Today I was called a racist…… The definition of Racist is 1: a belief that race is the predominant determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2. racial prejudice or discrimination (poor treatment or violence against people because of their race, the belief that some races of people are better than others)
Me? A racist?
I do not agree that by definition I am a “racist”. I support #BlackLivesMatter. I see and want to stop the injustices that befall minorities. I share information via several social media outlets hoping to shed a light on these issues to my not as supportive friends and family. I have gotten into major debates and posting wars backed up with news articles, statistics and research proving (or trying to prove to those unwilling to listen) that there is an issue with race in this country. I cry, rage and am choked with frustration by every news report of yet another father, mother, sister, brother shot, strangled, beaten to death by a police force that is supposed to protect us all. I know that these issues go back for generations and are still prevalent today. Although they may be more shrouded and less obvious to most White Americans than they were 40 years ago. I do not believe that any race is superior or that a persons race determines who they are or what they can or will become. I have even written of my own reckoning with White Privilege…
Me… A Racist.
Yet, I am not innocent of listening to, retelling or laughing at racist jokes. I have made assumptions about people based solely on their outward appearance. I have put forth and believed racist stereotypes. I have used the N word in my life against a person of color. (That day still haunts me. I replay it in my mind and wish I hadn’t said it. Even writing that excuse here I recognize that by doing so I am still trying to diminish or lessen my own personal history of racism.) No, I am not innocent.
I wish that we could all understand that perhaps just like addiction, the first step to recovery is admitting we have a problem. That no one among us is a saint. That by admitting our own faults we are then open to the forgiveness and understanding of all faults. I firmly hope, pray and believe that in my lifetime I will witness a paradigm shift in regard to racism.
To that end, here’s me, looking squarely at myself, taking the first step…..
My name is Jolissa and I recognize my racism.