ARE WE NOT ALL RACIST?
To make matters simply I will use the terms black and white to make points.
Racism (meaning) - hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own races is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another races or other races (Dictionary.com)
With the recent Steven Lawrence case, the ongoing saga about the Diane Abbott MP tweets (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8997510/Diane-Abbott-taxi-drivers-refuse-to-pick-up-black-passengers.html) and the never ending issues over footballers constantly making racist comments, the many wars against different countries, with each race fighting to get up the ladder, stepping on the other as they try to reach that crown. Are we not all a bit racist from time to time?
Back in the day when I was growing up, it seemed that I had a clear boundary line to knowing whether or not someone was either a racist or was making a racist comment. Nowadays, it seems that that line is somewhat blurred and every time particular words are used, people are automatically branded a racist, without thought.
We once had a neighbour who was, what I would call a clear 'rascist'. This whole family of mother, father, brother, and sister made it clear to all on a daily basis that they did not like blacks, they did not want to communicate with blacks, they wanted all black people to go home (wherever that was) and this family made endless comments against black people on a regular basis. They even had the cheek to inform you that they were part of the National Front. This is what I call racist.
I clearly remember the days when it was scary walking on the streets at night as we feared bumping into the racist skin-heads that would literally chase you all the way home. If they caught up with you, there was no doubt that you would get a good beating. Why? because you were black. End of. This is what I call racism.
On the other hand, I then had friends who I would hang around with, go out to parties with, spend time with and on rare occasions when we came to hard points of disagreement or arguments that they could not win, in frustration would use the word 'black b******d, w*g or n****r in a fit of rage. I believe they made racist comments but I would not label them a racist.
Is it possible that your friends or even colleagues are so comfortable when around you, that they can make racist comments without you taking offence, or even make inappropriate remarks without you jumping on the bandwagon.
At what point should we accuse someone of being a racist?
How many times have you seen articles, watched TV, listened to the radio and heard stories about how the police 'stopped and searched' a person and found nothing? How many people are finding it hard to get a job? How many people in jobs are not being promoted despite hard work? if all the above people in question are black, then are those employers, police, etc racist?
On many occasions I have heard black people refer to other black races in negative, stereotypical ways, and even use the N - word to refer to their friend. What about all this hip hop music vilifying the black man. Should this be tolerated? and if so, isn't it OK for a white person do the same?
I am quite confident of the steps I take when racism rears it's ugly head, whether it be with friends or colleagues. I also take a further step not to tolerate the music that I perceive as negative or racist, I simply switch it off. I believe that if everyone did a little something then those that are clearly racist for whatever reason will either have to change their minds or do it behind our backs. Promoting healthy open-minded discussions on the subject especially in the media could also be a good way of dealing with the issues some of us have. I'm fully aware of the importance of teaching children what is acceptable/unacceptable in and out of school. I'm also very careful not to let every word that has 'black' in it, become an offence, as political correctness is going mad.
For me, racism is like a bubbling volcano simmering away. Are we simply waiting for it to erupt, like the Jews did in Hitler's Germany?