I wrote a piece on racism yesterday. It’s been extremely interesting to see the responses.
My post was a response to Notes from the U.K., a blog by Ellen Hawley. In the piece, Ellen eloquently compared racism in America to that in the United Kingdom. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, “Yes! This is exactly how I feel!” It was like someone finally got it. Needless to say, my dander was stirred up. “I must go write!”
Thus, The Danger of Being Colorblind came about. I encourage you to read the piece and let me know what you think.
Well, when you talk about racial issues, it creates a stir. So, I’m trying to figure out why there is all of this fuss?
My friends/colleagues/internet patrons let me know. I received several responses from a mix of Black, White, American, and British people. In Britain, my blog was received with praise. From what I can tell, the majority of these people would be considered White in America. In America, it was a mix. White people were split, one being thoroughly offended, and the other stating it was a good read. Black people were split as well one being thoroughly offended, and the other two giving me good feedback.
Bear in mind, I’m judging this by comments and who actually clicked the like button. If someone read and didn’t like it, then they didn’t tell me.
I’m pretty candid with racial issues. I’ll mention several times over that I am African-American. It’s not because I’m trying to beat you over the head with it. It’s because I’m proud of who I am, and you should be as well. However, I keep hearing, mainly from my Caucasian friends, that it’s not okay to be proud of being white. I can see the social stigma. People think White pride automatically equals the Klu Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis. These groups have taken White pride to the utter extreme (hello Hitler). If you have seen American History X (HIGHLY recommend that movie), then you’ll see a pretty accurate depiction of Skin Heads and the thought process thereof. But let’s get real about this thing, these groups don’t encompass the entirety of being a White person. The overwhelming majority of White people I know are loving, warm people.
While I cut for Black people, I understand racism is experienced in one form or another by every race. The thing about racism that gets me is everyone is on their respective side screaming about what happened to them, but they won’t see another’s experience as similar to their own. Unless they are the same color. Interesting, huh? We’re all in a glass case of emotion with our respective colors, and similar emotions are shared by everyone regardless of race. Of course, there are levels to it. Racism wouldn’t be racism if there wasn’t a societal totem poll, but you get the gist.
Let me take it a step further, the emotional response to racism even differs in the in-group. Not all Black people agree on matters of race. Same with White, Mexicans, Hispanic, and Asian people. Shocking right?!! That’s what bring us to being people. Individuals. We have our own thoughts, feelings, quirks, style, etc. We must learn how to navigate being an individual within a large, more often than not, messed up society.
So, as I stated at the end of Colorblind, see me. I’ll add, while I see you.