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I’m Racist. And So Are You.

Hate crimes are the highest they’ve been in 20 years. While minorities and liberals claim racism is a problem, white power groups and the GOP are calling the minorities the real racists. Spoiler alert — everybody is racist.
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Have you ever known an alcoholic — or someone in an abusive relationship? If so, you know nothing will change until they first acknowledge the problem. Racism works the same way.

It’s natural to have biases. In fact, it would be very strange if we didn’t. Even the most primitive animals develop survival instincts based on their experiences and the information they’ve been exposed to in their development. 

I’ve always been a kind person. I’ve always treated everybody with respect. I’ve never been the type to make (or even laugh at) ‘jokes’ that were derogatory to other people. But, it was not until I went to a very diverse university and was able to truly be exposed to so many people that were not like me or the social circle that I grew up with that I would come to understand my underlying racism. 

My racism didn’t come out in any of the cruel ways you see most often portrayed in the news — the white supremacists at Trump rallies or marching through the streets with torches, chanting sh*t like, “Russia is our friends, the South will rise again,” — that’s some high-level racism. My racism was more in the form of having never put myself in the shoes of the other and wondering how my life would have been different. 

After I became aware of the prejudices that I held it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. They aren’t necessarily gone — we can’t just expunge ourselves from deeply ingrained beliefs. But, it’s only in becoming aware of the problems we have that we can make conscious decisions to counteract those natural primitive instincts. 

No matter if you’re white, black, or yellow — you have some racism in you. Be aware that you hold these biases, and you can actively counteract your racism.

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