If you offend easily, stop reading, because what I am about to say is likely to do just that.
I don’t like to use the word “hate.” It is strong and unforgivable, but since I am always truthful here, I hate dealing with racists, bigots and those who can’t handle something they don’t agree with. I do not hate them personally, just their behavior – I hate racist behavior of all types.
I know what you’re thinking, how is that offensive? It is offensive because of who I include in this.
To those who are included in this . . . maybe you will see how selfish and how harmful your behavior is after reading – maybe you won’t. Either way, know that I don’t personally ‘hate’ anyone. How can I? Almost everyone I have ever met has at one time behaved this way – judging others because of things they cannot change. It is the behavior I hate dealing with or existence of the behavior, and anyone is capable of changing their behavior.
But there are some things people cannot change.
And too often it is those very things we cannot change, that people use to discriminate against and hate one another.
If you haven’t seen the movie Crash, you should-soon. It is one of the most eye-opening films I have ever seen. Just be sure to keep a box of tissues handy – just in case.
My Experience with Racism has taught me that no one is immune.
At the end of my last semester, we were working on a mock trial for my Constitutional Law class. The class was divided in half and we ‘tried’ the Trayvon Martin case.
Our group was largely in touch over email and things turned out pretty well. Although we did end up with a hung jury in the end.
I was a lawyer on the prosecution side. I did the cross, and I am proud to say that I was told by both sides I did a great job . . . okay, enough bragging. We will get straight to the point here.
Many of you may or may not know, but I graduated from Virginia Sate University which happens to be a HBCU (Historically Black College and University). In my major, I am the only “white” person, although the Chairman of our department did at one time dub me an “honorary black person,” but that is beside the point.
I attended VSU for two years, and in that time I only had one problem.
I will leave a name out of this, but up until the end that person had been nothing but rude to me. We ended up in the same group for the mock trial and I had hoped that it would make us closer, that this person would see that I am not racist, and more importantly that not all white people are racist.
Just because I am white, does not make what I say any more or less racist.
Making something racist based on the color of the person who said or did something – is in itself racist.
The phrase implying that black people are “fleet of foot” which has been coined as one of the racist phrases in Ron Paul‘s newsletters.
The sentence says that, “If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be.” It sounds racist and it is meant to.
Remember though, you’re not reading what comes before or after, you’re just reading the one sentence which happened to be based off of a crime study in 1992 (when urban youth crime was on the rise). A phrase that was picked out because by itself it sounds racist. If my memory serves me well, this was also in reference to a city where there was a high minority population and again remember the rise in urban youth crime in the early 90′s.
The thing is though, that black people ARE fleet of foot. In fact, their bodies are genetically designed for running. Don’t believe me? Click the link . . . I have doctors backing me up. Unfortunately they did not mention anything about the special design of the tendon in people whose ancestry began in Africa, and although I cannot find that information, does not mean it isn’t correct. I learned it and I watched the video – I just can’t find it.
Nothing, nothing at all. In fact, now may be a good time, if you haven’t already, to take a break from this and read my post Becoming Human, so you have a good idea of how I feel about race in general.
In short- Race is a culturally constructed concept used to make one group feel superior to another, thereby discriminating against one another by using physical features to do so.
Historically, people adapted to their environments, thus for survival people of African descent had to in fact be “swift of foot” to survive.
Even larger, had Ron Paul not said that, or had it not been in his newsletters and it were said by someone of African descent . . . I’d bet people would be proud to agree at how much faster black people are than their white counterparts. Go ahead, it is okay to brag about something like that. It is okay to feel proud that genetically some features are better than others. It is no different from bragging about being short or tall – having or not having large breasts - whether someone is better looking – or smarter than someone else.
And here is my even larger point. Saying something is racist simply because it comes from a person of another race is the biggest load of crap EVER! Think about how racist that way of thinking is. If you think something is racist simply because someone of a different race said it, then you are the racist.
Back to what happened with my group work
I get a ton (at least ten a day) of emails asking me to sign this petition, donate money etc. – I subscribe to just about every organization group out there.
While doing the group work, I got an email one night about a girl named Jasmine Thar, whose situation nearly mirrors the Trayvon Martin case.
I felt, given the nature of our group, that everyone would want to sign this petition . . . I hope, that even you want to sign this petition.
If anyone is ever killed, it doesn’t matter to me if they’re purple. If we know who did the killing, an arrest should be made. Period. No questions about it, let the court system try to do its job and decide whether this person should be jailed or go free. That is simply not too much to ask for anyone.
Now, because I sent this . . . remember the person I told you I’ve had trouble with?
This is what was said after I forwarded the email:
Why would you think I would want to read about a hate crime such as this Ms. Kacey. True this is a violent world but for you to be a white women and constantly rubbing crap like this in our faces I find to be offensive.
So, me . . . seeking justice for someone . . . is apparently rubbing it in someone’s face. I wonder how Jasmine’s mother would feel about that? The message was meant to be spread, it is tragic, yes. But that doesn’t mean that simply because I am white that I have no rights to be sympathetic . . . this little girl was 16 and texting in the front yard. A small child could have shot her by accident and I still would seek justice.
But coming from me, the gesture was “racist” simply because I am a “white woman.”
Not everyone felt that way, in fact most of the group thanked me for the information, because they would not have heard of it otherwise.
But this type of behavior is the prime example of why racial issues keep taking place. Why the hate continues and why sometimes the hate doesn’t even make any sense.
It isn’t just blacks against whites, there are people in every ethnic group who are just too easily offended, who cannot handle the stereotypes that exist about their ethnicity to be shared for the world to see, often in what can be a comical way.
Come-on people, Man up! These things aren’t “racist” . . . don’t let a small group of ignorant and clearly insecure people persuade you otherwise.
No one screamed that Kutcher’s portrayal of a Southerner was racist or shed those from the south in a “bad light,” even though that could have just as easily been the argument.
I am just sick and tired of everything being racist. Get over it, stop seeing race. See cultures and realize that certain things are stereotypical of certain cultures. Just because you recognize a certain stereotype does not mean that all people of a certain group fit the stereotype.
Heck, I agree with the stereotype that women are manipulative, gold diggers. I’m not, and I’m sure not all women are. Enough women are though, that I would certainly warn our kid and any male friends to “bag it up” – because her saying she is on birth control doesn’t mean anything.
Suck it up, it’s true. I guarantee you, that anyone reading this can think of at least one woman who has trapped a man with a kid. And heck, maybe that kid is you.
Stereotypes exist, and they exist with good reason. That doesn’t mean that we are incapable of seeing past them, or that we don’t see past them. The fact is that stereotypes exist. Plain and simple. If you want “racism” to stop being part of the stereotype, stop seeing things based on race. Find another way to categorize people.
I know it is easy for us to categorize, to know what we have seen in the past and assume that it is true about the future. By our very nature as humans, this is how we survive.
I think when it comes to race, that there are too many differences between people of their own “race.” Think about it, really, look at your own race group and think about how different you are from the stereotypical group as a whole.
When I say Southern White . . . you may think “racist” immediately. But trust me, I think I am further from racism than any other person I know, yet I grew up in the South and I happen to be quite fair or “white.”
Hear this phrase in your head . . . “look at that white girl burn” . . . it sounds just horrific, doesn’t it?
Is it racist if someone who isn’t white says it? No. It isn’t. White people burn when they go out in the sun and leave their skin unprotected. This isn’t racism, this is a fact.
On the flip side . . .
There is real racism in the world and it should be taken seriously. Unfortunately, if we keep focusing on things that are simple and silly and we cry wolf every time we get a little bit offended . . . real racism will go unnoticed. Real racism will be forgotten about, and we won’t be able to stop it, because we will have cried wolf too many times.
Trust me, I know it exists, I do. Move past the little things, the trivial things . . . and focus on the larger problems . . . like why more young black men are incarcerated than anyone else. That is what racism looks like.
It is using the color of a person’s skin to predict certain behaviors. And I don’t want to hear that line about how “we don’t do that” . . . trust me, I know that we do.
I have experienced it first hand.
I have seen others do it.
I have gotten the phone call warning me that there were “black kids playing by my house” . . . trust me, I know that racial profiling exists.
Who gives a crap about chicken wraps and potato snacks when this . . . this means of categorizing people . . . this perpetual fear and hatred – is the problem.
Find another way to size people up.
In my thesis I refused to ask the question about race. I feel that as long as we continue to use it as a means of determining behaviors that are true about certain groups – we can never end racism.
So unless I am measuring racial inequality, I feel as a social scientist it is my duty – my obligation – to lead the movement towards a better way of classifying people.
What culture do you identify with? American? Any or All? Your race? Your Profession? Your hobby? Where you live or grew up? A type of music? Your home country? Your Religion?
Those were the most frequent topics I got when I asked that question – and if you ask me the response: “Fat White Trucker” tells me way more about a respondent than just knowing the degree of pigmentation a person has or does not have.
Can you do this? Find a way to see past color – past the identity that someone is born with – and get to know who they are?
Thanks for stopping by the Middle Brick Road, I hope you enjoyed this post. My name is Kacey and I am really big on health and all things natural – freedom – politics and bringing change by abandoning the boxes we too often put ourselves in.
If you’re new here, please take a look around, follow along and like me on Facebook, so you never miss a beat. =)) Until next time . . .