Are We Lying To Ourselves About Race?

So, this thought came to me last week, and it looks somewhat different to me this week (or does it?), for obvious reasons.

innocent, pure, peace, equality

Not Racist

The thought was that subtle racism, like institutional racism, and even some more overt examples of racism, are coming from people who don’t seem to realize that their thoughts are racist.

Now you and I might say, no way, but it’s true. What seems obvious to one person is not obvious to another.

I was listening to an interview on NPR recently of a former white supremacist, Derek Black, who’s father was a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, who’s godfather was David Duke and who was being groomed to become the next grand wizard. He met an orthodox jew at college (his first time out in the world after being home schooled) who invited him repeatedly to Friday night dinners (which was exhaustingly painful for them to go through week after week) and just let Black get to know him and his friends. Over a period of time, it changed his mind and made him question all that he had been taught and all that he thought he knew.

honesty, truth, eyes open

See yourself clearly and honestly. It’s a start.

This man is profoundly changed and clearly upset by what he previously believed and how what he at one time declared in public, had manifested itself into violence executed toward others. You can hear it in his voice. He’s still working through thoughts and feelings and it must have been a radical melting away of his reality. I can’t imagine how disconcerting it must be for your world to change so dramatically.

The thing that sticks with me the most is that he says none of them thought of themselves as racist or that, in reality, they had convinced themselves of this point.

I’m guessing that most people who have strong beliefs on race (other than that all races are equal or that race is a social construct, as it is) have managed to convince themselves of this exact conclusion.

Anyone who has put some serious thought into this subject has found themselves to be suspect in one way or another regarding race as we have all grown up immersed in an institutionally racist society and can’t help our brainwashed thoughts….right? See, that’s the crux. Once we do take a look into that abyss, we can’t go back. You can’t unsee it. Seeing the disease is the cure.

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