Day 6 (racial discrimination 2)

“Just see if you can Jew him down.”

“Damned Asians!  Y’all can’t drive to save your lives!”

“Look at you, with them Puerto Rican shoes on.”

“They smell like dogs when their hair gets wet.”

Have you ever uttered any of those statements in your lifetime?  If so, did you realize the impact that they carry?  I have often said that while Caucasians may lead the pack when it comes to racism, they certainly hold no monopoly.  Almost all of us, at some point or another, have uttered some type of racial or ethnic slur, many times without even realizing that you have done so.

I try to add a little flava, and a little humor to my posts from time to time, but, the main reason for opening this blog is to help keep racism at bay, to help launch a platform for obliterating it from society in . . . well, someone’s lifetime, and to make everyone aware that racial discrimination is alive and well.  I am often accused of bringing up the issue of race in the course of conversation.  I am guilty as charged.  Unlike so many people that I’ve come across, I have no qualms about bringing up the subject of race.  I see no harm in making folks aware of the FACT that racism still exists.  It seems that it is sometimes very difficult to make others understand the concept of why their attitudes or statements are racist in nature.  I need no primers in the subject matter as racial discrimination is a part of my life, almost on a daily basis.

The first step that I take in explaining that a person’s words or deeds are racist in nature, is to try to get them to understand that there are two parts to racism:  the person practicing racism and the person who is at the brunt of the racist remarks or actions.  It is usually the one practicing the racism who has the most difficult time grasping the notion of racism.  For example, if a Caucasian has not been  a victim of racial discrimination in their lifetime, they will rarely understand why you take offense to something that was said or done.  It’s relatively close to the difference  in learning by the wisdom of others and learning by experience.  One can conceptually grasp an idea presented by another, but, will not necessarily get the full meaning of it unless they have actually experienced that concept in action.  Racial discrimination can be easily placed in the same category.

The tenets of racial discrimination can be either subtle, blatant, or both.  Those that are blatant are very easy to deal with.  They are usually as plain as the nose on one’s face.  We normally come across it when it is being used by someone who is all too aware of what they are saying or doing, and, more often than not, don’t really care.  It is the subtle form that gives us the most difficult time in both recognizing it and correcting it.  The examples that I gave at the very beginning of this post are some of the subtle forms of racism and racial discrimination.  They are subtle mostly because they are not usually directed towards a particular person, have been picked up by hearing it from family and community members, and are most likely used without even realizing the error of their ways.  Subtlety can often be determined by the intention, with ill-will not being a part of that intent.

To obliterate racism and racial discrimination one can start anywhere.  The important thing is to . . . start.  Since we are always in our own backyard, why not start there?  Let us take a closer look at the things that we say and do.  Let us be conscious of the impact that words and deeds can have on others and upon ourselves.  A wise man said that ignorance is bliss.  A wiser man said that ignorance is no excuse for bad behavior.  If we recognize that our words and actions are harmful, we can monitor them.  By monitoring them, we can weed that behavior from our daily routine, eventually obliterating it from our lives altogether.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

4 Responses to “Day 6 (racial discrimination 2)”

  1. Wow, I haven’t been reading blogs for a few days and I have missed so much from your blog. This post rings so true. I live in a small town that is 98.5% African American. Some of the people I live around do not realize things they say about people of different races is racist. Thanks for once again keeping it REAL

  2. I am quilty of saying racist things. I am very guilty. I joke about things for all races even black. I am bad.
    I work with a diverse group and race comes up in to the conversation sometimes. Today a co-worker ask why me and another co-worker thought she couldn’t dance. She was like is it cause I’m white. We were like of course. She was like and I’m to believe you all can dance cause you all are black.
    Us: of course, we were born to move.
    The conversation went on with the difference between blacks and whites.
    It was all in fun but, stereotyping is racist.
    I’m glad to say we moved the topic to a better subject. . .men. You don’t want to know that one. I think you take the racist talk.

    Anyway, I use to be very militant. I could not stand white folks. I was raised by my black father. My mother left. Her family hated us. They were very open with it.
    I couldn’t stand them or any other white person. I threw myself into black history, black groups, black causes.
    When I was in the 12th grade. A white girl sat next to me in homeroom. She would always speak to me. I warmed up to her. By the end of high school she was one of my friends.
    I had come to realize that she never did anything to me so why hate her. It took sometime. . . way beyond high school but, I have worked out my racist ways.

  3. I’m also guilty of using q instead of g.
    I need help.

  4. freedom Says:

    Ms HM – Odd that we do it so subconsciously, eh? I find myself wanting to smack the back of my head, sometimes. I try, best as I can, not to let those subconscious phrases slip in. I like to keep it real.

    Sharon – I always liked the letter “q” more, anyway. I’ve had that conversation before about dancing, and it’s one of the more frequently used ones. It brings to mind “White Men Can’t Jump”. WRONG! I’m six feet tall, and I can’t play b-ball. If we all make a conscious effort and spread the word perhaps in someone’s lifetime, it will vanish.

    As always, thanks for chiming in. Peace.

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