I read good article in Slate today (url below) about young people’s attitudes about race and racism. The authors outlined various studies that had been conducted as well as poll results showing that young people are just as fucked up about race as we are. There is a common thread in this country that has been playing out now for a couple of decades. In my estimation, it was sometime in the 1990s that white people began the pushback on race relations. Before that time, if we brought up race, we were either killed, 1950s, 60s and half of the 70s, or laughed at, derided or ignored (the worst indignity), in the 1980s. Now we have whole segments of white society coming together like never before openly, aggressively, hypocritically and incorrectly defending racism and white supremacy. Here’s the trick though, they are defending racism and white supremacy but many of them have tricked themselves into thinking they are not. This cuts across political affiliations (white liberals v. white conservatives) as well as socio-economic status. Even poor white people think that we are in this multi-cultural, post multiracial utopiest wet dream of a 1960s hippie. They have convinced themselves that we have evolved into a meritocracy, and they are teaching this bullshit to their kids, THAT’S why they are confused.
Let me explain, I have long stated that kids are not born prejudiced and biased, its a learned trait. For every grown racist, there was an older racist there to teach them. Did anyone notice the subtle word play, I said kids are not born prejudiced and biased, they are taught that later in life. They are taught these traits by someone older who has discovered the levers of racism. These are the individuals that believe that there is this mystical playing field whereon all kids in this nation have equal opportunities to succeed and if your child doesn’t measure up, oh well, maybe they just wasn’t smart enough, or tough enough, or disciplined enough, or they made bad decisions, or had bad parenting. That’s not their fault, that just the way it is, white kids don’t succeed all the time either. That’s a good sentiment, makes sense until you recognize the FACTS. Messy things those facts, they sometimes don’t support your conclusions. Those flaws that you find in many children of color are the direct results of the racism and white supremacy that is practiced in this country. There is a difference between being prejudiced/biased and being racist. I’m prejudiced in that I like women and men, black or white,who can have an intelligent conversation. The quickest way to get me out of your face is to say something of stupid that I have to give you that look. You know the “look” the look you give that says “you can’t honestly believe that?” My dislike of dummies is irrelevant though. I can’t affect the lifepath of all the dummies in this country. That’s what racism does, it takes you on a path that we didn’t want to go down. We can never be on the same level playing field if you do not allow us on the field in the first place, that’s not prejudice, that’s racism. While you give every child in your sphere of influence a ribbon no matter where they placed in the race, you give them a false sense of superiority over those who they don’t see in the race at all. Bias is felt, racism is PRACTICED. Bias is a thing, racism is an action, even when the action is unconscious.
These kids then grow up to believe stupid shit like I believe racism would disappear if we would just not focus on race. Lets take the race out of racism. That’s the kind of stupid shit that a vast proportion of them believe, shockingly, white AND black. What is funny is that when they hit adulthood, the white kids get with the program, the black kids keep hoping idealistically that this utopia is just around the corner. Taking race out of racism is like taking one round out of the clip. Instead of seeing my skin color, you instead see my name, you instead see my zip code, you instead see my criminal record, you instead see my FB page, you instead see where I went to high school (it wasn’t in the suburbs, in fact, from kindergarten to 12th grade graduation, I can remember NO white classmates), you instead see who I’m married to, you instead see my credit rating. All these things you can use against me, to divide you from me and ALL of these things are linked to my race. I can really care less if you don’t like me, just don’t hold me back because of it.
That’s why race can’t be separated from racism. We DO NOT live in a meritocracy and even if we did, the people judging the relative “merit” of the person is biased towards his own ethnicity at the detriment of mine. That’s is effective racism. This effective racism affects me no matter what you call it. Therein lies my argument with white liberals. They also believe in this fiction that things are so much better for black people that we should stand together to protest the other ills of society. They have also joined in on the pushback on racism. They preach assimilation. I call that the “we’ll let you come around us, as long as you only think the way we think and we get to police how you express yourself” school of thought. We see it all the time, which is why I don’t belong to many and almost never comment in “mixed” groups/pages. As soon as I get raw, there’s always one so-called liberal who takes offense that I didn’t say “some” white people. Not long ago I got into a discussion on a groups page with a white woman who actually took me to task (she thought) because I didn’t say “some” white women. It got to the point that the person who started the post deleted it. All because I called a white person a racist, WHO IS A FUCKIN RACIST. I’m sorry, but this struggle that we are in is more important than your feelings. If you don’t have the linguistic skills to understand that if the specific label doesn’t apply to you and you alone, that I must not mean ALL white people, then why do you follow me, why are we friends? We can talk about racism but we are not allowed to point out specific instances of racism for fear of being labeled a “race baiter” or my personal favorite “playing the race card.” So be it, I got race cards like a Las Vegas casino got blackjack decks. Liberals are the only people in this country that can have a discussion about racism and never TALK ABOUT RACISM. You want to talk about the effects of racism, but not its root cause. I refuse to let a white liberal or a black liberal, tell me when I should be done being aggrieved, when I have had enough recompense, when its time to forget the past and move forward. We still living in the vestiges of the past. The past still colors each and everything about this culture and you have YET to deal with that past. At least conservatives let you know that they don’t feel sorry for coming out on top, hell that was the plan. Liberals apologize for being on top but you don’t see them rushing for the down elevators. Yes, you’re so progressive you’ll let a black guy date your daughter but you’re not so progressive that you’ll, en masse, support even a large scale societal discussion on race and racism let along develop guidelines to address the blatant inequality that exists in this society. You are horrified by the actions of your forefathers, but you’re not so mortified that you’ll give any of his stolen shit back. We must never lose sight of the fact that it wasn’t just conservatives whose ancestors built fortunes during slavery, there were many liberals as well. The conservatives tell you to your face like ganstas “fuck you, I ain’t givin shit up.” Liberals just be quiet, feel bad about it and donate to the local food bank. Taking the race out of racism is like not recognizing the corners of a square, that does not make it a circle.
This is why today’s kids don’t get it, we are screaming fire but no one listening. We’re being drowned out by white supremacists and the media they control as well as liberals and black apologetic intergrationalists. In the immortal words of the late Rodney King “Can’t we all just get along?” Nah bruh, we want to but they don’t.
Deeeeeeerops mic, and walks from stage drippin blackness.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.
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