Friday, December 01, 2006

I'm not racist but...

Those words are always followed by the most racist things I have ever heard. And man, lately I have been hearing that phrase a lot. Now, I am not sure how to respond to these ridiculous statements. I feel like most of the time I am up against a closed minded person, well set in their ways and that arguementation will not actually get any where. I also feel frequently that I am not respected enough in their eyes (as I don't tend to hang around with people like this very often), to have my opinion really matter. So I get stuck in this place, do I just stand there and not reply?

I am often just shocked and saddened that this kind of thing is still being said, and that these attitudes still exist. I was talking to a very inteligent friend from another country and she said, "just because you can use chopsticks doesn't make you multicultural" and I laughed.

Perhaps I can continue to live my life in a way that is not sexist or racist, and do it very openly. Perhaps I can help to confront these issues by my example, but I wonder if its time for me to do a bit more with my mouth? Cause I just don't want to hear this rubbish anymore, but if I jump down somebodies throat for saying something stupid, am I destroying any future influence?


One thing I must say: I am not a racist. No buts.



Anonymous said...

A very sane and thoughtful post! I am also saddened by the dialog of our days.

Cameron Lawrence said...

i live in what some consider the "deep south." once home to slavery, once a focal point of the civil rights movement, and still a home to prejudice and racism today -- sometimes I get the idea that things haven't changed much in people's hearts, though behavior has changed.

these days, prejudices are under the surface, more subtle and disguised. experts say we're re-segregating as a society and the cultural chasm between our cultures is getting wider. i pray that history won't repeat itself, that we won't turn back to ignorance -- riding there on unspoken misunderstanding, hatred and fear.

thanks for this.

dave said...

i feel the same rev... it can be incredibly frustrating!

"i'm not racist but..." is just a way to remove the guilty feelings from what is about to be said.

i'm from australia, with all the indigenous peoples issues, and i have to say that racism is ingrained in a lot of well educated people (and often they are christians...?).
white anglos have a lot to answer for. i now find that a good response is to answer with some historical fact about how we mistreated oz's original inhabitants.

i think well informed dialogue is required; i think if people actually realised what injustices have been perpetrated and continue to be, they might think differently.
(but sometimes i just want to scream at people cos of there bigotted views...!)

BarBarA said...

Its humbling to have to admit this...but just last night is said "I'm not racist but..." to a friend of yours. And know why I said it, I know that my issues are more related to anger at certain individuals that are in the media over here (US) right now that they are to racism, but still - I said it.

Your friend said something to me and he got through to me. I don't think you would be destroying future influence if you spoke the truth calmly - the person hearing it may not like it, but they will know where you stand and that can never be a bad thing if what you stand for is based in Love and not hate.

Rebecca said...

Rev, I think there's a time and a place for saying things, for sure!

I tend to try to tackle things by asking questions.

I grew up in a country area, and when people said "I'm not racist but...", it's usually followed by some rant about the indigenous people in our area. The prejudices run both ways, too!!

Anonymous said...

For the sake of an interesting conversation, here is the last time I used that phrase:
"I'm not being racist but these Asian families who buy chicken shops and staff them on the cheap with family and friends always run them into the ground because no one can understand the staff behind the counter"

-gareth pye