Saturday, February 16, 2013

What Do YOU Think?

I have always freely admitted that I have some prejudice against blacks. I make no apologies for that fact simply because it was black people themselves who made me that way, not the teachings of, or peer pressure from, other people. Prejudice is about feelings. Racism and bigotry is about action, or lack of it. I’m not a racist or a bigot, but I AM a realist. ANYONE who says they aren’t prejudiced against SOMEONE is lying to themselves, PERIOD. I don’t say that to justify my own prejudice, but because over half-a-century of people-watching has convinced me of the fact.

That said, I used to have a supervisor who was young enough to be my daughter, but probably tried harder to be fair and helpful than anyone I’ve ever worked under. She was white, but she had three children by her black ex-husband and was then allowing her black boy-friend to live with her and off of her. Eventually, she grew tired of that situation, and his inclination toward being abusive, and threw him out. Even then, I noticed that she was attracted only to black guys, and she appeared to be more sympathetic to black kids at work than she was toward white ones. Still, she was unfair with no-one, and I wrote off her greater concern for black kids to the fact that she had three of her own.

Not long ago, I included her on my friends list on Facebook. Since then, I’ve noticed something about her posts. Except for personal stuff between her white friends and coworkers, all her posts are about blacks. Almost daily, she posts music, quotes, events and history concerning blacks. I didn’t think anything about it until after a few weeks, I realized that she had never posted one single solitary thing from or about a white person. Now, I’ve seen some folks that are infatuated with certain races or groups of people; folks that are seriously into oriental or Native American culture come first to mind. Still most don’t completely turn their back on their own culture and upbringing.

The other day, I checked out one of the sites where she gets some of the things that she reposts. It was a site for interracial couples. I could see how that might serve a purpose, but I had to wonder about the respectability of the site, when I saw a drawing of two large black feet turned downward between two smaller, up-turned ones. Not only did that strike me as trashy, but I saw no drawings of other colors or combinations. Looking through the site, it was all black guys and white gals, no white guys with black gals and no other races. I remember thinking at the time that the site seemed rather discriminatory. Out of fairness, I checked the site again a few days later and all my areas of concern were entirely gone, including the feet. I assume that it must change from day to day. Interestingly enough, the young woman finally quoted a white person that day.

The situation got me to thinking, though. Despite still thinking highly of my former boss for her good heart, I have to admit that I think slightly less of her than I did. Perhaps I’m wrong to feel this way, but it seems to me that being AGAINST a person because of their color is no more wrong than being FOR a person due to their race. So is “reverse discrimination” any more honorable than plain old discrimination? In fact; is there any difference what-so-ever? Neither is color-blindness. What do YOU think? © 2013


Pumice said...

There is a difference between prejudice and discernment. Prejudice means to prejudge. Discernment means to use your experience to make decisions. Think of the black taxi drivers who will not pick up a black man dressed like a gang-banger. It isn't because the guy is black it is because he chooses to look like a hoodlum.

I agree we all have our preferences. I agree we can't help what we feel, short term. But as you say, we can try to treat people fairly.

The biggest problem is that we cannot talk about these things without being labeled "racist." Usually this comes from people who are more racist than we are.

Grace and peace.

Gorges Smythe said...

I agree with you on all points, Pumice, especially the last one. Thanks for commenting; most folks don't have the nerve to broach subjects such as this.

John D. Wheeler said...

I see absolutely nothing wrong with prefering one culture over another, whether that culture you prefer is the one that you were raised in or not. The problem is when you start confusing that subjective preference with objective superiority.

Also, there is no such thing as reverse discrimination, just as there is no such thing as reverse wind. To have a reverse, something must have a natural forward direction. Discrimination can be by anyone against anyone. Anyone who uses the term reverse discrimination is demonstrating discrimination, that one set of people is the perpetrators and another is the victims.

Gorges Smythe said...

Though I sometimes use it, due to its frequent use by others, I couldn't agree more on the term "reverse discrimination," Mr. Wheeler. Thanks for responding, you were one of only two with the nerve.

Penny said...

I think we all have all kinds of prejudices and judgements coming out our ears! And I think it's almost impossible not to act upon some of them at some point,BUT... it doesn't necessarily mean we don't still try to let Love rule the day. We still try to be reasonable and reasonably fair in our dealings with others. And people who claim to not be prejudiced or racist ... why do they have to proclaim it? But more than that I think people cry racism when it's not about that at all. Why is it so easy to be so offended? About all kinds of things. Human nature? Pride? Past experience? Upbringing? Anyway. My 2 cents or is it called "my never to be humble opinion?"

Gorges Smythe said...

Race-baiting is a business these days, Penny, both for lawyers and for charlatans like Jackson and Sharpton. I think that's why we hear so much about people taking offense, MONEY.