I’ve been thinking. It happens. Most of us around here know what‘s going on. It’s gotten to the place where I don’t feel the energy of explaining. Or the need. Not that many people are listening. Only a few care. I’m talking to those of you who do.
The blackwoman has been thinking it might be time to seek out some solutions for eliminating racism. A more difficult project than I imagined.
I have come to one conclusion.
Race is a problem for white people to solve. If black people or brown people could have made racism go away it would have long since disappeared back into the nothing-ness from which it came.
Nah, it’s on white folks to make the necessary moves to kill and bury, once and for all, the notion of race. I think in a generation or two this just might happen.
For one thing no small part of the fear rising in the hearts of some our finest race-baiting carbon units is the realization that within a generation they will be the minority. This idea causes folk like Pat Buchanan to go to sleep at night clutching at his gonads. He’s been ringing the white folks we’re about to be outnumbered bell for a really long time. With the election of America’s first black president, many of the dull-normals suddenly got it.
In the America they grew up in, such a thing was not possible. A black president was not a notion the mouth-breathers ever considered. It couldn’t happen. For one thing the expectation was white people would never go for it. I still remember the old southern white man who said during the election season last year “I’m voting for the nigger.” Even so, he was in the minority.
The majority of white people in this country voted for dumb and dumber. They were willing to be led by two people who couldn’t find their butts with a flashlight and a map.
There is nothing I could ever say to such a person. I do not know these people. And if I got to know them they could really like me and retain their racism by telling themselves that I am ‘different’. This is what I heard in the sixties. “You’re different”. This was what you heard back then when you defied the stereotypes taught and accepted as true. “You’re different.”
I didn’t fall for it. Clarence Thomas did. ‘Nuff said.
I understood even back in the day, it was easier to make me an exception rather than question what had been taught. To do so would be admitting Mom and Dad lied. Couldn’t have that. Easier to put an asterisk on me and retain the paragraph about the inferiority of my race.
Settling the question of race must fall on the shoulders of those who have most benefited by racial divisions. It’s called white privilege and if you are white you have enjoyed this privilege whether or not your parents are recent immigrants, held slaves, didn’t hold slaves, ancestors fought for the Union or the Rebels. If you are white in America your privilege exists as a function of your being. It is breathing and waking. It is part of the fabric of your life whether that fabric is silk or chambray. If you do not believe in white privilege you need an intervention. White privilege belongs only to your race and only your race can call back the privilege by extending it through law, institution and practice to everyone. So far there has been no real effort in that direction. We got law. We understood you cannot legislate feelings. Only behavior.
We took what we could get.
There are of course those white people who do everything they can to educate themselves and others. It is obvious to me we need a great many more of the people who do not turn away when someone at a party or gathering makes a racist remark. Racist need to be called out. Many will deny being racist and tell you something along the lines of “one my best friends…”. Do not believe them. Anyone who is white and has a black person as a best friend is sensitized by association and if the black person considers the white person a friend will school him or her when necessary.
White people have to come up with the solution to racist. Some of these folk are family. Some are neighbors. Some are friends. Talk to them. Don’t let them get away with the stereotypes. Challenge them on privilege. Point out that as long as this privilege exists, racism has a home.
If all else fails, remind them that they are soon to be the minority and that karma is a bitch.
Now run and tell that.
rw note: this is a reprint of an article because it is relevant now.