I am a white man.
I am racist.
But that’s kind of redundant.
It’s like saying, “I am a fish, and I am soaking wet.”
But it does mean that the first step in removing that racism – in undoing the systematic subjugation of people of color – is recognizing my own culpability in that system.
It’s like being an alcoholic. The first step is admitting the truth.
I know I’ve pissed off a lot of people with what I’ve just written. This article isn’t about gaining new friends. But I’m sure I’ll have a lot of death threats to delete from the comments section tomorrow.
The initial reaction white people usually have to being called racist is – Who? Me? I can’t be racist! I have a black friend! I dated a black girl once! I listen to rap music!
Or a whole host of other excuses.
First of all, relax. I don’t know you. For all I know you’re that one white guy out there who has somehow escaped the pervasive societal attitudes that the rest of us unknowingly took in with our baby formula.
But chances are – yeah, you’re a racist, too.
Second of all, I’m not talking to people of color. None of you are racist. Congratulations!
You might be a hate-filled bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, prejudiced asshole.
Again, I don’t know you. But racist? No. You can’t really be that.
Racism is hate plus power. If a black person says, “I hate white people,” he is prejudiced. However, there is no system that then backs up his hatred. The police don’t arrest white people more than black people for the same crimes. The judicial system doesn’t give harsher sentences to white people than it does black people for the same crimes. Public schools serving a majority of white students aren’t chronically underfunded. It isn’t harder to get a loan or a job if you have a white-sounding name. If it did, THAT would be racism!
Most Helpful Girl
Hmm... Like most people, I can't help but be repulsed, be it by the title of your question alone. But that's not constructive.
But I do have a question: you say you're "racist". How?
Do you believe, for example, that people of different ethnic types are "inferior" intellectually? Yes, that is racism, but nowadays I find it hard to believe such a thing. Not that it's an excuse, but in history, in the same way women were considered inferior, maybe the common white man believed black people (for example) or women were inferior simply because they had never been given the chance to be his equal (different education etc). Therefore a white man wouldn't have had the "proof" that these minorities were different not because of their nature, but because of society. But these days, different ethnicities interact way more, and countless black, Asian, hispanic... people have shined in literature, art, politics, music, sports...
Or is it, perhaps, that other ethnicities don't interest you? For example, you aren't interested in african-american culture, such as blues R&B rap etc? Or you find, say, Asian people "unattractive"? In this case, I don't think it's racism, but ignorance. For example I never really thought of Chinese culture, nor had I ever been attracted to Asian people, until I lived in a Ch neighborhood and fell in love with it.
I also think that even if, after being "exposed", you still aren't interested in this different culture, if (to continue with the beauty standards idea) you still find only blue-eyed blondes attractive, well... it's similar to not being interested in baseball, for example. I know my lack of interest is subjective, not objective. I don't hate it, it just doesn't interest me, but I respect that other people love it. In the same way, I'll admit I've never been very enthusiastic about Australia. It's not uninteresting per se, I'm just not sensitive to the culture. Maybe one day. Ultimately it's my loss, because it's most fulfilling to be able to be receptive to the most things possible, but we can't help being limited either (we're shaped by our society, upbringing...). However, one must always remember that our personal vision isn't objective, and leave space for other points of view. Nor should you think one way just because you were told to.
But all in all: it's so obvious every person is so very different. I have a hard time seeing "blacks","whites", instead of individuals.
So how are you "racist"? How does it make sense to you?0
Most Helpful Guy
A racist is nothing more than a moron with a sense of purpose.2