Looking in the Mirror

Spiritual Revelations for those seeking Humanity in Humans ~~CordieB.

OK, perhaps I’m prejustice about some things, but I’m working on it!

©2008 ~motherwarxx

 

Normally, I stick to poetry or art, but every so often, I write an opinion/article.  I had planned on writing a quasi-xrated poem today, but this morning after reading Angry African’s post on racism , I decided to speak out.  So, blame AA for my writhing this post instead of the quasi-xrated poem I intended to woo you with today.  In his post, AA admitted that he was a racist at one time, and didn’t even realize it.  I prefer to use the word prejustice in AA’s situation, rather than racist.  I think there is a difference . . . He gave us a scenario of how he passed up one hitchhiker without a second thought due their color, and thought about picking up another, because it was, perhaps, "a preferred color."   AA did not say which color he preferred.  I assumed when I first read this article that he gave more thought to picking up the white passenger than so the black passenger because AA is a white male.  But after further reflection, I really don’t know, because he is also an activitist who may have felt more passion towards a black man than a white.  I don’t know.  I hope he never tells.  The point is, racism is racism.  Why is it that he felt compelled to pick up one more so than the other based solely on the color of their skin?  AA challenged us to look at ourselves and admit to our own racisms.  This is something that we do not communicate about in mixed race situations.   Perhaps it is not PC to do so; perhaps we feel that we will offend someone.  But unless we look our actions and our thought patterns then the cycle of racism will continue.  Unless we selfexamine, we will not be compelled to eradiate these ignorant thoughts.  So I said to self, "Self, how am I racist." 

 

Racist Act No. One.   I don’t consider myself to be racist, but I suppose I have preferences based upon color.  Is that racist?  I prefer relationships with black men; I’ve never been attracted to white men.  Does that make me a racist?  Perhaps yes.  Because, truth be told, I’ve never ever considered trying such because of what’s been handed down to me by society, family and friends.  Oh, I’m perfectly acceptable of others in mixed race relationships; I have many friends who are married to people of a different race.  But me personally, I have never even given such a second thought.  Period. 

 

Racist Act No. Two.   Now here is another form of racism I have, similar to that of AA’s maybe, maybe not.  I’m walking down a dark street.  On one side of the street are two white men in business suits, on the other are two black men with hoodies and baggy jeans.  As a black female, which group would I feel more comfortable walking past?  Answer – The white men in business suits.  Crazy huh?  Racists huh?  True though.  This is due to what I’ve learned; what I see,  what I’m told by the media, not what I experience.  My thought pattern has nothing whatsoever to do with the people themselves; as I don’t even know these people.  I’ve never been mugged, I’ve never been raped.  I usually walk past either without any interaction whatsoever.  So what has given me this ignorant fear that I’d rather past two white men in business suits than two black men in hoodies and jeans.  It’s simply ignorant.  And, I have to consciously stop this train of ignorant thinking; because I’m passing on this bull to my daughters and sons, either consciously or unconsciously!   A recent study showed that black women would prefer to pass individuals on the street by race and gender in this order – (1) black female (2) white female (3) white male (4) black male.  The black male is last in the pecking order, even by the black female.  Don’t you find that somewhat disturbing.   I feel the same way, yet it is very, very disturbing.  What have I allowed to sink into my head?  What fears have manifested into my belief system?  Wow! 

 

The Irony of it All.   Now even though I would not  give a white male a second look in the prospect of marriage, I  would rather pass him than a black male   on a dark street!  Ain’t that ignorant!  Think about it! 

 

Peace, Light and Love . . . CordieB. 

 

P.S. Don’t tell anyone, but I thought that Angry African was a black man for weeks when I first started reading his blog – why?– Because he’s an Angry African Activitst!.  I’d stereotyped him too.  One day I looked up and I saw those beautiful piercing green eyes in the header and it was then that I looked deeper into what he was.  Not that it should make a difference, right?  Racism is pure ignorance!  We need to check ourselves!

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13 Comments»

  angryafrican wrote @

Haha! Don’t worry, most people made that mistake at first. But I won’t go into that right now. You might be more surprised if you knew the details. I’ll write about that at some stage.
But most South Africans – “black” or “white” – are marginal cases on either side. Part of the Apartheid baggage. We still carry this idea of what we are without really looking to deeply in our past.

You are right. I won’t be saying which was which. It doesn’t really matter. And it makes people think a little bit more as well. I can be racist either way. Racism is racism. Ha! Racism knows no color!

Your dilemma is interesting. Similar to what thatdudeiknow said on the Arabs and Jews dilemma for him. We are “taught” by society and the telly to think one way. Of course it doesn’t help that some people exploit that image for their own gain either.

But here is the reverse. I was in harlem the other day. Not for long – just lost in NY. I really wanted to stop and take it in a bit. Go leanr a bit more about Harlem. How it is today and what people know of the past. I haven’t had that chance before. I left this out of my blog on that experience… But I walked up to a group of guys to start talking to them. Said hello and started talking. All they gave me was a few stares and a grunt. Obvious that they didn’t want to talk to me.

This is another reason why I hate racism. It takes my opportunity to just talk to people I don’t know away from me. All of a sudden I have to be “introduced”.

You know, what is odd is that has never happened to me anywhere in Africa. I cuold walk into a township in South Africa during the fight against Apartheid, or the shackshops in Zambia, or bars in Nigeria or market in Mali and people will always just take me in. They knew who I was the minute we started speaking. That’s what I miss. People just being people.

We have loads of racism in South Africa. But it is in your face and you can deal with it. What is scary about the US is that it is so hidden and almost throughout society.

Anyway, wife calling – she needs help in the kitchen!

Sorry for the long comment.

Lots of love.

  Sorrow wrote @

When I read through your post, I did a lot of HMMMing and pondering.
i think it’s safe to say, cause i have been thinking about it, that the only time I pay attention to skin color, is when it’s wearing blues.
I have been more harassed by white cops, than by black cops. So if I had to walk down a street past some cops, You know which ones i would walk past first.
I have a little one who is afraid of black men/boys, but thats because she was assaulted by one when she was 6, so she tends to be very distrustful. It’s a hard thing as a parent to cope with. I often wonder how to help her , and i don’t know if i ever can.
It breaks my heart to hear her say ” but brown boys are just so mean mommy! You can’t get to close, or they’ll hurt you.” and i explain for the 100th time, that it’s not JUST brown boys, that all boys are the same, some are good, some are rotten, but if you judge them by what they look like on the outside, you’ll never know what goodness is on the inside.
She gives me that “you have no idea what your talking about ” look….
but some day
perhaps
something will happen, and she will over come.

  Amber wrote @

Cordie – this is an amazing post. You and AA to have bared your soul in this way. Its really something you don’t want to think about, or even admit to yourself, yet it is still there.

I saw my official first “African American” when I was 5 years old. I was completely enchanted by their beauty and exoticness. It was a family who moved into my totally upper class white neighborhood. Thankfully, I grew up in California where this family were embraced for who they were as opposed to the color of their skin. I never knew that there was a difference until much later.

About this same time, my Mexican nanny started taking us on the bus with her to visit her family in East LA. People were every color there and were very poor. I didn’t really understand they were poor, but I knew that they were different. Yet I was just one of the kids along with everyone else. I played out in the sprinklers along with all of the other children. They were my friends and family. I knew no different.

Racism was never part of my household or life experience to be quite honest. No one in my family are racist (that is about all I can say as a positive for them at this point). The only even slightly racist thing my mother ever said to me is warning me about interracial marriage and dating because of the social pariah that it was at the time. Not because of her own prejudice, but the prejudice I would face from others.

I did date a few “African American” men. I dated men from several different races to be quite honest. Arab, Indian, and Chinese. I dated men of all different religious beliefs too. It was who they were that attracted me.

Personally, I find African American men (like Denzel Washington for example and Will Smith to be SEXY) But, I probably wouldn’t look twice at some guy from the “hood” no matter what race he was. Maybe there in lies my own prejudice.

My Best friend in the world happens to have a different color skin to mine (as you read on my blog). Her daughter, the gift she gave to me in Liane is African American and Chinese mixed and absolutely stunning. I thank God for that child daily as she brings me such joy.

My niece that you also read about on my blog is a mix as well. She’s chinese and american. She looks like a chinese version of me. I crack up :) She has my figure, poor kid.

My point is… that I think prejudice is a learned thing. Not something we are born with. We have to be taught to hate. Love is instinctual.

  Hayden Tompkins wrote @

I don’t often stop for people, but I will go out of my way to stop for a black man by the side of the road. I remember when we lived in Miami, that black guys would get stranded and NO ONE would stop for them. Granted it’s been about ten years since then, but I always felt really bad about that and I promised myself that I would stop for them when I was older and had a car.

I don’t consider that racist. It’s more a reaction to other people’s prejudices.

  SanityFound wrote @

“I don’t consider myself to be racist, but I suppose I have preferences based upon color” I once got into a discussion with a friend of mines boyfriend just before I was leaving for the UK. He was bragging to someone about how he was teaching my friends son to say the word kaffir and how he was going to be a “Boer” who didn’t like Africans.

Knowing me as you do I kind of got into it with him and he ended up asking me if I wasn’t racist then why hadn’t I had a black man – my first response of “opportunity is everything” didn’t quite satisfy him so I put it like this. Each of use have different tastes, long elegant fingers might turn you on while a sexy butt turns me on. Neither is wrong because it is just what we each find “hot”. A partner of a certain race is the same, it doesn’t make you racist if you only find your race “hot” it is just your preference.

As for walking on the side of the road, I don’t think it is wrong, I think you weigh up what your perception of the situation is every time you approach a situation like this. You weigh up what they look like, how they are standing, is there any aggressive body language, do they look hostile and then you decide… in all honesty I actually dont think its about race but more what we perceive as danger. If those business suits where standing all hostile and looked like danger you would react in the same way.

Maybe I am just nuts, highly probable – sometimes the situation has nothing to do with race at all. I probably didn’t get the point at all but anyways this is my 5c MWAH!

  vanessaleighsblog wrote @

Cordie: This has to be one of your most powerful posts by far for me, maybe because of my having read AA’s post on the same topic, maybe from talking about it in my class for the last two weeks; I agree with AA, that what makes prejudice such a dangerous thing still in America, is that it is hidden; many people walk around saying that they are not prejudiced; instead of facing the truths of what lies within. Like myself, I don’t like facing those attitudes, which are based on growing up and being exposed to stereotypes of persons from all categories, including gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. AA’s post has been inspiring me over the last few days to put on together; we as Americans are resistant to face our own truths, it scares us, I think because we have actively participated in creating them. Sure, we don’t have separate water fountains or bathrooms anymore based on race, but the underlying attitudes still exist. I was not exposed to outright attitudes of racism, or other “isms” while I was growing up in my house; but the images on tv and in movies was always catering to a stereotype. i do remember growing up in New Hampshire when I was ten; and hearing that Clarence Williams III from the Mod Squad, and his family wanted to move into a house in our town, and that they didn’t because they would have been the only black family in our town, and they felt unwelcome. I remember feeling very sad about that…….

I know that the key to changing this is based on what all of us commit to do, to look within our own hearts and minds, and educate ourselves on knowing people as individuals, one by one, and stop putting us all in categories…. we are all too diverse, and unique and magical for that……

Love ya, girl, thanks so much for this one, it totally rocks…… Vanessa

  Glenn wrote @

I wouldn ‘t say you have prejudices. Yet, your unwillingness to date anyway whose not Black, a mindset you noted was passed down from your childhood, is only hurting you, as you are depriving yourself of many men who you might be real comfortable with.

I am white, but I prefer dating Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Indians (not native Americans). Why, because I’ve dated my share of white women, whose company I honestly didn’t enjoy, and whose bedroom habits were quite selfish, self-centered and rarely talented.

But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t date a white woman. It’s just in general I don’t get off on them nowadays .

With regard to the Black kids with hoodies and baggy pants (with their underwear showing), most law-abiding citizens I know — Black, White, etc. find them scary. And I have a hunch they might want it like that.

I have no ethnic prejudices, but I do have social standards (behaviors) that leave me with a poor taste in my mouth for the assholes, tough guys, emotional unavailable, self-absorbed, and insensitive.

I believe this has served me.

  rawdawgbuffalo wrote @

i feeel u just glad u aint read my last post or u would be real mad

  psychscribe wrote @

coride, is the artwork on this piece yours? its beautiful!!!!

  Disturbed Stranger wrote @

Now that is something to really think about…
I love the way you present issues, confusing and lovely!

  cordieb wrote @

@All. Sorry for the delayed responses – I’ve been out with the dreaded flue. I’m slowly getting better. I just wanted to tell everyone that I appreciate your provocative comments and truth. Also, to psychscribe – this art is not my own, it is beautiful – if you click on the link beneath it it will take you to the artist’s gallery on Deviant Art. She has wonderful humanistic art there.

Hopefully, I’ll be back in full swing soon! Miss you guys. . . . PLL, CordieB.

  edulvanna wrote @

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  Recaulpfearecex wrote @

zvkroeiboelojysmwell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch ;)


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