Question to White Folks: When ARE Whites Racist?
I hate the word racist! It is one of those words that is used so much that it hardly has any meaning any more. Recently I have been amazed at how often expressions of white supremacy are excused by the majority of white Americans. It took weeks of constant badgering for Rand Paul to admit that he would have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. He still opposes the Fair Housing Act of 1968. He favors white property rights over the civil rights of African Americans, yet claims he is not a racist. He isn’t racist although he belongs to an all- white country club. Many whites do not see that his thinking dehumanizes black Americans, and simply state he is having problems applying his deeply held libertarian philosophy to real life. BULL! A person who supports the right to private business to discriminate against people of color, should just put on a pointy, white hood and making it easier for the rest of us to point you out.
All the anti-black antics that reach the media are immediately attributed to some other cause. Ewen McGregor was dunk when he called a black air hostess a n***er, John Mayer’s rant about black women was not racist or sexist, he was just trying to be cool, Michael Richards racist rant was just comedy, Imus and Dog the Bounty Hunter simply misspoke, the cop who recently shot himself and blamed it on two black men had psychological problems, the Tea party members who carry confederate flags, dress toy monkeys like President Obama and photoshop pictures of the First Lady as an ape and the President as a witchdoctor are simply exercising their first amendment rights. A state law that unduly harasses Americans of color, but gives white business owners a pass for hiring undocumented workers is not racist, but an issue of law and order (even according to the FBI crime has dropped in Arizona). A state law that banishes the contributions of people of color is not racist (Arizona and Texas) but provisions to stop secessionist ideas. When Pat Robertson calls Haitian Catholic’s devil worshipers, is a religious opinion. I could go on ALL NIGHT!!! Racial conservatives like to think that African Americans are too sensitive, wouldn’t you be a bit disgruntled if you were subject to this tomfoolery for over 400 years? It is time for whites that identify as non-racist to actively check these jerks instead of making up excuse after excuse for their behavior!
One of the reasons that racism still flourishes in this country is that most whites tolerate racist speech and actions instead of getting over the discomfort that they have had skin color privilege for centuries.
Whites need to stop excusing racist behavior and tell their friends, family, co-workers and others close to them that they will not tolerate this type of speech or behavior. I can’t do it all by myself! When I meet whites who initially state that they are not racist and begin talking about American history in it’s entirety, they become uncomfortable, feel guilty or minimize the racist policies and practices that have given whites centuries of undeserved privileges. For example, I was at an end of the year party and the husband of one of my classmates said that racial epithets used by whites were just for fun. I had to explain to him that the words he uses to describe black have much more power than the words I could call him. I could call him what early English citizens called their Scots-Irish (cracker) indentured servants or what American whites called Hungarians (honkey) when they immigrated to the State but neither of these words have the historical and modern impact of the N-Word. I am still not sure he got the point. Do any whites who keep excusing these practice, realize that they are part of the problem?
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- May 21, 2010 / 10:16 pm
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