I’m Not a Racist? (Conversation 1)

Some may be wondering why would I even bring this up? Why do I like talking about race and racism? That was yesterday. Today is a new day. We have a President who is Black? So why is race still an issue? I’m not a racist. I have Black friends. For God’s Sakes we have a Latina Supreme Court Justice. It’s not always about race.

Each time I’ve heard these statements made to me in conversation or to dispute something I’ve written or in a public venue, it raises a flag. It raises a flag because it generally indicates someone who is uncomfortable in some manner with the subject or has been taught to avoid the subject of race.

It’s not an exclusive trait of a single group of people, because I can recall conversations I’ve had over the years with people of my own race who has the tendency to shy away from any measure of participation that involves people of a different race than themselves. Also the conversation, mannerisms and gestures tend to be different for the benefit of not appearing socially undesirable or perceived as a racist.

As I’ve said on many occasions, everything is not always what it is. This means that hate, ignorance, prejudice, racism, bigotry and intolerance does not do what it does. The example I like to use is racism is not racist, because anyone can be a racist.

The consequences of these attitudes we have accepted and unconsciously support and promote are being uprooted and exposed by our changing demographical status, changing economical status, changing political power status and other various societal inequalities.

The fear of the unknown is what has often been the motivating factor and pathway to power and acceptances by some. When you are unsocialized, your thoughts, actions and suggestions tend to appear uncivilized, even if you do not realize it.

Unconscious racism, bigotry, prejudice is more than just mistrust amongst Blacks and Whites, but is frankly mistrust of anyone who is not like how you perceive yourself. There are those who harbor some sort of animosity or mistrust towards someone politically. Someone mention any sort of opposing fact or falsehood about your party and without a second thought or validation you’re ready to attack.

Although it is not exclusively racist, we can recently recall the images found during town hall meetings of Democratic congressmen/women and Senators. As recent as September 12, 2009 in Washington D.C. and many instances prior to today including the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election cycle. Many try to dispute that race has anything to do with it, but the overwhelming evidence that can be found on this blog alone provides ample reason to think again.

So why do we continue to hold such a strong mistrust and animosity towards one another in terms of race?


8 thoughts on “I’m Not a Racist? (Conversation 1)

  1. Hi Tim,

    Have to admire and applaud your courage for daring to take on such a potentially explosive issue here. Personally, I believe all races in some situations have within us to do the “right thing” (for instance, if a passing motorist of any color sees a stranded vehicle on the side of the road, and a few seconds later sees an individual holding a gas can enroute to the next stop to seek gas, then anyone of us would offer our help). However, where that example is more of an isolated incident, I imagine it becomes more differcult to invite a few of your opposite race co-workers out for a cold beer and pizza in your favorite hang out, because obviously all of us run the risk of possibly offending our inner circle so to speak and possibly be shunned from that point on. I’ve been in a few situations where I did what I felt was right instead of popular, but until more individuals like yourself are courageous enough, honest enough to talk openly about race, then our fears will remain intact. Can a white man venture off a highway exit into the wrong neighborhood in Harlem? Can a Black man venture off the wrong exit and land in rural pockets in the states below the Mason Dixon line?

    Yes, Tim, we have a ways to go, but I admire you for caring enough to take the first step.

    1. Thanks Al, but I’m just doing what I believe someone or everyone should try to do more and be more honest and talk to each other about some of these issues.

      I think it may depends on the person in regards if his family and/or friends may look at him/her differently when it comes to inviting a co-worker or neighbor for a drink or an event. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for me to go to lunch or hang out somewhere with someone who is either not of my same race, religion, gender or perceived economic or social class.

      Earlier this Spring I had some ‘funny’ looks by people when I was out with a former customer at a place I use to work who we became friends. She was a nice looking White lady who trying to get into the music industry, so she looked like one of the typical young country female singers you see today. We did not match at all, but we enjoyed talking about music and life. I’m not a Bluegrass fan, but that’s what she was trying to get into and I supported her.

      Now there were some people who was offended for some reason who were Black and White. I wasn’t even thinking of anything wrong and she wasn’t either, but to some we were taboo. I told her to get use to it, because she’ll be famous one day and people will be doing the same thing, but with smiles on their faces. What was funny, one of the people who saw me was the sister of a friend of mine who I knew well enough to recognize in public. She even acted funny towards us. My friend and I joked about me being out with a White girl in the south and her being out with a Black man, we must be up to no good. 😀

      I’ve never been afraid of dealing with issues of race, but understand how some can. It’s the reason why I try to not instinctively cling to my cultural traditions as if no others are important or valid. I enjoy being who I am and see myself as blessed for being born Black. I also can transfer that to others, who can say that they are blessed to be who they are. I just want people to feel the same towards others.

      Well keep on reading, because it gets ‘interesting’. 🙂

  2. Hi Tim,

    I trust it’s going to get even more interesting. Your example, your innocent outing with a lovely White woman, is indicative of how quickly both races jump to conclusions without caring even an iota for the facts. Good thing you guys were out in a more public setting instead of daring to meet for a coffee in a diner to discuss her music goals. Sometimes the setting alone suggests more to an observer. If I’m said it once, Tim, I’ve said it a times you are a good man, regardless of your skin color. I just think though that until the races can come together on Sunday morning and worship together race relations will always be lagging. Here we have believers in Christ, who segregate themselves on Sunday morning…shaking my head in disbelief and wondering why people cannot get past color, even in the house of the Lord?! Again, admire your courage to address this sensitive issue, Tim, but there’s no easy answers on this one. Sure, we have a black president, but could you or another decent black man move about as freely as he can? Is he respected more for his position than his color?
    How does a White coed return home for Thanksgiving to her hometown with a Black signifigant-other? How could a Black male return home for Christmas with his single white female signifigant other? Good luck with this one, professor Tim.

    1. HEY, HEY, HEY. Have you gotten a hold to my notes? You’re leaking some of the content of what’s ahead. 😀

      Well this topic will not be real long, but it probably will last a week, before I conclude. I can’t possible get to everything, but hopefully it is a beginning.

      I’m going to have to put a password on my notes now. 🙂 jk

  3. Sometimes the setting alone suggests more to an observer. If I’m said it once, Tim, I’ve said it a times you are a good man, regardless of your skin color.

    The above sentence should have read, “If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times”…

    Nevertheless, Professor Tim, please carry on sir. Cannot wait for the next thread. Safe travels today.

  4. You may not be a professor yet by title, Tim, but I trust that if you had the time (given that you’re a good man who values your family as a high priority in your life) you’d be well on your way. And boy what I’d give to be a fly on the wall to hear you lecture, and encourage classroom participation on your timely subjects. Be back tomorrow to catch up.

    PS: No, I don’t know your password (mutually joking), but I have grown to know your sharp mind and how well you present material in a broad and thorough manner. Thus a lucky guess on my part where you may head as you continue to discuss a highly sensitive subject as race. Safe travels, Tim.

    1. 🙂

      Well since I’m a bit too willing to honestly consider and work with people on all sides I may not make it in politics or get too irritated with it all and say something a bit too honest about the whole thing that derails my campaign or get me thrown out, so perhaps I can get to the point that I can teach at Fisk, Vanderbilt or some other school one day soon. I would welcome you or anyone else who was willing to visit and listen.

      Also, thanks. You and a select few will actually get to see and here me before the year is out.

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