2010-06-23

Am I A Racist?

To answer the question plainly:  I'd like to hope not.  I certainly try not to be.  I'm far from perfect and I'm positively certain I've said and done things that are racist.  But the important part is that I make efforts to avoid doing the same in the future.

I find that most racism is rooted in ignorance.  The more you know about a person or group of persons the less likely you are to make ill informed generalizations about them.  Or worse, believe and act on them.  Personally, I like learning about different cultures and religions.  It's helps me to understand people better and the motives behind their actions and words. 

I think we've all fallen short of being understanding and sensitive to each others cultures, religions, and skin colours.  I've even experienced reverse racism, where people who have had to endure racism turn around and do the exact same thing to me.  In the spoken word scene I've seen ALOT of this reverse hatred.  Women who've been abused by a man hating on ALL men.  Visual minorities who are marginalized by society that gives preferential treatment to white males then hating on ALL white males.  And then people who have been unjustly treated by a person in some form of authority now hating on ALL authority figures. 

"The Man" is a term used to describe all those groups.  Now, AS a white male, I don't ,can't, and have no way to fully understand depth to which being helplessly raped by a man I trust, being deemed a secondary citizen just because of my sex, religion, or skin colour, or being traded, hated, & killed because of the colour of my skin would affect someone.  But just because I fit the "general description" of the person(s) who violated you doesn't give you the right to violate or hate on me.  I did what any other slammer would do, I wrote a spoken word piece about it called Punctuated Hate For The Man.

But even still some people get it twisted.  Calling people racist when they don't seem to even know what the word means.  Just making sweeping generalizations because the person fits the general description of "the man".  Calling someone racist for speaking out AGAINST ignorance.  Saying someone is trying to control them by simply voicing their opinion.  Calling somone ignorant of slavery while acting as if it has only ever happened to black people.  Saying they are being oppressed, assaulted, and violated just because it happens to be a white person who disagrees with them.  Who is REALLY the racist?

If voicing your disagreement with someones views in a private respectful way and then being motivated by those views to take a stand against ignorance makes me a racist, then please PLEASE call me one too and I will wear the title proudly.
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