Friday, April 15, 2011

I Can't Be Racist

Here's a fascinating post by JaeRan Kim about how people (I'm figuring really it is mostly white people) justify that they can't be prejudiced because they have a _______ friend.

It reminds me of my post a while back struggling with the word "friend."  And it brings to mind the challenge at Pact Camp every year - as white parents of children of color, who are we *really* friends with - who do we share dinner with, who do we worship with, who do we spend our leisure time with.

I really like JaeRan's point that we all grew up with and still carry prejudice.  What is important is what we choose to do about it.
We have our biases and our prejudices – the point is, when do we decide we are going to be responsible for what we say, and take ownership when what we say is based on stereotype and assumption? What do we do? Say, “I’m sorry you were offended” (which always blames the victim). Or do we say, “wow, I didn’t realize that what I said was offensive” and then take active steps to learn from that experience?
Taking stock of the reality of our relationships can be very challenging.  But really, isn't it worth it to look around and see who we're really telling ourselves and our children is worthy of our time, attention and love?

1 comment:

The Bug said...

My sister-in-law is racist & proud of it (she calls it "redneck" but it's really racist). What's funny is that she DOES have a gay friend & a black friend. I don't know why they put up with her.

I know that I have my own prejudices no matter how hard I work at it. I just realized the other day that it was a CLASS prejudice, not really a race one. I have negative thoughts & feelings about people who behave a certain way. I never knew I was so prissy until I had that realization!