Ignorant

People who are racist are ignorant. Sometimes people who talk about racism are ignorant too. 

One day the coolest hip-hopper alive tells us she wants to bring hip-hop to the masses; to bring it down to the people, away from the world that we’ve seen before of gangstas, drug dealers and street violence. We listen and we admire. Another day she tells us that she’d rather have no white people buy her records and not be number one. And I say to myself: what a wonderful world. Be blunt, why not? It’s your reality.

So what do you think of me? You only want me to say what you want to hear. Is that the score? Do you want me to confess that I am eternally evil because I am white? Because that is what you implied when you said what you did. I think we are all pretty much agreed that racism towards black people is wrong. So why is racism towards white people acceptable? Because we are ignorant of what racism actually is?

Racism. A belief in the superiority of a particular race. Not: Racism: a belief in the superiority of white people. But that is what many people tell me that racism is; white people picking on other races. In the past I have criticized white racists, but when I would hear a black person being racist towards me, a joke or a passing remark, I would say, “It doesn’t bother me.”

What kind of crap is that? Is that like turning my well meant criticism into a meaningless, two-faced gesture? Racism hurts you, racism stings you; I understand that, but do it to me and I say, “It doesn’t bother me.” You start to see a hole in my thinking. Things are falling through.

I don’t do that any more. I don’t accept any form of racism. The racism of minority group towards a majority group is no more acceptable that of a majority towards a minority. It is just wrong. What we believe might be based upon the time in which we are living, or on the beliefs of the people with whom we associate. What we believe might be based upon popular opinion, but these things do not automatically deem it to be accurate. Racism is not exclusive and it is never acceptable.

None of us enjoys being judged based on one variable. Even based on two or three. Or… well, my skin colour. My hairstyle. The way I walk. The way I talk. There’s more to all of us than that. 

I presume.

“But you’re all the same…” “People like you…” 

Don’t judge me.

Don’t group me because I really don’t believe in labels, like I don’t believe in packages. Like I don’t believe in uniformity. Summarise and generalise; institutionalise for public consumption. I don’t think so. We all know that racism is based upon these summaries and generalisations. 

Every single human being is different.

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