Clueless White Woman

June 24, 2008

It’s hard to be a racist

Filed under: cluelessness,personal perspective,racism — by clueless @ 7:07 pm
Tags: , ,

Carmen Van Kerckhove wrote a piece for CNN called The fallacy of colorblind post-raciality, discussing why about seventy percent of respondents in a recent poll said they did not have “some feelings of racial prejudice.”

The thing I hate about the term racism is that it is so blunt. Either you are racist — with the connotation of “sheet-wearing psycho” — or not. Somebody who’s got preconceived notions (which are normal and expected) that pop into their head when they see a person who’s different in some way fall into a murky middle ground that is badly defined, sensitive, and defensive. I don’t like being lumped into a group which includes raging bigots. Who would? (I mean, besides raging bigots who are publicly proud of their bigotry, but they are fucking nuts.)

I can’t say, “I’m a racist” — and I mean I would find it physically difficult to say, because it just feels untrue based on what I have been taught about what racism is. (See? I even have biases about racists. This is getting into some serious complicated thought.) I have a hard time just admitting I have prejudices and biases; I am always quick to follow it up with explaining that I may have them, but regardless I strive to ignore those preconceptions and treat everyone equally. I can’t be colorblind, true. Physical appearance, even cultural symbols (e.g. a crucifix, or a hijab, or a Magen David) are all obvious, visual indicators of “affiliation” and things will pop into my head when I see them. But I have a desperate instinct to protest against them and justify my biasedness (biasity? biasness? uh, racism?)… I know they are part of me, but I really do not WANT them. They are annoying and get in the way and are so fucking stupid and pig-ignorant… But, being grateful I’m not the crazy sheet-wearing neo-Confederate crazy person isn’t a free pass to completely ignore my own problems.

Maybe I’ll clean the brain out someday. In the meantime, *sigh* I’m a racist, but I’m of the clueless variety, and I’m trying.

On a lighter note… I’ve got racial biases, but I hate Don Imus 🙂 I somehow don’t think he bothers with much self-examination on the race question, but prefers to wonder why those uppity minorities are always complaining about nothing. And I think I’m clueless.

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2 Comments »

  1. As an American black I can say that you have started the process that most American’s cant admit. This is the United States of Racial America. We don’t like the thought but for at least 200 years of the existence of this country, we have taught racism, practiced racism, exported racism, imbibed racism, and yet we still have a hard time admitting being racist! We are! That’s the start, admitting it. Now we can begin to heal. If you need or want a sponsor, I emailtional volunteer.

    Comment by Ted McKim — June 26, 2008 @ 3:50 pm

  2. That’s emaitionally volunteer.

    Comment by Ted McKim — June 26, 2008 @ 3:55 pm


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