Is this blog racist? Are my blog posts prejudiced against whites? Many White American commenters seem to think so. Some go so far as to say it is like a black Stormfront (the Klan website).
The reasons given come down to these as best as I can tell:
- Generalizations: To make any general statement about whites is stereotyping and therefore racist.
- Lack of colour-blindness: To see them as white means I am seeing them according to the colour of their skin, not the content of their character.
- The “all whites” argument: Even though I am not so brainless as to ever say “all whites” are anything, the “all” gets read in anyway. Even when I say “many whites”, “some whites” or “most whites”.
- Divisiveness: To bring up race at all is to create division and hatred.
- Tone: To say anything bad about whites is read as hatred against whites.
Number #3 cannot be helped: no matter how carefully I word my statements, the “all whites” gets read into it.
But neither can the others be helped. To talk about white racism at all I must:
- Make general statements about whites.
- Notice the race of actors and the race of those they act against.
- Say possibly bad things about whites.
Yes, each of these can be used to make racist statements. The trouble is, they must also be used to make any statement about race, like those about racism.
It is a confusion of form over substance. Racism lies not in the form of a statement but in what is being said.
For a post to be racist it would have to say or assume that one race is naturally better than another. People who call me racist never seem to be able to show that.
I am not perfect, I have been brainwashed by a racist culture like everyone else in America. No doubt you can find unintended racist thought in my posts. But the heart of my thinking in regard to race has been that it is the creation of history to excuse the inexcusable, both in the past and even now. The One Drop Rule makes that crystal clear to me.
In a perfect world people should be colour-blind but in America in 2012 it is profoundly unwise for people of colour while for whites it amounts to a studied blindness about the true nature of their society. It makes it hard for anyone to see racism as clearly as they should.
What keeps racism alive is that whites as a whole are not forced to face up to it. Most hide behind well-scripted excuses and lies.
Whites are individuals yet, sadly, the thought and behaviour of most of them is racist enough that it has serious, unmistakable, large-scale effects on blacks and other people of colour.
To notice this stuff and point it out is not racist. To turn a blind eye to it is.