Yesterday, I wrote about what I thought racism wasn't, and by doing so, touched on what it really is. That was necessary in order to explain why
there is no such thing as a RACIST.
Did I read this right?"
"I don't follow."
"This is some bull$%#!"
Let me reiterate...
there is no such thing as a RACIST.
Now I am asking for open minds here. Anyone without one will not get it.
If we are to understand that racism is a social, economic and institutional order, a construct, if you will, similar to Apartheid (see my post, "PERCEPTION v. REALITY | What ISN'T Racism"), then you understand that it is a "SYSTEM."
...and because it is a system...
it is IMPOSSIBLE for Racism to be a person.
And yes, that includes white people. Therefore, there are no "Racists." If you thought that it would be more complicated than that, or if you wanted it to be more complicated than that, then I apologize. What is complicated, however, are the perceptions that people hold of Racism versus the actual reality of it.
Now, before you decide to piss this off as a pusillanimous attempt to make light of a serious issue, think again. I never said that there weren't millions and millions of BIGOTS in this country of all colors and ethnicities. And herein lies the difference.
Dictionary.com defines a bigot this way:
"a person who is utterly intolerant of any
differing creed, belief, or opinion."
I am sure that we can all agree that America has a great many of these, and there is no color designation for it.
What is interesting to note here is that the origin of the word bigot has nothing to do with how we use it today; its roots being traced back to the 1500s. But what is extremely important to express, in my view, is that Bigotry has become the spawn of the racist system we live in today, and it is the reason why many white people can abhor racism as they think they know it on the one hand, but are unwilling to release the bigot within.
The same thing holds true for black people, but for entirely different
I've really got to interject my disclaimer here; I do not speak for all black people, which is sadly, what usually happens when a person of color has an opinion. But I can certainly speak from my own experience, which by the way, will probably resonate through the hearts of many of my fellow people of color.
We are reacting through the bigotry of white people as beneficiaries of the racist SYSTEM in their utter intolerance of any differing creed, belief or opinion. Especially as it relates to the SYSTEM itself.
In order for racism in its present iteration to maintain itself, it had to change its nature. It personified itself and defined it’s personification as “hatred.” I believe that by placing that white "face" onto racism it "personalizes" it and therefore transforms it into a tangible form, a noun, a "person," allowing perceptions to run rampant, thereby changing its dynamic and allowing for the entire issue of racism as a system to be hidden behind that "face." I believe that if Racism was actually taught for what it actually is, instead of teaching Bigotry and assigning a white face to it, there would be a better understanding of each.
You are probably swimming in primordial soup right now, wondering why I would advocate teaching Racism. You may be asking, "but isn't racism what is being taught in the first place."
My answer is NO... and a resounding one at that. Think about it. The reason why white people get so angry about racism is because they think the word is synonymous with them by virtue of their skin color. That's why they call us "Racists" when the fact is that even if racism was a person (which it is not), then we couldn't be racists simply because we do not benefit from the system; I dare say we are the victims of it. But white people can't grasp that idea because they think racism means them, so they slam on the breaks and "reverse it."
Bigotry is taught. Racism is the lesson plan.
I will go into further detail about the the effects of racism and the lessons of bigotry in my next post. Interested? Be sure to come back.