racism, sadly anything you wrote after that was lost in that one word.

Your point was very clear but it doesn't matter, when someone is so focused and blinded by what they believe and see then the irrationality just breeds contempt and furthers it.

I totally get your point on why you needed to respond but sometimes like with the trolls you just have to let it lie. The response was not a response to you it was a response to life and the burdens that some people carry x

alejandro said...

I agree with Sj. There are people who will always look between the lines even when there is nothing to look for. Be it from their past, their parents or their grandparents past.
It's best not to take it further as then you come across as defending because of doubt within yourself and that's not a good look for my Basil loving Vampiress.

Love A

Mary Hudak-Collins said...

Unfortunately, this is the common way of thinking for a great deal of people, no matter what color they are. I have a really good black friend. When we are out together, she will have someone make a comment to that fact that she is black. We look at each other, put our arms next to each other and ask "Am I? I didn't notice that." The response we get is priceless. We, of course, get a great giggle out of it as we walk away shaking our heads. The response is always the same!

Jewell said...

I have to agree with SJ as well, but you know racism is one of the few things that sends my head spinning in anger. In the end we all bleed the same color.

I argued with my grandmother when I was very young probably 9 or 10. Really what do 9 or 10 year olds know when they hadn't been exposed to other races for extended periods of time like I was until I was in college. We were arguing about the fact that I believed it to be OK that blacks and whites (only the specific skin color of topic I'm sure she would have felt the same way regardless of what races were involved) could be married. She was adamant against it and I was adamant for it. I told her what I said above...regardless of skin color we all bleed red. I was eventually told to shut up by my parents. One of my grandmother's arguments was "one of my best friends is black". To this day, the hypocrisy of that line pisses me off.

Shit...I could go on and on. This is definitely one of my hot topics. But I 2nd what SJ said. =) lol