In my freshman year I wrote a paper for my English class. It was a position paper in which I tackled the idea that racism does not exist. Whenever I mention this, about 99 percent of the time I need to explain my intention in writing this paper if so and so was to understand. A few people totally agree with the statement, which for them I usually need to clarify because they blindly agree others totally disagree with the sentiment and they don’t give it the time of day. It is understandable that giving an idea that is totally wrong is never a good idea. Well my statement is still correct if seen from the position of where I was coming from. The 1 percent that I didn’t need to explain was a lovely black lady who has given a part of her life to serve the students here at Sam.
For someone to state that racism does exist would mean that only one situation would make that statement true. That wasn’t the goal of the paper. When folks jump the gun and shut their ears and their mouths speak abundantly fast with little consideration for the audience they are attempting to speak to(i.e. me) then they get nothing accomplished.
I had a recent conversation with some fellows lately about the topic of racism. I stated a very simple statement at the end of the discussion. People have the right to be racist. To my dismay they disagreed with this and I asked why? Well apparently their position is this; they can help themselves from being racist so they don’t have that right. Well so does a stupid person have the right to help themselves to be smart. Doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to be stupid. I only hope that they meant that it isn’t right.
The dictionary definition of racism is discrimination or prejudice based on race. Well to determine this the only person who can truly tell you is the person who makes such a remark. I might say a black joke in fun but for me to say it would mean that I would be saying a racist joke. Which in real circumstances I am only saying a stereotypical joke based on experience.
Now imagine a cafeteria with one side filled with all white men and the other side filled with all black men with one chair open on each side. Introduce a white man into the room he will more then likely sit down on the side with white men (and vice versa). That is the pattern of comfort not a manor of racism for the man who chose which side. It would be unusual for this white man to sit on the black side of the cafeteria, but he still has this 50/50 chance to sit there. The only thing that makes this racist is the preference of comfort. Feeling that this white man would be more comfortable with white men then with black men. the color of the skin. So the supposition of this situation would mean that the only thing to make a decision on is to base it on skin color, side left or side right or by flipping a coin. Either way all these decisions are lottery decisions unless this white man wanted to be feeling comfortable.
As a white guy, I am not friendly with black guys because they are black (unless it’s my buddy Calvin Davis). Why did I just say that? Well folks there are such things as mutual jokes and not everything that mentions race is racist. Enjoy your Thursday at Sam and say hi to a fellow humanbeing sometime.