Sunday, May 2, 2010
Am I a racist, or have I just been conditioned?
We argue about politics most of the time we talk. However lately we have been arguing about race relations here in the land of the free. He is a white dude that was married to a black woman. He has a very beautiful teenage daughter from his 19 year marriage, who is currently in college. He refuses to see the problems we have in this country concerning Black and White race relations. He says that I see race because I have allowed myself to be placed in a box by ignorant people. He says I have been conditioned to a certain way of seeing things and that, he says, is the problem with people in AmeriKKKa. He says that he only sees people instead of color, so he does not acknowledge racist behavior.
I think he is full of shit, except for the part about me being conditioned. You see I have been conditioned and I just figured this out a couple of days ago......
The other morning as I was pulling into my gym's parking lot I noticed a very attractive white lady coming out of the entrance of the gym. I have seen her before, so there was nothing unusual about this. I parked my truck and proceeded to walk into the gym. I passed the lady and we did not acknowledge each other.(Although as we passed I did turn around to admire her frame as she walked away. What? I told you that the woman was very attractive. And I am a very healthy man.)
Anyways....... Again this was not unusual because we have never so much as smiled at each other before.
Why did I go out of my way just to avoid contact with a very nice looking woman?
But the tripped out thing is; if a white man is on the elevator or if it would have been a white man in the gym parking lot, I would have walked right up next to him and dared him to say something.
Why am I like this?
I know how some white people view a man that looks like me. I am the very definition of the term "Big Black Buck". I am 6'2" tall. I weigh 228 pounds, which is not "fat weight". I keep a bald head. I am also dark-skinned. I am the type of black man that "fits the description" of damn near every black criminal in Dallas. So I know that if the white woman I have talked about even whispers something that could be considered by a passerby as "help me", I am going straight to jail. Whether I did anything to her or not. That is the country I have grown up in. I will be considered guilty until the lip-service I have to sell my house to afford to represent me gets me acquitted, if he gets me acquitted. And if I don't get acquitted I will have to register as a sex offender once I get out of jail, which in essence ensures that my "debt to society" will never be paid.
So I have been "conditioned."
But does this make me a racist because I know how my country views and has historically treated people that look like me?
Does it make me a racist because I can feel the hostility that some people have towards me without them having to say a word?
Does it make me a racist because I refuse to deny and ignore my feelings?
Or am I essentially in a "box" that society has placed me in and I refuse to or am too scared to venture outside of that "box?".
I do not consider myself a racist. I have no ill feelings towards anyone, and I try to treat everyone I meet with respect, until they prove themselves unworthy of that respect.
But I do know and have experienced racism.
So am I racist or have I just been conditioned?
I am leaning towards the "conditioned" aspect of it all, but what do you think?