Your Racial Experiences

The following questions are not exclusive to any one race. Because as I’ve written on many occasions in speaking about race, I continue to believe that racism itself ironically does not do what it is because anyone can be a racist regardless of their race. The difficulties I’ve experienced with getting people to speak openly about their racial experiences are that they are afraid of saying something wrong or being stigmatized.

I simply want people to begin considering each other beyond themselves. This means not being afraid to say something that may be misunderstood at first. That’s why I try to give people the opportunity to explain and why I consider what they have to say and how they’re saying it and from what experiences they’re saying it from. Those who personally know me already know I’m not going to judge you. I may ask questions to better understand where you’re coming from, but I’m not seeking to judge you.

So I will try yet again with this discussion, because it’s one that we all need to have. I give you my word that I will not allow anyone to criticize your experiences. All I ask is that you be sincere and considerate in your response to these questions.

It doesn’t matter if you disagree with me politically, culturally, spiritually or on some other issue. This isn’t a time to promote any hatred for any specific group of people or person. I encourage you to begin your own discussions and/or send them here to share their experiences.

Questions:

When was the first time you were called or was referred to as a racially derogatory name?

How did it make you feel?

How did you respond?

How has that event affected your private and/or subliminal racial views, ideology and opinions towards others?

What have you done to not make the same mistake that was made towards you?

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6 thoughts on “Your Racial Experiences

  1. The one gift I want to offer those who may read and respond to this post is responsibility. Because in the end you will not be judged by your skin color, but your heart. The responsibility of what you do with it is yours.

  2. When was the first time you were called or was referred to as a racially derogatory name?

    WHEN I WAS IN FIRST GRADE.

    How did it make you feel?

    Very sad, and ashamed, I stopped talking the rest of the day, didn’t concentrate in class and cried walking home.

    How did you respond?

    I said nothing, and closed in on myself, became an introverted, very angry and suicidal teen.

    How has that event affected your private and/or subliminal racial views, ideology and opinions towards others?

    It was hard because I am of mixed race and my parents warned me about people of all races saying hateful stuff to me would be par for the course, but you can never prepare yourself for the pain it inflicts on you. Thereafter for years I wished I had blond hair and blue eyes and white skin, I hated myself, I even tried to rub my skin off of my face with a toothbrush in second grade. I eventually had to go to thereapy because I hated myself so much and I wouldn’t even comb my hair because I couldn’t bear to see myself in the mirror, long enough to take care of it. My hair is very curly and so since it was not straight I hated it more.

    I would never look people in the eye because I feared the disgust I would see when they looked at me. It took a long time to finally love the skin I am in!

    What have you done to not make the same mistake that was made towards you?

    I don’t need to do anything, the pain was so great I could never ever do that to someone.

  3. I forgot to add, I am still working on my world views and racial views, but I take each person as they come but I am more wary of people of some races then others as to the sincerity behind our friendships.

    Sad I know.

  4. 1) When was the first time you were called or was referred to as a racially derogatory name?

    Elementry or Jr. High. Can’t remember which, or who for that matter.

    2) How did it make you feel?

    Can’t remember that either. 🙂
    But i’m 100% sure it wasn’t good.

    3) How did you respond?

    Again, no memory. But I would suspect confusion prevailed. Racial majorities tend to respond different than minorities due to lessened sensitivity.

    4) How has that event affected your private and/or subliminal racial views, ideology and opinions towards others?

    We’ll stick to the last similar instance I can remember. Santa Ana California, 1992. In a minor road rage instance with a Mexican commuter I was referred to as “Pinche Blanco”. I pointed a Colt Gold Cup out the window. I think he felt worse than I did and I said nothing. 😛

    It did not make me cop a ‘tude on Hispanics. Though he may feel differently.

    5) What have you done to not make the same mistake that was made towards you?

    Fortunately, the logic of judging individuals as opposed to groups of individuals came very early. I still cling to that logic as closely as possible. Though I, like many, find it easier to just think to hell with “them” all, the easy way has never been attractive to me.
    I believe that most racists are either too stupid or too lazy to make the effort it takes to make it beyond the simple.

    🙂

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