bARABie – Hard Hitting Facts

April 23, 2007

Racism 2007 Style

Filed under: Uncategorized — barabie @ 8:40 pm

You know, given the recent Imus incident (and other race-related stuff, including Virginia Tech shootings) I thought I might jot down some of my thoughts about racism in the United States. Because quite a few people, okay white people, thought, well now that we got Imus fired we can go back to the racism-free world that is America, 2007. Like because we don’t have Jim Crow laws, we don’t have racism. We live in a “color-blind” world! Everything is good! Imus…and Rosie O’Donnell…and Michael Richards…and Paris Hilton and [insert celebrityracism.jpg with racist actions and/or speech]: they are aberrations, not examples of a racist society, writ large.

And this bothers me. Because it is simply not true, even leaving aside institutional racism, many of us living in this society are racist to one degree or another. It may be buried to varying depths within us all, but make no mistake: it’s there. And so I think it is actually hurtful to think that there are just a few exceptions out there – funny how they are all celebrities – and the rest of us are just fine. Because if we don’t address the racism within us, and work towards change -both at the individual and societal level- then racism, it isn’t going away. It may just simmer underneath the surface, until (seemingly) suddenly something like Imus happens, or the reaction when a young Korean-American goes on a shooting spree and somehow an entire nationality (and one of color- that’s not an accident!) shares the blame, or when brown people try to immigrate to this country. Or on a more personal level, you go to a sports event attended by mostly white people and hear a multitude of racist remarks.

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