Thursday, October 18, 2012

Racism 101

Listen to this radio ad put out by (a public awareness campaign developed by the National Fair Housing Alliance) and see if you can spot the racism.  (I'll wait)

Did you hear it?  If not, then I'll spell it out for you.  Here's the dialog: 
First guy: "I grew up in an all white neighborhood."
Second guy: "I grew up in a diverse neighborhood."
First guy: "Everyone I knew was just like me."
Second guy: "Everyone I knew brought something different to the party."
First guy: "They looked like me, thought like me, acted like me - so my neighborhood always stayed the same."
Second guy: "They introduced me to different tastse, different ideas, different ways of doing things - so my neighborhood always got more interesting."
Together: "They definitely helped shape the way I look at things"
Second guy: "and they prepared me for the future."
First guy: "They did?"
Second guy "They did."

The announcer then goes on to tell us how great diversity is.

So, if you still don't get it, here's the racism: the implication that all white people look, think and act alike simply because of their skin color.  That, my friends, is textbook racism.

Think about this for a minute...  Do all white people really act and think alike?  Think about all the white people you know.  There are white people who are liberals, and white people who are conservatives - white Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independants, Greens...  There are white Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, atheists, agnostics... and even within the white Christians there are Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Pentecostals, Seventh-Day Adventists... There are white Packer fans, Bronco fans, Laker fans, Celtic fans...  white soccer fans, baseball fans... white scientists, white vegetarians, meat lovers, broccoli haters...  well you get the picture.

If all white people thought and acted alike, they'd all be Libertarian Ron Paul supporters and Black Sabbath fans whose favorite football team was the Denver Broncos.  (I'm pretty sure that's not true.)  And that's because diversity is not due to the color of one's skin - diversity comes from our uniqueness as human individuals.  So not all white people think and act alike, and not all black people think and act alike (and I'll save you the suspense; neither do all brown, red, yellow or any color in between).  There is no race that thinks and acts alike simply because their skin is the same color. 

To think otherwise is to be a racist.