TRIGGER WARNING: Racism, Slavery, Prejudice
When I was younger, my father would often say that black people were “blaming [him], but [he] didn’t do anything.” I don’t believe it was a blame as much as it is a resentment, a resentment of the white male privilege that he enjoyed but was unable to understand. There is no evidence my mother understands the white privilege she and I have. I’m not sure I understand the resentment myself.
For example, I have an upstairs neighbor and friend who is black. Don’t get me wrong; she is kind, cares for her grandkids on the weekends, and often includes us in on her generosity. But just because she is black, every time she has called the police about something, she has been threatened with arrest. She has told us this many times. Well, let’s compare that with my own experience. We have NEVER been threatened with arrest, not even when my mother was prescribed Ambien and suffering from sleepwalking for this. Anyway, these are personal examples in my own life; what about you, other white people? Can you identify differences in life among you and other black people?
I know my parents tried to promote equality among us children. They would say “everybody is equal,” but how were we supposed to achieve that? How are we supposed to achieve that when we are taught only white people are kind and good, black people are aggressive savage beasts best corralled by a form of slavery, Hispanics are hysterical crazies best out of the country, Asians are brilliant enemies….see where I’m going with all this? Much of these stereotypes and concepts are fed through the tubes and lines of the internet, television and the like. I know there are exceptions, though, however rare. I will never not watch “The Neighborhood,” for example. It’s about a pair of families, one black, one white, confronting the prejudices they face every day. But it is still woefully an exception.
This is a very hard post to write for me. It includes confessions of things that I never wanted to admit of myself, because I never thought of this before.
I admit it; I am racist. But I don’t want to be.
I am racist because that is what American society wanted me to be. With the constant pummeling of my brain with the stereotypes and statements made by the media by privileged white males who want to keep a godlike power over other people.
Let’s get serious for a moment: you have been trained to think certain things about yourself in order to cough up money for the things the companies want you to buy. It was all about divide and conquer.
Perhaps the proponents of slavery felt that owning people made them feel like gods. Perhaps they were unable to earn their money and keep their power any other way – or were unwilling to consider it. Whatever it is, slavery and racism, the twin sins of American culture, have remained unchecked to run and now ruin our experiment known as American Democracy. And now I am pledging to fight them.