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!