2008-01-23

Am I Becoming More Racist As I Get Older?


I am noticing as I get older, I get a bit more vocal and a bit more militant when people say things to me. For instance I was having a "discussion" with someone at another blog who started talking about Affirmative Action as a way to give minorities a free pass without merit or talent and that black people should just get over slavery. I didn't really back down with those statements. I actually thought, typical for a white person. That was obviously a racist thought, not all white people think that way, and hello I am married to a white guy, I really shouldn't think that way. But the older I get my experiences seem to make me more racist. I find it typical for white women in IR to think they are no longer racist and believe what their black men tell them about black women. I guess I get this from things I have read on IR message boards and maybe three white women who have said things similar to this to me in real life. Obviously this isn't all white women. I also get really irked that people in IR typically pretend that they aren't racist because they are in IR. I would say 99% of the people in this world have had a racist thought. I have and if you read this blog you know I love the white guys, and I am black as coal. My husband has had to check me a few times with my thoughts.

Am I racist, yeah I am, but I guess I should work on it and try to decide why I do harbor racist thought. Is it my upbringing? I was born 6 miles from a "sundown town". I grew up in places like Paris, TX, known for their Shaquanda Cotton debacle. The truth of the matter is though I have lived in more than two towns in Texas, I grew up moving all over Texas because of my father's job. Could it be because I grew up the majority my life as one of few blacks where I lived and where I went to school? I was asked the silliest questions about race and told stupid things. I had a friend in high school whose mother liked me because my family had a nice house and didn't live like most blacks who don't work and just loiter. Or grew up with people who didn't believe I lived in the house I lived in because I didn't live in the projects, and they believed that most black people lived in poverty. White people talking ebonics so they can relate to me, or asking me about hip hop or r&b.

I know not all people think this, but I guess my upbringing has either made me more racist, or more weary. Maybe I just lost faith in people. I know I haven't always stereotyped or had expressly racist thought, that I knew to focus on the individual. How does one change, how do you fix racist thought? Can it truly be fixed?