Skip to comments.Are you George Zimmerman? (Another one beclowns themself)
Posted on 07/31/2013 7:00:56 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
His really dark skin means hes dangerous. Her wide nostrils remind me of a monkey.
As abhorrent as these statements are, they are thoughts Ive had. Its hard to even call them thoughts, as they occur so quickly and almost outside the scope of language. When I saw the Pew Research Centers latest poll results showing that whites essentially think we dont need to talk much more about racial justice issues raised by the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case, I wasnt surprised.
We white people dont like feeling uncomfortable. For us, racism is an intellectual experience rather than part of our everyday life. We do what we can to avoid it.
My own racism disgusts me. When I first realized it was there, I did what most white people I know have done. I felt white guilt. I made it about me. I wanted to apologize to anyone I could on behalf of all white people. I wanted black people to tell me how to make it better. I wanted to be one of the good white people.
I cant be one of the good white people. Or, rather, I cant be as good a white person as good a human being as Id like.
Im a racist, or at a minimum, I have ugly thoughts when I encounter brown people, because Im a white person who has never lived somewhere that wasnt almost entirely white. We humans make snap judgments about life all the time using faulty reasoning and emotional decision making. Shankar Vedantam, a science correspondent for NPR and former columnist for The Washington Post, calls this the hidden brain, in his book by the same name. The cognitive processes that include racist stereotypes and a desperate need to rid ourselves of discomfort happen so quickly we are typically not aware of them at all.
Without a doubt, the murder of 17-year-old Martin merits righteous indignation. When the Zimmerman verdict was announced, my well-meaning progressive friends were horrified. It seemed like everyone wanted everyone else to know they thought it was awful that a young kid was killed because that Zimmerman guy was a racist. But its precisely because it was a single event, with just two people, that people were able to feel anger and rage about the injustices of it. It was safe. It wasnt us.
Where is the righteous indignation the picture to put in the Facebook profile, the calls for legislation, the petitions, the status updates and tweets, the candlelight vigils about the school-to-prison pipeline? Or, how are we quiet when five times as many whites are using drugs as African-Americans, but black people are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of whites?
Not only do our brains rely on feelings or ideas were not aware of, our brains also arent wired to comprehend large numbers. Because we white people dont experience overt and covert racism in our everyday lives, it isnt a part of our emotional experience. It remains in the realm of intellectual or logical concepts, and larger numbers hold little meaning. A single young man and a single shooter are concepts we can grab onto.
Because discussions about race make most white people uncomfortable, we want to be done with them as soon as we can. We address the travesty of justice that allows a man to go free after he kills an innocent child. In the process, we distance ourselves from the racism. It is Zimmerman who is the racist.
Sure, we will grant you that racism is pervasive, and we arent immune, but, were not like him. And, come on, why do you need to keep going on about all of this? We agree he was a bad guy. What else is there to talk about?
Heres what I think we white people who think racism is bad should do:
Recognize we have racist thoughts but dont get sucked into the guilt about it.
Notice when we feel uncomfortable regarding race.
Dont expect people hurt most by racism to solve the problems.
Dont be afraid to seem like a jerk honesty will get us further than trying to be polite, and that overeager thing we melanin-challenged people do when we think a black person might like us is embarrassing to everyone involved.
Identify areas in your life where you can help fight racism drive brown people to the polls on voting day, loudly boycott companies with overtly racist marketing campaigns, learn about what needs to change in your neighborhood and go do that in concrete, specific and productive ways.
Feeling guilty about the awful thoughts we have is fine, as long as we dont dwell on it. Racism isnt about how bad we white people feel. Its about people facing life-threatening disadvantages based on perceptions about their skin tone and appearance.
Heather Denkmire is a writer and artist who lives in Portland with her two young daughters. After a few challenging years, she is growing her small business, where her team helps nonprofit organizations win grants. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her columns appear monthly.
Race obsessed? Why, yes, I think she is.
That tells me she’s a Democrat.
What kind of assault was that?
Has this idiot watched BET lately?
What a doofus.
Prey tell, Ms Denkmire, who does like feeling uncomfortable? Aren't you engaging in racial profiling?
Why, yes . . . I think she is.
LOL! Drive a brown person day!
Has this idiot watched BET lately?
No,I’m not anything like GZ.Unlike him,anyone who shows the slightest hint of planning to beat *my* head against a length of concrete pavement will have the top of his/her head blown off before he/she gets within 6 feet of me.That includes *any* creature that can be characterized as a biped.
>>Im a racist, or at a minimum, I have ugly thoughts when I encounter brown people, because Im a white person who has never lived somewhere that wasnt almost entirely white.
An honest liberal. (Or at least as honest as they can be)
I personally have never had such thoughts as this bigot describes.
So, what gives this self-avowed racist any moral authority to lecture me?
She her own demons to exorcize, so be it. But her breathless projection of these demons onto “white people” in general is neither honest or helpful; except in the sense that it might be helpful to her in making excuses for her own pathology.
This is a sick woman; she needs help, She does not need to be prescribing to the rest of us.
Man the left has lost their damn minds over this verdict.
I find it funny.
That my friend is black would make the writer's head explode.
Pretty much says it all right there. A goofball with no real job who spends all her time looking for things to be offended by.
All I’m getting from this and other lib rants including the media...is that as a white person I have to feel sorry for the black people. They can’t help themselves and need white people to help them. They just don’t know any better.
Heathers on a “happy Hippy Trip
I’m frugal and responsible (now). I’m not going to get my Starbucks coffee this month or next month to help pay for the paints I needed for the show in May. I recognize that doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice, giving up my grande-dark-roast-coffee-in-a-venti-cup. But, I miss my stops at that Starbucks where I’m a regular. It’s certainly worth the small sacrifice to know my choosing to buy paints won’t put us under more strain than we already are. But, my social life isn’t very active and that (nearly daily coffee) was a nice little space in my life that I’ve had to put on hold for a while.
(I’ve gone back and forth about explaining the “no Starbucks for two months” part of this tale. It sounds so... like not much of a sacrifice. But, I’m always honest and that’s the situation as it is.
Speaking of being honest, if by some amazing amazingness I raise the kickstarter money I will only use the money for supplies for my paintings. In other words, you won’t be paying for my visits to Starbucks...)
THIS is a really QUAINT little “progressive” DOPETTE
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