Race: Observations & Questions
This is a difficult subject to speak to. Let me first define racism from the dictionary: "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior." I had a conversation recently with a Black man on social media about race relations. My question went like this: "I have never been a racist, never saw color when looking at people, treat all people with the respect they deserve as people, without regard to color. If I treat all people with respect, without regard to skin color, how can I be a racist?"
His response: "Some things that are historically, environmentally, socially, and educationally ingrained in us are exceptionally hard to break. Some of us don't even realize that there are parts of us that don't like others, even though on the surface we'll do the right thing...and only because we know it's the right thing to do."
How can I have a respectful dialogue with someone who can say I am racist no matter what I believe, do, and think? How can I dialogue with someone who implies I am racist, I'm just not aware of it? The article here is inquiring: If what I think in my heart, know in my head, and act in my life is not racist, how is it that I--or anyone else--can still be accused of being a racist?
And isn't that a difficult place to start a dialogue about race?