Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm not Racist but.....

Have you ever heard that phrase before? Have you ever noticed how the next thing to come out of the mouth of the person saying it, is usually a racist remark? Why try and mask your ignorance and bigotry with that bullshit preface? If you're racist and/or making a racist comment (which usually means you're a racist), why start off with "I'm Not a Racist". You clearly are!

For example, today at the park where I take my son everyday, there was a new mom with her child. Many of the "regulars" weren't there so I didn't hesitate to strike up a conversation with the New Mom and have our kids play. She informed me that she wasn't from the area, but liked to come to this park because it was much nicer than the ones in her neighborhood. Foolishly, I asked what was wrong with her local park. And I got "I'm Not Racist....but the park near our house is mostly blacks." Ok, so what's wrong with that, I asked. To which she replied, "No no don't get me wrong, I'm Not Racist but....they all looked like gang members and probably had guns". Seriously. I'm not making this up. I politely informed the woman that this was South Florida and the 95 year old woman crossing the street over there probably had a gun. I also said to her that just because the people in her park were black didn't mean they were gang members. Again she replied "Oh I know! I wasn't saying that to sound racist. I'm Not Racist..........but they were all playing basketball and acting all thuggish." Clearly, I wanted to bang my head on the nearest swingset, but just stared blankly and said "Oh". I had made my point and tried to enlighten her as to the *ahem* gravity of her errors, but no. She was a racist in denial, and that was that. Needless to say, when some of the other park "regulars" began showing up to play with us, I saw her skitter away with her son and leave. You see, the children and families Dante and I usually play with are black (oh no!) and I guess New Mom thought we'd start a gang and throw signs. Now that I think of it, Dante's pants were a little baggy today and his friend Rocco had baby tattoo band-aids on his knees. GANG! RUN!!!!!!!!

Another example occurred right in my back yard a few days ago as I was playing outside with Dante. My neighbor and his wife were outside and came over to the fence to say hello. Their neighbors on the other side had just moved away and I asked them if they knew if anyone had been looking at the house. Wait for it! The wife replied "Oh we saw one woman over there and We're Not Racist...........but thank god she was white!" Um, ok. Who the fuck cares what color the people are?!?!?! All I am concerned about is are they clean, quiet, and friendly? So I said to the neighbors, "What does it matter if they're black, white, green, orange, blue or purple? All that should matter is that they are nice people and good neighbors!".

So the next time you hear someone preface their sentence with "I'm Not Racist", be prepared for some ignorant, racist shit to come out of their mouths.

1 comment:

TNT666 said...

Ah yes, unfounded fear is an oft encountered human trait. Some of us grew up in places with little ethnic diversity. Until age 16, my only experience of black people was on television (thank you Sesame Street and Star Trek) where I got a GOOD impression of them so when a Haitian French teacher showed up at my high school I immediately befriended his daughters, who were amazing athletes. Until 1992, when I moved to Montreal, I still had only met a handlefull of black people, through college and university, and still they all made GOOD impressions. I unknowingly was part of the original wave of people who were called "reverse racist" cuz I fancied black men over white men, for ahem... physical reasonS, yes, not only the one your thinking of! So you can imagine how I loved spending time in SE Florida (chuckles).

Working in the yachting industry in the Caribbean, I had to deal with racist captains constantly. Cuz in the Carribbean, a cashier might be flirting with a guy on her cellphone while she is ringing your items through and it will take ever so long. My captains called them LAZY, I call it KNOWING THE PRIORITIES THAT MATTER IN LIFE. Our white society is obsessed with productivity and the rat race, and certainly a large percentage of black people in the US and Canada have developped that attitude as well. But it's why loved the Caribean so well. There ARE OTHER values to live by.

After 10 years in the Caribbean AND Florida AND South Africa, I also noticed something else about my reverse racism, it was not foolproof...

I pondered many hours about the incredible physical attributes of Caribean men AND women and how my "reverse racism" seemed to fall flat with guys from say Nigeria or Senegal or Ohio or Washington. And one day I had a flash, no no, no god spoke to me! no, I had a flash regarding one of the biggest atrocities men have ever imposed upon others: SLAVERY. And then considered how such an atrocity had resulted in the super humans that are Carribbean decended athletes. Of course, in hindsight, those who survived slavery (consider the evil transportation system) and fought for freedom would have been the toughest and strongest among men (and women). And so "survival of the fittest" was never so true as for these survivors of the cruelest capitalism ever.

The first Olympics I watched were in 1976 and every time since, I am fascinated by Jamaican runners, women especially, like they were born to run. An absolute image of beauty.

Yet, yet, nothwithstanding all my admiration and love, on rare occasions if I am in a hurry, I will change lines at Walmart in order to get a faster cashier.

Yet, yet, I have been celibate since leaving Florida, cuz I am and will probably remain a reverse racist.

But things are changing up here near the Arctic Circle, in the last 5-6 years Whitehorse's demography has quite diversified, now we find Filipinos in cleaning jobs, and East Asians in gas stations and Haitians driving taxis, about 3 dozen in total (in a pop. of 23000). Their children will get higher educations and the cogs of progress will churn on. Patterns persist, but at least, it's no longer just whites and First Nation peoples in this Northern city.

Whitehorse is joining the globalised community, for good and bad.