I'm White & I'm Racist

I'm White and I am learning how to be an Anti-Racist

I’m White and I’m Racist

ATTENTION: This is not a hate speech about other races.

I’m white and I’m racist. I am not proud of this fact. In fact it breaks my heart. It has brought me to tears. And it was only the other day that I realized that I am still racist. This is after I have told people not to use the N word as there is no more room for that. This realization came after, but only by a day, I started a monthly financial contribution to an organization that is fighting for equality in our judicial system.

I am a 45 year old white man who was born in NJ, in an upper middle class town. I went to college and worked in Philadelphia. I am college educated and have worked in diverse environments; ironically until now. I “know better”.

And here is the worst part of it; I did not realize I was racist. I am not going to lie, I used the N word and had a problem with the way black people lived their lives from my teens until my mid twenties. But why? I had never had one situation where a black person mistreated me. No black person had “done me wrong”. No black person had done anything bad to anyone I knew.

Around age 10 I moved into a new town and I made friends with two black boys around my age; they were brothers. I had no opinion of them other than I like hanging out with them and doing things with them. Then at some point they put their house up for sale. This saddened me a little as I liked them. They finally sold their house to another black family. What are the odds? By sheer numbers, probably a three in twenty chance (15%). When you factor in socio-economic, that number drops way down. But! But, if you consider the likelihood of family outside the African-Amercican community, the chance of another black family buying this house was probably closer to 100%. That is not due to the sellers, but to the buyers. No one outside the black race is going to buy a house from black people. And again, I ask, but why? Racism. Unfettered, to the core, racism.

Merriam-Webster defines racism as: “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” A belief does not have to be an overt thing to be embedded and engrained in someone. And this belief was introduced to me as I started my teenage years. Question: If white people are superior to all other races, and this is natural law, why do we wait to teach boys this until they are teenagers. And if it is natural law, why are so many people fighting it? That which is natural, needs no further explanation beyond “it simply is”. The cheetah eats the gazelle because that is that natural order of things. No further explanation needed.

The other day I realized that I was still racist when I still saw black people as “them”; different from me. Still hosting an unnatural fear of black men. I understood the socio-economic disparity and did not agree with it. I understood how the justice system unfairly treats black people. I understood that police treat black people unfairly.

I didn’t understand that I was still being racist in my mind. In my mind, this is “their” problem and I will do what I can to help. NO! This is my fucking problem because someone is mistreating my brothers and sisters of this nation. These are Americans who are not getting their slice of the pie. Long after they plowed the fields to plant the wheat, harvested the wheat, milled and bleached the wheat to make flour so it can be used to make the crust of that pie. And so goes for the filling, the topping. To quote Spike Lee “We built this bitch”. This country was built on the backs of black people.

I cannot apologize for being racist as this was not my doing. I wish I had known from the start what was slowly being “baked” into me. I would never have accepted it. But when your father, grandfather, uncles and other influential males teach you things in an indirect way, you do not even realize it is happening.

I will apologize for ever having used the N word as I have always known it is wrong. If you have to look over your shoulder to say something, you know it is wrong. I do apologize for anything I have ever done that was racist. And I apologize for any negative impact it may have had. And I sincerely wish I could have flashbacks of every moment I ever was racist.

Being racist goes against every natural fiber in my body. It is my nurture, not nature, that brought me to this point. And it is my nature that has finally seen the light.

I now realize I am the single biggest problem to racial inequality that exists in this country. Because I have sat back and watched it continue. Because I was unaware of my own participation in allowing the status quo to continue. And I must be leary of myself and the dark corners in which that racism still lives. I cannot blindly trust myself. I must rather question my intentions early and often to stay ahead of it and support all of my American brothers and sisters. And it is time for white men to get out of the way.

If we address the problem of racism, so many of the problems of this country will simply fade away. As this “white MALE superiority” is at the heart of so many of our problems.

If racism was “cured”, then there would be far less people in prison. Less prisoners means there are less felons. Less felons means more men could get jobs and contribute to society. And be there for their children to help guide them. And that is just one example.

White racists, you are the thugs. You are the one living the THUG LIFE. Because as Tupac said, “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone”. If you hate someone because of the color of their skin, then that hurts everyone. If you do not believe it, look at the state of this country. Are we all getting along and valuing one and other’s opinion? Are we having civil discussions to solve our problems? No, we are standing on one side or another of a line. Of many lines. And that is helping no one.

I had considered holding off on making this available to the public. I thought about letting someone read and edit it first. But then they would be editing me. And that could prevent someone else from seeing my point of views and commenting on them. Then I could not be shown the things I am not understanding or be shown other points of views.

I do not know how you found your way here. I only know that your input and respectful point of view can help make a difference. No matter what your point of view is. It is only in understanding one and other as people that we can learn to get along.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time. I hope you will provide your point of view in a respectful manner.

Please be sure to look all the way at the bottom of the page for links for more information.

Additional Resources:

This four minute video is a social experiment, in a college class, demonstrating privilege. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K5fbQ1-zps&feature=youtu.be

Bobby Earles• 3rd+Partner at Kirkland & Ellis (Disputes & Investigations)2w • 2 weeks ago

If you are a White person, it is hard to talk to Black people at work about racism.

It’s awkward. You’re afraid to say the wrong thing. The whole topic feels fraught. So here’s an idea.

Don’t do it.

Black people don’t need more talk. We don’t need more panels. We don’t need more “town halls.”

Do this instead:

If you are working on a deal, and you have a Black counterpart, say to her, “Hi Nicole. When this deal is finished, let’s have coffee and talk over how it went.”

If you are a senior executive, and there is a Black executive being considered for a different, senior position, say to him, “Hi Rashad. I think you have a real shot at this. Let’s have a call to talk about the points you need to cover on the interview.”

If you are a senior partner, and there is a Black associate in your group who shows potential, say to her, “Hi Keisha. I really liked your work on _. If you are open to it, I would love to mentor you and help you further develop your skills in this area.”

If you play golf, and there is a Black person at the company who also plays golf, say to him, “Hi Larry. I heard you play golf. I’m planning to hit the driving range on Friday. If you’re free, let’s go together.”

These things speak louder than just talk.