After hearing, then reading, all the crap about Roseanne and the scurrilous commentary of hers (and an amazing number of like-minded responses), I started to really think about racism in this country.
Racism is nothing new..more than likely it’s been around since Neanderthalls wandered around clubbing each other. But, it isn’t right. It goes against the basic tenets of the majority of faiths… basically everyone believes it is immoral..even those of no faith.
So why is it so blasted prevalent?
It isn’t inherent. No baby wakes up one morning and suddenly decides that another baby with a different shaped eye or nose, a different color of skin is better or worse than they. Stick little ones together and they play. So where did we go wrong?
Well, actually..that isn’t the question I need answered. Not since Trump et al made homophobia, misogyny, and racism the gold standard of political behavior.
I guess what i really want to know is, what are you all going to do to stop it?
Tweeting is all well and good, but it won’t stop the pain someone feels when they are discounted for their religion…or skin color.
Railing against the belief that one is better than the other in b log posts isn’t actually doing anything…not to change behaviors and attitudes.
I heard a bunch of talking heads last night..the discussion was all about the racist agenda of our government…but no one..not a single one of them had a clue what to do about it all. Ignore Trump and his cronies? Call out Trump and his cronies?
So, I am giving some common sense advice here for the whites. Believe me, anyone of color already knows this stuff so they don’t need to read or do anything at this point. BUT the whites? Well, we are terrific at shoving our heads in the sand and bewailing it isn’t ME doing it!. And you are probably 1/2 way correct. We all have to admit that we have an inherent bias against anyone that looks different from us. Until we do, nothing will change.
Do you even know what inherent bias is though? It is the tiny snub that tells someone else “I am better than you” or “he/she is better than you”. It is thinking Christians are better than Jews..or Muslims..or Buddhists..or Atheists.
Do you recognize when others are showing inherent bias?
It is being in a grocery store and having the clerk ringing up a person of color stop and say to you (the white dude or girl) I’ll be right with you, sorry”. That little bit of showing the person of color is wasting their time and ours. Do you say anything? Usually a polite person will say “no problem” or something along those lines. This reinforces to the person of color that you also know they don’t count.
How do you feel about what I just said? Are you uncomfortable?
Inherent bias shows when you see a young man with dreds walking down the street and you hold your purse or briefcase tighter.
It’s when you see a young black man running down the street and automatically look for a policeman chasing. Never mind he is wearing a jogging suit…he’s black and running. Must be a crime somewhere, right?
Or you see three African American women with suitcases leaving a house…you call the police because you do not recognize them. It doesn’t ever even occur to you they are Uber travelers, does it?
It is pulling away just a bit from a person of a different color, you just need a little more personal space than if they were white.
It is thinking, or saying “you are awfully pretty, for a ___ girl”..whether the “black” or “hispanic” or “Asian” if ever spoken aloud.
It is seeing a woman in hijab or a man in a kippah and thinking “go back to your country”…it never occurs to you they are Americans.
It is failing to make eye contact with a person on the street, in a store or library, on a sidewalk or in a Starbucks..because they are a different race or creed.
It is thinking that one race is more capable than another of crimes..or having police interventions.
Until the WHITES look at themselves, accept that they are indeed racists, then working on FIXING it so they begin to believe every human is a valuable member of society, we will never get rid of racism.
Those now thinking “but the Blacks (or Hispanics, or Asians, or Muslims, or Jews, etc etc etc) need to do the same” are racist. until you understand in your hearts and souls that we whites taught the blacks (and everyone else) to react in a negative way, you will never get rid of your inherent biases.
Changes have to start with the ones promulgating the racism. That would be the white members of our society. Until we stand up and say “I am a racist, but I am working on myself to make positive changes when it comes to human relations and equality” nothing will change.
By NOT telling that person sharing a racist joke that their behavior is unacceptable we become complicit. By NOT telling that cashier that he or she is treating another human being as less than themselves we are complicit. By NOT calling out that statement that one group of people is comparable to animals, we become complicit.
Personally I refuse to be complicit anymore. I refuse to let people get away with showing their inherent biases. I refuse to allow myself to get away with any. If that comes across as being “rude” so be it!
I won’t ever change the mind of a white supremacist or a neo-nazi…I won’t even change the attitudes of those holier than thou charismatic christians…but I can change myself.
And maybe, just maybe, the kids that hang out with me..the people that I call friends and spend time with..will see and then find themselves thinking about their own biases….and change.
What about you?