Can she say that?

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I’ve never considered myself a racist person. My parents and grandparents were raised in a time when society segregated people according to the color of their skin, so it is almost like they can’t help but think in that way sometimes. Though I do think they are getting better. In turn, I have had to defend my actions on occasion throughout my life when,say, I befriended a person of a different race, or if I watched a television show with little to no white people staring in it. I would roll my eyes and argue with them that they were being dumb, but I didn’t really get why they couldn’t see things my way.

I live in a part of the country where racial diversity has become more and more mixed and I have kept an open mind and stood on the side of acceptance. I believe in seeing people for the choices they’ve made and they type of person they are, not by the color of their skin or even how much money they have. I’ve heard the stories about racial profiling, the unfairness of being cased when walking through a store simply because a person is black. I have heard the cruel jokes and watched the stories on the news.

In all of this racist inequality I feel like society has begun to come away from racism. I know that it will never be completely wiped from our minds. Just like that damn glass ceiling I keeping reading about; women have adversities to overcome too. However, it seems like even if someone’s actions do not reflect racism, they still have to hold up their hands and say, “I”m not racist, I swear.” When I watch the news there is an abundance of crimes reported every day from all over the world, including our country. People killing each other, killing their kids, bombings, major theft, and other equally heinous crimes. There are African American criminals, Caucasion criminals, Mexican criminals, and criminals of all other kinds of races. One thing we need to keep in mind is that in some cities minorities are becoming the majority, and because of this the criminals, statistically, will likely be mostly minorities. Just because they are doesn’t mean there is any kind of racism going on, it just means those people are committing crimes. In my town there are more white people than any other race right now, and the vast majority of the criminals arrested here are white.

Though I cannot compare my plight to someone who has faced serious racial discrimination, I have been treated differently because of my own race. I have been called whitey by someone of a different race from myself. When I talk about a current event in mixed company I am told that I am just displaying “white guilt” or “white reasoning 101”. I believe we have come to a point in our society where racism is not just for minorities anymore, and the minorities can be racist too. I’ve even met a black man who hated Mexican’s, and that is racism. Also, it seems like people like to pull the “race card” too much; it is almost like a default and the whole nation jumps on the band wagon because we are supposed to be more open and we don’t tolerate inequality. If a police officer arrests a black man because he robbed a store, is it because he is black or because he robbed the store? Most of the country would probably argue that it was because he is black. Is that right? No. Are there situations where a black person is cased in a store and treated like they stole something even if he/she hasn’t? Yes. Is that right? No. Is it because he/she is black? Maybe, not always. It could be the way this person presents his/herself. It could be the way they are dressed too. When I was younger, I was one of those punk/goth/rebel kids with back hair, facial piercings, tattoos, and baggy clothes. Did I get cased at stores because of the way I was dressed? Yes. Did police officers look at me a little harder than someone who wasn’t dressed like a delinquent? Yes. Did I think it was unfair at the time? Yes. Do I completely understand the reasoning now, as an adult? Absolutely.

My point is, every situation doesn’t have to be about race. Now that we are more accepting as a society, let try to step away from the default race card and try to start looking at situations as they are. Also, minorities are no longer the only victims. Remember, racism does not discriminate, people do.

Also, as a pet peeve of mine, I feel I need to get this off my chest. We do not use racial slurs in my home, and anyone who says those kinds of words around my kid are swiftly reprimanded and asked to leave if they cannot conduct themselves in a respectful manner. If he learns these kinds of words, it will have been taught to him by the music on the radio, the music blared from cars driving down the road or through parking lots, by television shows and movies, and by people outside our home where I cannot follow (mainly school).

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