Power to the people: Knowledge combats intolerance

You might be Racist if:

  • You have to say, “I have black/asian/latino friends” at any point
  • You ask someone “What are you?”
  • You use any sort of stereotype as a truth
  • You use any sort of stereotype as a joke
  • You dislike the President because he’s black
  • You like the President because he’s black
  • You think one racist act merits another
  • You become offended when someone says you might be racist or claim that you meant (whatever you said) in a non-racist way
  • You change your behavior (even if it is to “fit in”) around someone of another race
  • You are mad about this list because you have somehow qualified

Now that I have your angry attention, I may say that everyone at some point in their lives has racist thoughts. I don’t mean this in the negative way either. It may just be a stereotype (positive or negative) that you’ve used. It may be something you never say, but thought.

It’s okay.

Well, actually it’s not, but that isn’t my point. I’ll be the first to admit I am racist. Being raised mixed, I’m hyper-aware of race and stereotypes. It’s something I fight now but, when I went through my teen years of insecurity, it’s a tool I used to set myself apart from blacks, whites, etc.

As a people, we need to combat racism in the United States and it all starts with the “White Privilege,” their “blindness” to the minority struggle. Raised in suburbia half-white, I was this way as well until I came to Greensburg, where racism is out in the open and being politically correct is swept under the rug.

For the people of Seton Hill University, a place of mixed race and religion, it may not seem so obvious, but step outside your bubble and walk down the hill please. Or, not even, just walk with me through campus and see what I see.

You might have The “White Privilege” if:

  • You claim to be colorblind
  • You believe racism is over in America (especially if you justify this with Barack Obama)
  • You believe (wrongly) that you are not any likelier to get a job, a house or a car than a minority.
  • You do not identify yourself as white, but as a “student” or “parent” or “female/male” instead.
  • You believe the education system, minority scholarships or affirmative action to be fine.
  • On the flip side, you don’t think we need affirmative action and minority scholarships.
  • You do not have to look for posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls or toys that feature people of your race.

I can go over all of these, but my editor says I only have a few inches left and I’m not going to waste it on explanation. No, go look it up on Wikipedia or something. Or better yet, come talk to me. Peggy McIntosh, a white lady, has a couple of good points that I have confronted:

“I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

I can be pretty sure that my neighbors…will be neutral or pleasant to me.

I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented [positively].

I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.

I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having coworkers on the job suspect that I got it because of race.”

Her full list is online at http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html. I want you to realize this is what we face everyday. And for me, as a mixed kid, it’s not just whites. It’s everyone.

Black Power
Peace, Love
& All That Jazz

For more information on race relations, visit:

Diaries of a Mixed (Up) Kid @ ajahannah.blogspot.com

Resist Racism @ resistracism.wordpress.com

Racialicious @ www.racialicious.com

Or reach out and talk to us. I’m not going to beg…Okay, please.

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