Sunday, December 02, 2007
Ways not to convince people that you are not racist.
Invariably during your life as a person of non-color, someone will either call you a racist or imply that you have racists and/or prejudices. The thing to do is to acknowledge that you, like everyone else have prejudices, and that sometime these prejudices manifest themselves in the way you talk, or your "jokes" that you think are very funny, but are harmful to others. Here are some ways not to look like a jack - a in these situations.

1. No one cares that you went to a school full of 85% black, Mexican or Asian people.

Just because you went to school with a lot of people of color doesn't mean that you may make jokes or comments at the expense of that group, and then follow it up with, "But I went to a school that was 90% black, so... I was the minority!" Newsflash: as a white person, you are not, and have never been "the minority." While there may have been more of them than you, you still have an advantage in that all of your life, you have had white privilege. Don't know what that is? Read "White Privilege" by Peggy McIntosh ( a white woman ).

I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.

3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

Follow the link for more.

2. There's no way I can be racist! My best friend/person I know/guy who mows my lawn is black!

There is nothing worse than someone who tries to justify something by using a person who they obviously only see as a token to prove a point, while simultaneously showing the world that that their friend is just that to them, their black/Hispanic/Asian friend.

3. Why do you guys have to be so racial? Why does everything have to be about race? IT WAS JUST A JOKE!

As a person of color, everyday of my life I've been reminded of the fact that I am that. Therefore, it is difficult to separate the identity of race when it comes to my identity as a person. This doesn't mean that my life is defined only by my race, but that I don't have the opportunity to separate the two.

Picture this, as a black man, everywhere I go, I am consistently reminded that I am that. When I walk into class, or just around campus, all I see are white faces. Yet, whenever a group of Asian, black or Hispanic students are sitting together at lunch, or hanging out in the SUB, why is it that all I hear is "What are all those black people doing sitting together? Why is it that all the Asians hang out together?"

White people sit together exclusively all the time, yet no one says anything about it. The next time you have to qualify or justify a statement that you've made, try to look at it through the eyes of someone who lives as a person of color in a tumultuous racial climate such as America. It's never funny when the joke is on you. Also, just because it is a "joke" doesn't mean that it isn't hurtful.

Now that's unfresh.

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posted by DeAndre' @ 3:30 PM  
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Name: DeAndre'
Home: Waco, Texas, United States
Who Am I?: This one time I decided that everything in my life would be in musical form. ANd everyone would automatically know the words and the choreography and sing on key. You see how well that turned out.
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