I’ve been asked frequently about my obsession with racism. I keep my eye on them racist bastards, I sure do. It is my job to point out racism in all it’s insidious forms. I am The Great Beige Hope. I am Captain Save-A-Negro. I am Malcolm X.
But not without reason.
We have a problem in this country. We have not yet recovered from slavery. And by “we,” I mean black people. We have “battered race syndrome.” We are so accustomed to being treated poorly that we either don’t recognize it OR we…actually…think…it’s…okay.
So, I’m developing a handy guide to analyze situations and determine if they could be considered racist. Here’s an excerpt:
Read here if you’re black:
You know how you’ve got that one white guy at work? He manages to speak the King’s English in any conversation that does NOT involve you. But as soon as you walk in the room, his arm curls up like Verbal Kint’s and he can’t stop swinging it in time with his sentences which have all become both disturbingly and suddenly rhythmic and now all end in the word, “Son?” That’s not cute. That’s racism.
Read here if you’re white:
You know how you believe that having an incidental black person in your life, be they a friend, a co-worker, the mailman or…Barack Obama, scientifically and chromosomally rules out, with DNA-type accuracy, any possibility that you might be racist? That’s not proof. That’s racism.
Read here if you’re biracial and one of the races is black:
Stop playing and go immediately to: “Read here if you’re black.”
But why is it important to identify racism? Because when you’re not clear on what racism is, you build systems on an inadequate foundation. You institutionalize oppressive policies and ensure that oppressed people perpetuate a mentality of oppression. Here’s one example (click here) of what can happen if racism is allowed to run rampantly and unfettered. The practice of using property taxes to fund education is another. This isn’t separate but equal. It’s racism.
I’d love to see this country return to it’s bootstrap roots. But we have a lot of work to do to get to that point. If boots are the tools to success, each person must have equal access to equal boots. You can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps if ya got no straps…or no boots…and the owner of the only boot store in town is Rush Limbaugh. Or worse, Clarence Thomas.
What we do with those boots is a post for another day.