Wednesday, July 21, 2010


"There are two races of men in this world...the 'race' of the decent man and the 'race' of the indecent man." ~ Victor Frankl

Andrew Breitbart recently released a video of what appears to be a racist black woman boasting of racially discriminating against a white man, posted here:

Subsequent statements from both sides of the racial argument indicate that she was not quite as racist as we were initially led to believe.

But, what of her audience? Watch the speech. Her predominately black audience is nodding and murmuring in agreement with the part of the speech in which she tells of her conflicting thoughts on whether to help a white farmer, or do as little as possible for him. One NCAAP audience member is actually heard saying, "That's right!"

Are we to assume that her audience of predominately black NAACP members agree that discriminating against white men is wrong, as she eventually makes clear? Or, are they agreeing with discrimination against white men?

I think we are focusing too much on only a small part of this problem. This isn't about one woman who arguably may or may not be demonstrating a racist attitude.

This is about an attitude affecting entire races and cultures of people.

I have used this allegory before in comments at other blogs:

These racist attitudes are like cockroaches. When you walk into a darkened room, you see nothing out of the ordinary. But, when you turn on the lights, you may see a cockroach or two scurrying away and disappearing behind the baseboards to hide.

Please understand. Before you object to my metaphor, I am not comparing black people or white people or any other color of people to cockroaches.

I am comparing a racist attitude to cockroaches.

Whenever you hear a racist statement, or hear of a racist behavior from anyone of any race, whatever the degree of overtness, rest assured there are many more people who agree with the sentiment who are hiding behind the baseboards.

David Duke is not the only white person who has racist thoughts. King Samir Shabazz is not the only black man who has racist thoughts. Osama bin Laden is not the only Muslim who has racist thoughts.

All of us have, at one time or another, said or thought something about a person or persons of another race which could be considered racist. I know I have. And, I think if you readers are honest with yourselves, you would have to admit you have, too.

Let's be frank. Try as we might, we can't escape thinking racist thoughts. It is in our genes.

The audience attending Shirley Sherrod's speech may not consider themselves racist. Shirley Sherrod may not consider herself racist. And, they may not be overtly racist. But the underlying racist attitude is there. It is obvious in their responses and their acceptance of her speech.

As an aside, I would also like to point out that racism is not indigenous to only the white race.

Blacks can be equally as racist as whites.

There seems to be some unwritten rule that black people cannot be racist. That only whites can be considered racists.

When was the last time, excluding this recent video of Shirley Sherrod's speech and Conservative blog posts, that we heard of a black person being called a racist?

Even Conservative news reporters and talk show hosts don't call a black person racist. They call them "race baiters" or "race profiteers" or "racial dividers", etc. But rarely do they call racist black people racist.

Should we create some sort of "Racist Anonymous" organization to rid ourselves of this attitude? Should we implement a 12 step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous?

Should we not hold blacks who exhibit this racist attitude to account? If we should, we aren't. At least, not consistently. But we certainly hold white people to a higher standard of expectation, don't we?

And why not? For decades it's been hammered into white people that we are racists and we need to stop being racist. That hammering has not been directed towards blacks for the most part.

Our racist attitudes, whether we are black, white, or neutral, are hidden from view until exposed to the light of day by some public revelation, and then we hurriedly conceal them behind the baseboards of righteous indignation:

"Don't call me racist! Why, some of my best friends are____ (fill in the blank)!"

It is that attitude that we must, like cockroaches, eradicate. It is essential to the health and well-being of our Republic.

Just as cockroaches carry disease, a racist attitude carries with it a disease of the soul.

Martin Luther King's dream applies to all of us. Whites, Blacks, Neutrals. All races must begin to judge each other, "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character".

Once done, and only then, can we get the racial divide in this country behind us.


Krystal said...

The only way to rid the world of racism and/or bias is to make everyone look exactly the same. I'm a fair skinned, blue-eyed blonde, it may not be racist, but I have been treated different because of the color of my hair.

I'm a stay-at-home mother. I have a degree and a higher IQ than both Bush and Gore, but I get treated different because I stay home (obviously I'm stupid now).

I wouldn't say that everyone is racist in one way or the other, but I would say that everyone has bought in to stereo-types or bias in some areas and a person can't help that. We have personal preferences. Those preferences are too frequently called racist.

Most anything can be called racist by certain groups. If I were single, I wouldn't date a black man. It's not racist, I just prefer the Latino look. I wouldn't date a blonde either. But I bet the NAACP would call me a recist.

Randy said...

I agree with most everything you say except about it being genetic. I think it's a learned behavior caused by ignorance. It can be unlearned by education.

I watched my kids in elementary school and they didn't have the same biases I had when I was growing up. We can learn to overcome those biases.

Not everyone looks the same as me. Skin color, hair color, nose size. I shouldn't pre-judge based on any of that.