Racism is just as real as it is ugly.
I honestly grew up believing that racism didn’t exist anymore except in old white grandmas and pockets of the Deep South. I had black friends growing up, dreamed of having biracial children, and assumed everyone pretty much understood that race has nothing to do with individual worth.
I was heartbroken when reality crashed my naive bubble of equality. The sad truth is that there are people all over this country (and world) who judge each other based on skin color. The world is full of hate, stereotypes, and cultural disregard.
As soon as I realized how prevalent racism was, my eyes were also opened to less aggressive forms of racism – forms that lived inside of me. From cultural stereotypes to the denial of racism, I too discovered racism in my own eyes. Even as an educated, and I’ve been told a very loving individual, I judge my brothers and sisters on a daily basis.
So many people claim that they “don’t see color” or “aren’t racist”, but that just isn’t the reality of our society. The world is full of racism, and you probably are too. As with all things, the first step in solving a problem is admitting that you have one. So here is a list of beliefs, attitudes, and actions that make you racist. This is clearly not an exhaustive list, but I hope it gives you a general idea. Just because you don’t beat up people who look different from you, doesn’t mean that you are not racist. Racism is a deep-seated suspicion of cultures and differences, and just because you wish you weren’t racist, doesn’t mean you aren’t.
You might be a racist if…
- you know how many minority friends you have off the top of your head.
- you have ever started a sentence with, “I’m not racist, but…”
- you believe that an impoverished black child has all the opportunities (or even worse, MORE opportunities) than your middle class white child.
- you believe that reverse racism is more rampant than racism.
- you have ever worn a culture as a costume.
- you don’t believe there are any systemic issues that lead to white privilege.
- you have ever asked “why don’t we have white history month?”
- you don’t recognize that current protests are about much more than isolated incidents.
- you worried about property values when a minority family or families moved into your neighborhood.
- you have ever locked your doors when you saw a person of color walking near or toward your car.
- you have never dated someone of a different race.
- you have been surprised by minorities who are good citizens.
- you would be upset (even if you wouldn’t admit it) if your child dated someone of a different race.
- you act like a gangster around your black friends to relate.
- you wouldn’t consider adopting a child of color (if you would consider adopting at all).
- you have passed over a resume because of an ethnic name.
- you have waited on a white customer before waiting on a customer of color who was there first.
- you can’t stand people who speak a different language.
- you have intentionally avoided a black neighborhood.
- you have discouraged your child from buying a doll of a different race.
- you have ever told someone they “act white.”
- you think you are not racist.
Don’t write off your racism as a joke or a harmless belief/thought/action. The only way to fight prejudice is to daily recognize and weed it out of our own hearts. Recognize the problem, change your attitude, teach the next generation to be better than you, and help fix this issue. Racism in America is a white people problem – not because we are hurt the most by it but because we are the ones who inflict the most pain. Stop being racist. #blacklivesmatter
Our community mourns with a family who has lost a son, and another who has lost a father. We rally behind the good police officers who battle daily to protect us. We rise to help the business owners who have lost everything. We hang our heads in embarrassment at the greed that twisted a tragic opportunity for growth into an indulgent opportunity for anarchy and communal disregard.
Hopefully, we can stand together and listen to one another. Please take this time to evaluate the racism in your own heart. Weed it out today and every day. Stop pretending that white privilege doesn’t exist, and be a part of the solution rather than pointing at the rubble as an excuse for more intolerance.
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