I think it’s safe to say the theme of this week is racism, and it’s inspired by pure pettiness – I wish I was a better person, but I’m really not.
Now we all have one friend who’s about a decade or two behind with everything, the ones who complain about political correctness or are still learning that oriental is an offensive term – but the thing is a lot of us don’t excuse their behaviour. Personally, if I’m becoming friends with someone I make it my job to educate them, because sometimes their backward behaviour is pure ignorance, and that can be unlearned.
There’s a difference between educating and just allowing this behaviour and the latter is what we’ll be focusing on today. I’ve seen this too much and honestly it’s disgusting because it see’s racist, sexist and xenophobic remarks as just a personality trait. Which not only excuses their discriminatory actions, but promotes it because they’ll never see anything wrong with it.
I’ve seen this happen way too much to be silent on it, groups of people just saying their friend is awkward, when in reality he has a problem with people of colour. That same ‘awkward’ person will have no issues speaking to white people, but the second anyone has any form of melanin it’s like eye contact is a myth, they start to fidget and worry about their own safety – guess what folks, that’s called racial stereotyping and is a racist way of thinking.
As an adult my main issue with this school of thought is the people they excuse are usually people in power, they’re managers and are responsible for a team of people and if you live in a major city – that team will probably have at least one person of colour. Unless the people are involved in the hiring process, then they’re just going to let their conscious and unconscious racial prejudices stop people from BME backgrounds from getting jobs.
We speak about systematic racism a lot, but people forget that these systems are made up of people, and their thoughts towards their fellow humans can either allow POC to thrive, or keep things at it is – which is difficult.
So next time your friend gets accused of racism, instead of thinking the person accusing them is probably just ‘using the race card’ (which by the way is a myth created by our oppressors to make it more difficult to call them out), maybe take into account that your friend is a product of their society, benefits from their privilege and is in fact a racist.
Do they have time to change? – of course!
They won’t change whilst you and many others excuse their fucked up actions as just a quirky personality trait.