29 April 2009


Racism is a two-way street.
It is not just a white against black offense.

I was born a vehement anti-racist.

From a very early age, I remember hating injustice and prejudice and I flat-out could not understand why people made such a big deal about SKIN COLOR.
I mean, all we're talking about here is differing levels of melanin, people! What's the big deal???

Growing up in the South, I have been exposed to my fair share of racism and I vowed -- as a young girl -- that MY children would not grow up with the same prejudices I had to endure as a kid.
I took African-American history classes in college and studied the writings and words of Malcolm X, W.E.B. Dubois, Frederick Douglas, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

We home school our children and I have employed women's history and African-American history from the very beginning. I want my children to have a well-rounded view of history, not a slanted, one-sided view.

And, more than anything, I have tried to teach my children to be color-blind.
I NEVER want them to discriminate against another person for any reason, but especially not for something as irrelevant as skin color.

Some days (like today) are definitely harder than others in my endeavor to do this. I'll admit; I'm frustrated right now... It's pretty difficult to teach my children not to judge by nationality or skin color when we, ourselves, are being judged -- on a fairly regular basis -- by those same, superficial standards.

Look, I have many friends -- all different colors & nationalities; this is not a blanket statement aimed at any whole group, but this diatribe is directed at the individuals who exhibit this behavior:

Being rude to someone you don't even know simply because they are a different race than you -- that's racism.

Acting annoyed that someone of another race deigned to speak to you -- that's racism.

Being friendly to customers of your own race, but completely ignoring or acting brusque toward those who are not -- that is racism.

And assuming that any criticism or concerns regarding our new president are based solely on his skin color, that is racism, too!
(Interestingly, this offense is committed mostly by overzealous, WHITE liberals!)

I have voiced concerns and criticisms of EVERY president that has been in office since I began voting -- including the ones I voted for, by the way.
I am PROUD that our nation has its first African-American President. It was long overdue!
But I still have concerns and that does NOT make me a racist.

And even though history paints a very ugly picture of racist behavior, sanctioned by laws and government, there is no defense for such behavior -- by ANYONE -- today.
I am not responsible for the actions of >4oo years of idiots. If I could erase the pain and anger and injustice, believe me, I would wipe it out in a heartbeat.

There is only one thing you need to know about me:
I am a Christian.
That is ALL that should matter.
I want THAT to be what you see when you look at me.

I believe that Jesus died for every person and because of that, every person should be valuable in our sight.
We are all made in God's image, no matter what color our skin may be.

And we will ALL -- black, white, olive, ruddy -- have to answer for the way we treat other people and the attitudes of our hearts.
ALL of us.

Honestly, I wish that we could all just blend into one, nondescript skin tone.
But then, I suppose, we would just find something else on which to set ourselves apart.
And as long as we do, hate will continue to win.
We all have to make a conscious decision to hang up those attitudes which work to drive us apart.

Can't we all just be color blind???


Carole Turner said...

It is crazy how we treat each other here in the south. I do think racism goes both ways. We just have to pray and be nice and how they act is their responsibility...grace to them and us :-)

Dawn said...

Oh, my sweet friend, how true these words are. I definitely think we experience more racism in the South (reverse racism - whatever you want to call it) than in other parts of the country. Having traveled so much to Philadelphia recently - we definitely notice a difference. I find myself questioning things that were done to right the wrongs of years ago - things that promote racial segregation. I had to laugh not to long ago at the headline in the newspaper that said that Little Rock schools have finally been declared desegregated. They are not desegregated. Wouldn't that require an equal balance? We have more private schools here than they do in most places. In the public schools here, my children are now very much the minority. Racism is very much alive.. it just comes in more shapes and colors now.