The answer to the matter posed in my headline: Stop being racist.
But, it’s a hard human habit to break, along with religious intolerance, class conflict and a host of others. So, let me break it down more effectively.
First, off, when I talk about racism and getting rid of racist attitudes, I tend to be talking to white people…those people who are, like myself, “melanin-challenged.” That isn’t because white people are the source of all racism; far from it. Racism exists everywhere, along with the other ism’s that plague us. But I tend to target my fellow whites (racism), fellow males (sexism) and fellow Christians (religious intolerance) because I live in the United States and most of the people reading me live there, too. It’s a nation controlled by white, male Christians for the most part. They hold the most powerful political offices in a disproportionate number compared to the overall population, they hold the most influential corporate positions, they hold the vast majority of the nation’s wealth and they have the most access to getting their message out and keeping discriminatory structures in place.
Don’t even argue with me about that, because these are cases where the statistics are very obvious and clear, and no amount of internal jockeying on your part changes the truth of them.
So, while my comments here are aimed primarily at whites as I talk about racism today, my points are applicable to nations that are mostly black and persecute whites for the sins of minority white populations before them who were cruel and destructive to the mostly black native population. Or Asian nations. Or Latino ones. Or Arabic ones. Racism is everywhere.
But it’s here in the United States where I keep hearing how much whites want to stop having racial discussions and want to declare racism over even though there is nothing statistically to show that racism is on its last breaths yet, much less dead.
You want to stop hearing about racism? I’ll give you a starting point with a tweet I made today:
We all have racist thoughts/make racist “observations.” Instead of downplaying them or feeling guilt, acknowledge they’re STUPID & do better
That’s the simplest beginning. The moment you understand that thinking an African-American person is going to rob you just because they are black or a Muslim is going to hijack the plane simply because he or she calls the almighty “Allah” instead of “God” or “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” or a Jewish person is going to swindle or cheat you or an Asian driver is going to do something stupid because somehow Asians are all bad drivers…well, you get the idea. Those notions are not true. If they were, the white majority in the United States would be in shitty shape. As it happens, they aren’t. There are plenty of white people who aren’t exactly swimming in financial or social comfort, but their numbers are not so great percentage-wise as the African-American, Hispanic, Arabic and other folks who deal with discrimination large and small every day.
The Earth isn’t flat, yet it wasn’t that long ago historically there was still a Flat Earth Society, and I bet there are people who still insist the world isn’t a globe. Dinosaurs didn’t live at the same time as humans, and the science bears that out (and no, atheists, as a side note, science doesn’t disprove God because science can no more disprove the spiritual world than I can prove it to you). All black people don’t think alike. Neither do all white people.
But if you, my fellow whites, don’t want to talk about racism anymore, actually end it. And that starts by owning your own ignorance when it arises and calling it for what it is.
And then try not to do that stupid thing again. It’s a policy that serves me well, and that’s why I don’t have too many people having to tell me to stop being so racist.