The dirty little truth about racism

The dirty little truth about racism

This was actually a posting I had made to an article by SammyScoops entitled An Attempt to Write the Wrongs:.  I tend to find myself a bit long winded on some subjects, but feel I was able to lay down my observations I believe to be true about our culture in the United States dealing with the term “Racism”.  This is what I wrote:

I find that the first problem is allowing definitions of words to be changed. I can almost grant you 99.9% of American people are not Racist. This would require them in believing their race was superior to another or all others. I teach my children that there tools we use in life that can be used for good or bad, but ultimately they are simply tools we use through out life. These tools are prejudices and biases.

There is nothing wrong with having prejudices, as 100% of people do. It’s these prejudices that makes you think twice before walking down a dark street at night, or get in the car with someone you believe has been drinking. We use them everyday whether we want to believe so or not. We do use them (sometimes harshly) when meeting a new person, or passing by someone on a sidewalk. How someone chooses the world to see them through clothing and mannerisms speaks highly of how they should expect the world to accept them. Just using a black verses white example, very few employers are going to give a second thought of hire an individual with slashed jeans, open armed shirt, (think Larry the Cable Guy) baseball cap with a fish hook in it and are chewing on dip. Nor are they going to be falling over themselves to hire an individual with their jeans hanging 1′ below their waist, exposing any underwear, only being held in place with a belt….if they are lucky.

In both cases the persona that the individual is putting off may work well among their friends, but speaks laziness, undependable and over all not caring about themselves to employers, as well as society.

Being bias has it’s role to our lives as well. We think of greater value or dependability from many things from the toothpaste brand we buy to what car company makes a better vehicle. This is not to excuse persons that would simply make a decision based on color of skin rather then the merits of a person. This is not something that is easily removed from persons if it is deep seated. But on the other hand, it is something that through education can be eradicated through educating the next generation. Unfortunately there are those of all walks of lives that make their livings keeping unwarranted biases alive. These would include individuals such as Bob Jones to Jesse Jackson.

It has been, at least for the last 40 or so years, less about color of skin but rather culture. Just utilizing caucasians, one could provide an anthropologist a life time of study with samples from say Florida cities verses Florida crackers, Louisiana bayous verse New Yorkers, Fly over country farmers verses Los Angelenos and still possibly Montanans verses Texans. It’s all about culture.

Culture also comes from the way we speak. My grandmother would crack me over the knuckle with a ruler anytime she heard me use the word “ain’t”. Unfortunately even attempting to improve one’s speech can cause chastisement from within a culture as trying to be “pretentious”, “city-fied”, “uncle tom” or “gringo”.

It’s time we start living up to the words of Martin Luther King “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” It is time again we accept prejudices and not deny ourselves the ability to judge the content of a person’s character.

9 responses to “The dirty little truth about racism

  1. Reblogged this on luvsiesous and commented:
    The dirty truth about racism in the USA is that much more than .1% of the people support racism. And many of those are outright racists. Are 3% or 10% racist? I do not know.

    But, .1%?

    I think it is safe to say that more than one out of 1,000 people are prejudiced.

    That is my 2 cents, what do you think?

    Wayne

    • I appreciate the observation and I have actually inserted a word that corrected what I meant by that sentence.
      from:
      I can almost grant you 99.9% of people are not Racist.
      to
      I can almost grant you 99.9% of American people are not Racist.
      while granted in the U.S. we do have groups that have beliefs that they are a superior race, I would bet more on those that claim to just “hate a race” are severely bias rather then believing their own race is superior.

  2. I agree with you completely on a lot of points,

    Indeed a large part of the people out there grouped together as “racist” when perhaps ethnocentric is a term that would fit better because the biggest differences ARE cultural in origin. Perhaps the deepest cultural divides are the ones drawn within an individual ethnic group. Whites weren’t the only ones to flee the large influx of southern rural african-americans who moved north to industrial centers during the Great Migration. Many of the more established and well off, African-Americans fled as well. To take that to its extreme there is the gang culture. Living in Norther California, I am all too aware of the ongoing gang war between the Nortenos and the Surenos gangs, knowing people personally for whom that is just a way of life, probably the only one they’ll ever know, the reality they live in. If I lived in Southern California I would be more familiar with the struggle between the Bloods and the Crips. There are countless others, these are just two I am familiar with. This among other things leads me to agree with your friends that unfortunately racism is the correct word for the behavior of more than .1% of the population.

    That was precisely the point of my original post. It’s here, all around us, still woven into the fabric of society, like a pox infested blanket. Its ugly, just as ugly today as yesteryear, its just more discreet for the most part, in any case, personally I am not OK with it. I hope that it was clear that me saying we should “own it” and recognize its existence was in no way meant to trivialize it. Quite the opposite really, I think that for most Americans the struggle for civil rights ended in 1965 after the Voting Rights Act, or whenever that same episode everyone watches of the Ken Burns special ended. Shows over pack up its time to go. The only people talking about race in any public way are caricatures in a sense like you described in your response, further adding to the illusion that it can’t be a “real” concern, held by “real” people, justifying our collective lack of concern because, Its just nonsense spouted by “crackpots” (in both camps) as a publicity stunt. We all look at the world through a different lens, our prescription is determined in part by a combination of both experience and upbringing. There’s no sense in denying it, were human. However, that does not excuse the individual from personal accountability either. We all have to accept responsibility for the ways in which we have actively shaped our own reality.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&biw=1163&bih=571&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=UDmaFy9o4_sHvM:&imgrefurl=http://art-lanier.tumblr.com/&docid=CLSoGiaryz1MOM&imgurl=http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ly0w538xKy1qgy1iqo1_500.jpg&w=500&h=575&ei=nuiDT5vgIYSRiQKjsbHKBQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=321&vpy=155&dur=5143&hovh=241&hovw=209&tx=98&ty=255&sig=110351641532081691944&page=1&tbnh=126&tbnw=121&start=0&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:74

    It is easy to take a look at people who seem to embody stereotypes and say, “see” theres proof, these stereotypes are stereotypes because they’re true, my bigotry is justified. I mean isn’t that kinda like reading your horoscope and then attributing to the stars some uncanny ability to predict your future when things came true…? Now ask yourself, how much of that was you making it come true because you read it?

    Usually, If you think something enough you’re bound to make it true in some way. My family didn’t exactly bring me up to be anything but a racist, if I would have allowed that to be justification enough, then I would be. While I could say that my parents were merely a product of their times, and it could be true to some extent, its really just a cop-out, an excuse. There has even been experiences in my past, of where something screwed up happened to me. It would have been easy to blame an entire group of people for the wrongs of individuals who just so happened to share similarities with them. (I wont even lie that that wasn’t my first reaction, albeit a brief one) If I feed that beast,Im just part of the problem, rather than the solution. I would become everything that I am against. I know that I have absolutely no idea on where to start or what to do to achieve this thing I believe in. I just know that the ONLY thing I can control, is myself, and how I treat people and when I have children what I teach them, hoping to be the best role model possible.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norte%C3%B1os

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crips

  3. Even if they are racist, there is no law against being one.
    There ARE laws against ACTING OUT on racism, like many black people do every day, all day long

    • True, as do White people, every day, all day long. In fact all people are guilty of it at some point or another. That was my point. That’s not a trait reserved for only one group. That was my point

  4. Its a good point. And you are fair.

    I am no longer a fair person; being beaten by 3 black gals while they screamed ‘white b*tch’, robbed by another one, my hubby’s sister raped by a black man and forced into having an abortion, something that she is/was vehemently against.

    I dont feel racist, b/c I truly DO believe we are all human, however, I am bigoted.
    Your point is well taken, I just dont think I can go back :(

  5. =( its a goose. heh heh and very Celtic. thanks

    Prejudicism is perfectly fine. I can drive through town and see many different groups of teens that I would never want my children to “hang” out with, from the British looking goth punks (white) to the Mexican gang thuggers (yes we actually have them) to the black “yo, yo” boys down on the corner appearing they are loitering and selling stuff to cars that pull up (black).

    To deny our own God-given senses to detect and discern what doesn’t seem right to us and then to avoid, is as asinine as continually sticking your hand into a pot of boiling water because your being told that it does burn every time.

    From personal experience(and we are talking about at the least 10 years ago) checking out dance clubs in Orlando, FL, when my friends and found ourselves in a line for a club only to get to the front and realize that everyone was getting a “pat-down” by security, that’s when we took a hard look at the people that were in line. Mine you, because this was the place we were supposed to meet up with someone, we hadn’t choose this place ourselves, but finally decided to step out of line. The line consisted of 95% black patrons and was the only club line that had a pat-down to enter. We decided to trust our discernment. If you needed a pat-down to enter, we didn’t want to be enclosed in a building with people that required a pat-down to get in themselves.

    There is a HUGE difference between not wanting to associate with or be around people that make you uncomfortable, verses wanting all people of a particular skin color to all die!

    I will be posting some new articles dealing with Farrakhan, and the hatred that comes from that man’s mouth to multitudes of cheering people, about the death of Jews and white people. Now I know people could say that there are groups like the neo-nazis and kkk, but if you ask majority of “whites” they dislike those groups and would never set them up as heros or the race, unlike asking most blacks about Farrakhan

  6. Sorry for the late response, I forgot to check the notify me box. That really is a terrible thing that happened to you, and I am truly sorry to hear about it. In fact I have a similar occurrence while riding public transportation coming home from school one day. I momentarily let my guard down and it was only my stubbornness and quick reactions that prevented the same outcome. I guess the most important thing for me to say is that nobody deserves that kind of treatment, it wasn’t your fault, it wasn’t my fault either. We shouldn’t entirely write a group of people off for the wrongs of a few either though, people of all colors and backgrounds grow a lot braver when they travel in groups and everyone makes decisions that later in life make them wince or blush. Im sure that nobody would fault you for coming away from that with prejudices, I know that I certainly don’t. My only point is this, when we give in to hate, and fear, nobody wins. That is what proliferates the ascension to power of people like Farrakhan, or the Grandmaster of the KKK, you name it. It is also the same thing that took away MLK and Bobby in 1968. If we feed into that system of intolerance, not only will it not really make us feel any better, but it only makes the situation worse. By no means am I proposing to ignore your gut instinct or better judgement. I just feel that a lot of people hide ulterior motives behind a veneer of racism and hatred, maybe even a little ignorance too. Only the individual knows if it is indeed a gut instinct and is applied entirely situationally or if its something else. I think thats a question that we all need to ask ourselves at some point or another.

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