I suspect you might call me a racist. It’s an ugly word; it is non-accepting even judgmental. It’s an exclusionist word. Being a racist is not acceptable in polite society.
You’re not from my tribe, religion or race. My daughters are off-limits to you. I suspect you of evil or at least being a danger to me.
I have had no bad experience, with diversity. I’ve seen people of race on the news and sitcoms. College and the professional world was a melding pot of the elite from many races. Every single encounter was positive, both casual interaction and professional collaboration.
Still I know I am a racist, harboring distrust of people who are different. I don’t wear it like a badge; I hide it deep down. I do my best to foster positive relations, respect, and collaboration. I know that deep down there is a wall that won’t allow outsiders entry into my heart.
I try to give everyone truth, justice, and respect, but it melts away quickly in the face of anger and violence. The persecuted who think they deserve retribution for hundred-year-old transgressions make me want to puke. Yes, slavery and brutality built a lot of this country, get over it, there is no undoing it. Racism is noticeably absent on TV. Shows like American Idol, The Voice, sitcoms, and all major sports, go out of their way to avoid showing any inkling of race bias.
I am isolated and only see racism on the national news. I see police so fed up with what they perceive as low life scum that they feel justified in exercising authority far beyond an acceptable scope. Even if it is only a half of one percent of police encounters with the public, it is unacceptable to use a badge to beat and murder. The response can’t be idiots destroying property and their neighbors livelihoods. We need accountability even if it means body cameras for everyone we give authority over others.
What does it feel like to be on the receiving end of racism? I honestly thought it was a non-issue a done deal, dealt with by the civil rights movement of the 60’s. I was naive; 60 years later it rears its ugly head in everything from police brutality to common discrimination. It is hard to give respect for people living in the past with the weight of a chip on their shoulder. It is also hard to give respect to a destructive ass with a negative attitude. I sit on the fence ignoring racism and living a Pollyanna life.
Without a deep friendship and years of interaction, racism is unlikely to change, accept that racism will always exist but keep it in check with justice and respect for the importance of our differences.
The problem has an immediate solution: if an alien threat arises to force humanity to abandon differences we will unite as one. There is always hope that global enlightenment takes the world by storm… neither is likely.