I Have Not Actively Worked. I Have Sat Quietly.

_______________

In times like this, white people are quick to throw their hands up and dissociate themselves from racism and the person accused of the racist act. But how many of them can say they have actively worked to challenge the racism in the people around them? How many folks have sat quietly as Uncle Jimbo tells the story of the time he put that one nigger in his place at work?       ~~ Jamilah Lemieux, Ebony Magazine

 

Within minutes of seeing it, I send a message to his mother, my cousin. Have you seen your son’s new tattoo?

There is a flag. There is a noose. There are the words Southern Justice scrolled across.

 I’ve seen it, she says. But he just turned 18. He’s an adult. What am I supposed to do? I want to scream, You are supposed to act like his fucking mother! and You’re supposed to tell him this is hateful and that you don’t approve and that he could get himself killed displaying a sign on his arm like that! but instead I wait a bit, gather myself up in southern politeness, pull up her son’s Facebook page again, stare at the large, shiny tattoo covering his shoulder.

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You realize what this symbol means, right?

Oh, he doesn’t mean anything by it, she says. He just likes the rebel flag, he just likes the Dukes of Hazard.

There is a flag. There is a noose. There are the words Southern Justice scrolled across.

I let it drop.

Letting it drop is not enough.

I have not actively worked. I have sat quietly.

***

The man of the house tells a joke to the little kids. It goes something like this. Little Black Sambo is sitting on the toilet, sick with diarrhea, screaming, Mom! I’m melting!  The man of the house laughs. All of the little kids hoot and giggle.

I recall hearing Maya Angelou speak to a live audience. Used to be, she’d said in her low-timbered voice, when someone told a joke about blacks or Mexicans or Catholics at some dinner party, I would show my disapproval with my silence. Didn’t want to rock the boat. Didn’t want to make a scene. Didn’t want to call attention. But now!—her voice thundered with the now—now, I turn on my heel and take up my pocketbook and my wrap and out the door I go! Even if I’m the guest of honor! 

The man of the house tells his joke. I leave the room.

Leaving the room is not enough.

I have not actively worked. I have sat quietly.

***

My family goes to mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church every Sunday morning. After church, Mom makes a big breakfast while her husband rants and rages for a good hour about how much he hates all of the neighbors he has just seen in church, how all politicians and niggers and spics should be lined up and shot down with machine guns, and how those cock-sucking fags with AIDS got what they deserved. Put ‘em on an island somewhere, he says, and set it on fire. That’ll teach the dumb bastards.

My mother and I remain silent. We exchange glances. We say a prayer.

Showing up in church every Sunday is not enough.

Prayer is not enough.

I have not actively worked. I have sat quietly.

***

I am in Aunt Mary’s apartment. Aunt Mary is diabetic and has, within the last few years, survived breast cancer and a tumor on her heart. She has six grown children and several grandchildren, all of their pictures prominently displayed on many shelves.

Where are the pictures of Rae’s kids? I ask.

Aunt Mary leads me into her bedroom and opens the top drawer of her dresser where she pulls out and hands me a stack of baby photos and grade school photos and high school photos. Rae’s children. Rae’s mixed race children. When I raise a brow she says, Don’t look at me like that. These are my grandchildren and I love them just as much as the rest.

I raise my brow again. Aunt Mary sighs, You don’t know my neighbors. They’ll call me a nigger lover behind my back. They’ll make fun of me. I’m sick and I live alone and I need my neighbors to help take care of me.

I hand the stack of pictures back to her. She returns them to the drawer. Aunt Mary punches me in the arm.

Raising my brow is not enough.

I have not actively worked. I have sat quietly.

***

I am reading an essay online by a prominent black writer, a writer I follow and admire. The essay is about discrimination against black women in the workplace, and I want to comment in the comment section but can’t figure out exactly what to say, can’t decide what would be an acceptable-enough response. Type-delete-type-delete-type-delete-type. Nothing I type is right enough, nothing I say says what I want to say because, I eventually realize, I don’t understand enough to know how to engage in any part of this particular conversation. I feel shut down.

Shutting down is not acceptable.

I have not actively worked. I have sat quietly.

***

I am visiting my mother’s husband in a sterile room at St. Francis Medical Center. He has had open-heart surgery and developed an infection, so the doctors have removed the staples and re-opened his chest. I can see that his chest is, in fact, agape, split open and stuffed with thick mounds of white gauze. My mother is dead, but here he is. My charge. He is happy to see me but in a foul mood. A black nurse is working this shift and he swears she’s trying to kill him. That nigger bitch is got-damned worthless, he yells, not bothering to wait until she is out of earshot.

Hey! I say. Shit. Enough.

***

There is a flag. There is a noose. There are the words Southern Justice scrolled across.

He just likes the rebel flag, he just likes the Dukes of Hazard.

I read these words by Deray McKesson @deray: Racism is irrational. Sometimes we exhaust ourselves “trying to make sense” of it all. But it is irrational from the onset.

I have not actively worked. I have sat quietly.

I read these words by Ben White @morningmoneyben: Sometimes there are not two sides. The confederate flag is one of those times. There is right and there is wrong and that’s it.

There is a right and there is a wrong. I can do more than let it drop, leave the room, show up in church, pray, raise my brow, shut down.

I can say, Enough! I can fucking scream.

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232 thoughts on “I Have Not Actively Worked. I Have Sat Quietly.

  1. johndrew2013

    Well, we live in strange times, where the police are allowed to attack and arrest black children. I’ve been pondering, since when do the police arrest children for being “sassy”, or resisting arrest? What crime could a child be committing to warrant arrest – that they should even need to resist?

    It hasn’t been that long since the Civil Right Act was erected (in 1964). Meaning, black people in some states were still owned by other people, or restricted to “black areas” not that long ago (it’s only been 51 years).

    The thing is, regardless of the civil rights movements, and its gains we still have “covert racism”. Racism was never given the punishment that it so rightfully deserves. It has always been hidden behind the lie of “Freedom of Choice” or “Personal Preference”. What racism is and what it accomplishes goes far beyond the scope of mere separatism. It is a form of evil that stems decades of dehumanization, bondage, torture, rape, and murder.

    No, racism has nothing to do with personal preference, it is an adverse form of terrorism. Of all the nations in the world; the United States is the most hypocritical and monstrous. We demonized Hitler, yet the Early American denizens, murdered and enslaved more millions of Native Americans, Blacks, and Latino People than Third Reich killed Jews. The United States at one time had millions of Native American Tribes, now there are only 562 tribes (genocide). There were Blacks that originally settled in America before the Transcontinental Slave Trade began. These Black People are hardly mentioned in our current history or their misrepresented as something else. Yet, we rob people of their rich heritage, intelligence, and put them in chains and call them the N-word.

    Yes, this country is great, but how should we frame our greatness? We have a high idea (democracy) that is always present in our ideology but it’s – only that – a very high idea. We are christian in speech, proclamation, and position but utterly demonic in our methodologies.

    We have been given freedom of speech but the hateful practices and exhortations of racist people should be considered criminal acts against God, humanity, and country.

    1. Teri Post author

      “we rob people of their rich heritage” —- We do. And I think of this every time I hear the words, “No more immigration” and “people need to speak English.” Ironic considering the U.S. is young and many (most? all?) of our ancestors came here speaking another language less than 200 years ago.

      1. johndrew2013

        This country not only robs it also murders and covers the truth. Hence the reason why racism is so prevalent, hidden away, and carefully protected by people who dabble in the worship of it … It’s not about language or culture but by extinguishing the origins of people; it makes it easy for the government to ignore or conveniently forget them.

  2. Laura

    So what now? What do you do? What should WE do? How do we scream??!
    How do we make up for every idiot, white or otherwise?! WHERE DO WE BEGIN to tackle the stupidity, the racism, the selfishness, the idiocy, the arrogance, the… The… The… Of this world?!?!?
    The truth is that we cannot fix those that do not think/know they are broken.
    What we CAN do is set an example of love, peace, generosity, sincerety, acceptance, tolerance, friendship, family, community, godliness in the hopes that we will affect a few. And they a few more. And so on and so on.
    However, that is not what the massacre in Charleston is about. It is about mental illness and the shortfall in this country on how to recognize and deal with it. We can deal with stupid (racist, idiotic, selfish, arrogant…), but crazy is a whole ‘nother thing. We do not have the answer to how to deal with crazy.

    1. amyg

      Unless you’re categorizing racism as mental illness, the murders in Charleston was not the result of mental illness. It was a hate crime against nine African Americans in their place of worship.

      It was a horrific, terrorist, act committed by a racist.

      1. johndrew2013

        AMYG, you are very correct. This person planned his attack and was aware of the crime he was committing. He knew he’d be accepted into the church with open arms. He knew the people he killed because he carefully integrated himself into the congregation. No, this wasn’t mental illness but a horrific, hate crime, against people of color. We have to be very careful with the word “Crazy”. The courts will treat a crazy person as if he’s not in control of his behavior and he will be sent away instead of paying for what he’s done. We know for a fact that this man, knew what he was doing because he planned it, and he admitted to doing so. So, he is not crazy and he should be held accountable for his actions.

      2. April R

        How disgusting. I can’t believe some people actually believe this type of garbage, that the color of your skin, or where you were born has much to do with anything. Ugh. I just can’t sometimes.

  3. Teri Post author

    A friend asked why in the world I would want to write about this.

    I write about it because this is the environment I grew up in.
    I write about it because I’ve always known, even when I was little, that this kind of talk was wrong and have never known how to stand up to it.
    I write about it because I believe this kind of hate-talk seeps into our pores and our blood and our guts and our hearts, and can’t help but become part of the roots of who we are.
    I write about it because my house can’t possibly be the only house like this, and yet I have never heard anyone talk about it.
    I write about it because I am ashamed of my silence.

    1. April R

      Your house is not the only one. I too grew up in a town, in Canada of all places, that thinks like this. Disgusting. And when I try to speak up and say such hate speak is so wrong, the ignorant just yell louder.

  4. Pingback: You Must Change Your Life | Fangs and Clause

  5. Joe Ponepinto

    Teri, I want to say thank you for writing about this, and especially thank you for writing about it in this way. My wife and I have had some very deep discussions about this in the last few days, although, of course, we have no solutions. It’s been a difficult week for us—she is African American and I am white, and while our vision of equality is the same, we see things through different prisms, see different paths to achieve the goal.

    Where we agree is here: We live in a nation and a culture that has deemed certain rights are as inalienable as those of life, liberty, etc. Namely, the right to remain ignorant, the right to hate, the right to carry concealed weapons into public places, the right to believe you have no responsibility to other people… But these are not rights because they preclude those fundamental rights in order to persist. Unless and until we figure this out, I think the struggle for equality in race, gender, and sexual preference is going to be a slow and sorrowful one.

    1. johndrew2013

      I’ve always considered racist hate a form of vain Idol worship. There was a time when white people conveniently wore white hoods and burned crosses in the name of Jesus. This being a total contradiction to any form of worship and all christian doctrine. Jesus preached, “Love thy neighbor”. All of this helped impose fear on all Black People.

      I have no idea what “prism” you could be looking through other than the lens of humanity. There was time that your relationship would have been shunned, you would have been dragged from your bed in the middle of the night, along with your wife, where you would have been forced to watch her be lynched. Then you would probably be killed yourself. It wouldn’t have been safe for you or her.

      Honestly, this same scenario could presently present itself, if you don’t change how you look at your world. Hate is what it is, it doesn’t matter what skin it wears, it’s still hate.

      What will you do when if this same hate visits your home? Will you stay? Will you die for your relationship? This is beyond being ignorant, people are well aware of what they’re doing. It’s not about religion, it’s not about the NRA, it’s about what people put their hopes and trust in. If this doesn’t change all of the civil rights, humanitarian, and political movements and debates useless.

    2. April R

      “you have no responsibility to other people” – such a prevalent, unnerving concept. Even in Vancouver, Canada, on of the most liberal and “accepting” cities in our country, people believe this. Combating this idea is sort of why I started my blog, and would you believe that most of my family applaud my efforts and in the same breath, say there’s nothing they can personally do.
      Seems hopeless sometmes, but I’ll keep trying.

  6. jacquelineobyikocha

    I truly salute you for sharing this. Being a black person living in America, believe me when I say that due to a whole lot going on in this place, I get a bit jumpy when I am in the park and a white guy is crossing my path. I get a bit jumpy when I pass an officer on the street. I get a bit jumpy just because I am black and it really shouldn’t feel this way. I have lived in Europe and in the United Arab Emirates and it is only in USA that I feel like this. It is no longer the land of the free and I sincerely hope that people will actively work like you said. Once again, thank you.

    1. johndrew2013

      I think I’ve been commenting a quite a bit on this blog. I think it’s something that really struck home with me. I have to reassure you that fear isn’t the answer either. There is no reason for you to be jumpy.

      Be proud of who you are, don’t let the evil of today, keep you from being the powerful person that you are. You have to learn that safety and freedom aren’t things that are given. Freedoms and safety are fought for with blood sweat and tears.

      It may or may not be your time to fight but the thing is knowing how to fight properly when the time comes. Don’t be afraid to fight, don’t be afraid to stand, and don’t be afraid to die if necessary.

      You should never feel the need to be taken back because of white people, people with badges, or a person with a gun. Just be prepared to fight for your life when the time presents itself.

      Yes, obey the law, be compliant with the police, but do your own diligence. “Be gentle”, as they say but don’t ever be afraid of anyone, even if they have a gun. Use your head be cautious and take precautions when dealing with all people of any color.

  7. Misanthropolis

    I sat there quietly, as I read your message.

    “I” have not actively worked, but I have awakened. YOU have awakened. At this time, that is all I know to say. I actively trust myself in that.

    We will sit in silence many times forward, but the mind does not have to be silent. We can actively think until we know what to actively speak. We can actively join each other, in silence appearance, until we actively find the right words to share, collectively, to wake the others up.

  8. Teck Loy Low

    Have you heard the last time Muslim puts another Muslim in his place? No, because it’s not their bloody problem and your it’s racist of you to cluster them as such. Don’t generalise the problem. It’s not a white man problem. Then again I’m not white, so what do I know?

    1. Teck Loy Low

      .. And before anyone flame me… =) I’ve always been offended by the general worship of the British towards poppy, reminds me of opium. but no one seems to care. Why is that I wonder?

      1. Takaloy

        Sorry, can you also delete this comment? It’s written in bad taste and didn’t actually convey what I want to say.

        My point was that Yes, we should fight all inequality, but it is everyone’s responsibly… Equally.

      1. beingwoke

        Oops I clicked reply. Please google stats because it won’t let me link.

        Regardless – every time it happens – Muslim leaders and Muslims in general denounce the attacks. #notinmyname they should. You are ignorant to think otherwise.

        Teach yourself. Don’t rely on the media alone.

      2. Takaloy

        Why should they? Action of an individual shouldn’t be generalised as an action of a group. We shouldn’t pin action of individuals to a community as a whole.

      3. beingwoke

        I don’t think they should. But you stated they don’t. They do because if they don’t people keep accusing them of doing nothing. Even the government and media calls on them to release public statements. It’s a sad reality but one Muslims have to live one

  9. rami ungar the writer

    A wonderful post, reminding us the dangers of silence. Reminds me a little of the poem that’s always cited in Holocaust texts, the one about how the narrator doesn’t speak up because he doesn’t belong to any of the people being persecuted and then he’s taken because no one’s left for him. Thank you for the post.

  10. Humans Are Weird

    I’m not black but my parents are European, and even though I was born and raised in Australia, growing up… well, my “race” (or, to not butcher the English language – my ethnic heritage) was oft violently thrown in my face.

    I understand that actively denouncing racism at any corner is a good way to relieve one’s conscience of its moral culpability, to assuage its concerns by echoing the sentiment, ‘Well, I’ve gone beyond the bystander effect and done my part’ through ‘positive’ action.

    Practically though, I wonder how much of an impact it actually has?

    In my experience, telling someone that racism is ‘bad’ (in the broad sense of the word) – telling them using anger, using love, using logic, using rationality, by appealing to our inherent oneness, by appealing to their basic humanity, by pointing out that we aren’t actually all that different from chimps or from frogs or even from bananas, by pointing out that, if we travel far enough down our own lineage, we all have black roots – well, it doesn’t always work. More than that, it sometimes has the opposite effect; it’ll make racist people or otherwise bigoted-in-some-way people even more racist or even more bigoted.

    Does it then boil down to a lucky dip? Are our calls to end racism or homophobia or sexism more for ourselves and the reverberations of our subconscious than for others? Does it ultimately come down to the bigoted individual coming to these realisations on his or her own? Can we, really, affect them one way or another?

    I genuinely have no opinion on the matter. Just wanted to pose the question; I find it interesting.

    1. katherinejlegry

      Hey there “humans are weird”… if you don’t ever come across the truth and information how are you going to change? So you have people speaking up. This gives people a chance. What you are suggesting is to not do anything and to give no hope of enlightenment. You are presuming people can come to the facts without guidance or new viewpoints. We have to encounter one another and learn and not stay in a vacuum. You choose to remain a bi-stander just because you think you can’t have an effect and in effect you are not only useless you are complacent and or complicit. In which case you are racist sexist and homophobic. You don’t have to “know” your impact or even care. You just do what is right. You act because you have empathy…
      and you don’t worry about “winning” in fact you do what’s right because you’ve already won.
      Practicality has nothing to do with love. You either love or you don’t.

      1. Humans Are Weird

        You made a lot of rather comically ungrounded implications, which makes me think you either a) didn’t actually read the comment, or (and this to me seems more likely) b) didn’t understand it. Either way, Merry Christmas.

      2. katherinejlegry

        Oh, well you wondered why to bother… and I was explaining to you why people do bother. Because you do the work and you don’t have to count on the results or impact… you just do the work. Usually people with empathy do it… And yes, I understand you completely. I know what happened to the aboriginal people in Australia… and what’s going down with the ground water…

        But you have “no real opinion on the matter” you said in your original comment so ultimately, you mean that much to this forum. Nicely done.

        I’m not into Christmas btw… However, Peace I can extend and receive.

      3. Humans Are Weird

        … No opinion on whether acting “positively” has a positive effect or a negative effect. That’s the question the comment posed: does acting “positively” sometimes have the opposite of its intended effect? Nothing more, nothing less. Everything else you read into the comment was, it appears, completely irrelevant-another discussion. I’ve a feeling that this still probably won’t clear anything up, alas. In any case, happy new year. *throws confetti*

      4. katherinejlegry

        Yes, humans are weird, “acting positively” has a positive effect. But sometimes “acting” is all theatre and sincerity is lacking. And so words matter… like how your presumptions that I can’t understand are not accurate or particularly positive.

        Your “Nothing more and nothing less” intentions and attitude that do not have to care one way or another is in fact totally clear.

        You sound like you lack sensitivity and empathy being so casual about racism… because you’re not really invested. You’re just mildly throwing a few bones…

        And your seasons are screwy. You’re not at all in the present moment, sister-woman. Best of luck on your walk-a-bouts. 🙂

      5. katherinejlegry

        2/2
        I should clarify that it is not “negative” to talk about real things like racism. So saying “positive” things are great, but we also need to speak candidly. And you’re just goofballing, humans are weird.

    2. tahtahme

      @Humans Are Weird. “How is it practical to call out a racist? Racists generally get defensive now a days because it is unpopular to point out racism these days. In fact you get in more trouble for calling out racists than actually BEING one and doing racist things. Racism is easy to ignore (when you have the privilege to do so), and since it doesn’t effect me negatively other than the need to deflect the occasional internet article, I will dismiss it as impractical, when really I mean I will continue to do nothing about racism .” That’s what you should type next time.

  11. Grace & Helene

    I commend you for writing this; thank you for being honest about your experiences. It’s time for learning, healing and unity as God intended for us to be.

  12. Dani

    Thank you for writing this, Teri. One summer my grandparents forced my sister and I to leave a perfectly good swimming pool because the water was contaminated, “there are n***** kids in there”, they said. I’d never heard such a word and had no idea what it meant. But I figured it was bad. You could see it creeping all over Papa’s face.

    I dearly loved my grandparents, despite being ashamed of their ignorance, but never stood up to them, not even when Papa told me he’d disown me if I ever dated “a n*****” (which I was secretly considering at the time).

    So….

    I’d like to scream with you (in honor of this post and my “sitting quietly) if you don’t mind.

    Let’s go…
    1,
    2,
    3…

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

    *hand over heart*

    With thanksgiving,
    Dani

  13. Nellie Sheridan Wilson Statue

    Thank you for writing this post. The only issue that I personally have with it is that it states “white people” to me, it makes a generalization. Not all white people are racists and some of us do care about the state of the world today and would like to make a difference. I do not know what the answers are, but I do know that we are alike more than different and we all inhabitant this earth together for a reason. I believe, it is to live in harmony. Racism is ugly.

    1. katherinejlegry

      Hi Nellie, no offense when I say this, but the white people who aren’t “racists” don’t feel the need to point out their hurt feelings about “white” generalizations. You just get to a place where you see where people are coming from and at what place their understanding is.

      1. Nellie Sheridan Wilson Statue

        Katherine, I respect your opinion, but honestly..it is not about hurt feelings as much as it is about generalizations of any type. It would be like me lumping all of one ethnicity into a group and making a generalization about each and every one of them. It just isn’t going to hold true because everyone’s reality and frame of reference are so different. For example, I am considered white, but have olive skin, an odd Italian name, and live in a mostly white, mostly German, conservative area, BUT I am not conservative and have a different frame of reference because I am not from here and my reality is so different. I guess it is like saying all people are one way because some of them may share a trait. Everyone has a different reality and a different perception. You and I could go through the same experience and each perceive it differently. I hope that this does not offend. I have never ever considered myself to be a racist of any sort. I like knowing all sorts of different people. It makes the world interesting 🙂

      2. katherinejlegry

        Hi Nellie, Nope, you’re not offensive. No worries. I don’t like generalizations either, but in the instance of racism it isn’t white people who are being asked to consider their color daily so that they don’t look suspicious to the cops. White people’s salaries and wages in the U.S. are typically higher for the same work. Black men are being arrested for the same crimes as white men four or five times more often and being held for longer sentences. They are not committing the most crime, they are the most targeted for arrests. Here is a great link to Michelle Alexander’s book and or a short video that really fills in the gaps many U.S. citizens still suffer from. I hope you’ll take the time to study her work in depth when you have time. She’s valuable to moving the discussion forward and creating real change in systems that don’t need to be “fixed” as they were corrupt to begin with.

        The Future of Race in America: Michelle Alexander at TEDxColumbus

        to read Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow: The Massive Incarceration System in the Age of Colorblindness free online you can click on the following link: http://communitysuccess.org/sites/default/files/u9/Alexander-The%20New%20Jim%20Crow.PDF

        I understand what you are saying about whites not being a homogenous group, and I think pointing out where white people are all distinct tribes globally and historically is relevant to certain discussions and so as not to “lump” cultural differences into one. The French will never be the English, so I hear you. But it is precisely due to nationalism that many of these European countries are in fact mostly white and so don’t see themselves as racist until they start to see an influx of refugees and or people knocking at their borders.

        As empire building and monotheism goes, we are faced with the colonization of the globe according to western rule. We have exploited the globe according to the values of western civilization which has placed the peoples of color into our sweatshops and we still rule by way of slavery. Where western values have taken hold, like in Angola, the wealth is extraordinary due to our oil investments and diamond interests. The corrupt government there however is not taking care of the poor and only buying off cronies. To think that we as white people are not a part of this as we buy diamond rings for weddings and fill our gas tanks is to ignore colonization and privilege.

        I don’t want you to think I’m labeling you a racist. Religious and socio-economic differences have created the divides, ultimately, and not skin color or gender which have been manipulated. But the point is, just because we don’t feel racist doesn’t mean we don’t dismiss people of color without being aware of it.

        This is a video that if you take time, you can get a better feel for the nuances I’m talking about, where many white people (particularly men) actually lack the ability to empathize because they haven’t developed that “muscle” and haven’t been required to. It’s a respectful forum and I was lucky when I was a freshman in college to have had bell hooks be one of the speakers in my diversity workshop.

        Transgression in Public Spaces with Arthur Jafa & bell hooks:

        I’m also including the video on mentoring and racism in surfing because I think Sal explains how it feels to get lumped in as well… and also how subtle jokes can build up.

        (above, Sal Masekela on Racism in Surfing- The Inertia)

        This is a lot of info, not just for you, but for anyone reading willing to embark on it. It’s my opinion white people do not need to feel defensive or left out. There is no such thing as reverse racism although many white people will argue they feel discriminated against. It’s true whites experience prejudices, but in the U.S. we are founded on slavery and so the imbalance of power is not the same. This link to Ta Nehsi Coates explains it best:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

        (above, Ta-Nehisi Coates The Case for Reparations)

        Thanks for the dialogue.

  14. myfoodonaplate

    Take a knife and slice open a “white mans” palm and then a “coloured mans” palm … in both cases it will be blood that pours out .. Then what is the point in discriminating ? WHY DO WE NOT SCREAM WHEN WE SEE THIS HAPPENING ?.. LETS STOP SITTING SILENTLY .. beauty of a peice this is .. well done

  15. Eisversan

    Reblogged this on Eis versan and commented:
    A really good piece on racism by Teri Carter,that I felt should be shared. Human slavery is one of those things that was common in the past but is something unthinkable today. Let’s make racism one of those things. It belongs in the past, and we strive for a better future…

  16. nymphad0ra

    So powerful and so true. I’m from Wales and racism isn’t as much as a problem as you are discussing but people are quick enough to blame anyone of colour of being an illegal immigrant, stealing their houses, jobs and women, I just cannot believe we are in a modern age and this is still happening, people are very ignorant and uneducated. ❤

    1. beingwoke

      I would disagree about racism not being as much as a problem in Wales. I know students through NUS Black Students campaign who’s life experiences means they would disagree.

      1. nymphad0ra

        I live in Wales and it is not to the point that people feel they cannot display pictures of their mixed race grandchildren, racism is alive everywhere. And everyone experiences it, but we do not live in fear for our lives in Wales over race and ethnic discrimination.

      2. beingwoke

        Like I said, that’s your lived experience. But I know friends who would disagree. When black boys are stopped and searched, they so fear for their lives. Maybe you haven’t had to deal with yourself – such a blessing and I hope you never had to. But that doesn’t mean other people don’t.

      3. beingwoke

        You say ‘we’ like you can speak for all welsh people of colour. That is not the case. Since I personally know people who would disagree with you

      4. nymphad0ra

        And that is absolutely fine, I did not comment on this page for a confrontation, I liked what the blogger had to say, and I can assure you racism hits every bit of the world, but you don’t see Wales making world wide news for racial killings, like you do other countries, and if you read what I have said, I did say we experience racism and everyone is discriminated for some reason. But negative comments like you are making, does not help anyone in this situation, even when I voice my opinion (which by the way I am Welsh, I live in Wales, I have a bit more first hand experience than yourself) I get knocked down, I think next time I won’t ‘actively work and help all sorts of people if this is the way I get treated when I do. Now enjoy your day and I would appreciate it if you stopped brining negativity to someone else’s blog. ❤ have a lovely day and I hope you have a healthy and happy life. ❤

      5. beingwoke

        I’m not trying to be negative and I am really sorry you took it this way. I just wanted to inform you of that fact that black people in Wales would not agree with what you said, that’s all.
        I don’t think you’ve ‘actively worked’ simply based on your comment tbh so I don’t think you can use ‘my negativity’ to stop ‘actively working’. But if you do, that’s your thing. Going against the world will be hard and I assure you you’ll meet much more negativity than you have on here so I do wish you the best of luck.
        The reason I perhaps sound so negative is because I have worked in a charity where I directly work with students effected by racism and it bugs me so so so much that world doesn’t take their life experiences as important. But maybe I’m too emotionally invested in it. Maybe that’s my way of doing my ‘active work’.
        Thank you for the blessings – same to you too ❤

  17. April R

    Well written. I’ve thought the same thing so many times, when my sister in law calls all people of Asian descent “Chinese” or my dad rants about Native communities.
    Agh. I’ve tried saying I don’t agree, that that speech is rude and disrespectful, but then they just say their hate louder. It feels hopeless sometimes. I can’t imagine actually being a minority group trying to have your voice heard.

  18. Sharlia

    I do applaud your transparency and acknowledging that white silence is NOT enough that disagreeable in private is not constructive. I hope you can link with allies to join the conversation to end the legacy of white supremacy and anti blackness ASAP!

  19. tabbyrenelle

    My friend stood up to some racist-sexist-homophpobic neighbors when they harassed her just the other day. I mean, she really called them out on their behavior at the top of her lungs in front of “god and everyone” and you know what happened? The racist-sexist-homophobic neighbors actually called the cops on her!!! They harass her and she stands up to the bullies and they call the cops. So the cops asked her if she needed a “project respond” counselor to help her deal with the “stress” …like because she yelled at them for being abusive she’s the one who needs a fricking counselor! So… ya know, even when we stand up to the B.S. we are in a white supremacist structure that favors hyper-aggressive and even passive-aggresive white men.

    Good job writing an article about facing your own silence and deciding to speak out. That’s totally bold and honorable.

  20. Ann Buffalo

    Reblogged this on buffalotraveller and commented:
    As an Indigenous woman, I appreciate the writer for owning up to sitting quietly. I hope the next steps can be taken. I’m just starting to use my voice also to speak up about things that matter to me.. Confronting racism is one of them!

  21. alinktothematt

    Racism is truly disturbing problem, and I get really mad at humanity for not being able to look past a simple cosmetic difference. And to think that “racist hate crime” is still in our vocabulary in 2015 is a real testament to how far we have to go. But I will say this… at least we’re at the point where we can scream and not get physically or socially punished for it… at least in the extreme sense.

    Anyway, I made a post about this whole issue here if you all would care to read it and give feedback: http://www.marsgonemad.com/2015/06/25/agenda-setting-and-the-media/

  22. creativeboho

    Very well written! I’m absolutely speechless because it’s very well said. Thank you

  23. where we are

    Great post and well thought out. I think that we definitely do need to scream and say “Enough!” But I also think that sometimes our silence can speak volumes and plant seeds. It is only after I have planted a lot of seeds that I will resort to screaming.

  24. toni&betty

    I was really into this post. Even though I would like to see a change in the US about racism I don’t know how we can change other’s view. We need to stop racism but the big question is how when these are minds that aren’t ours. It’s a huge conflict that has been bothering me for awhile.

    1. katherinejlegry

      Toni amp and Betty… educate the kids and don’t worry about the elders. The stuck are stuck, but the kids are still open to the truth.

  25. hiro812

    Well written. I’ve thought the same thing so many times, when my sister in law calls all people of Asian descent “Chinese” or my dad rants about Native communities

  26. pieterk515

    As a white South African I’m faced with the concept of racism on a daily basis, albeit our democracy is 20 years old. But I want to tell you a joke…
    Little Johnny has a black friend over by the name of Sipho. After an afternoon of fun and games Sipho’s dad rings the doorbell to collect his son. Johnny answers the door and replies with a scream: “Sipho, I didn’t know your father was black!”

    Wouldn’t that be amazing if it was true.

  27. verycoolbeans

    Are you Americans really this racist? That actually sounds like fun, I would like to visit the south and hear all the rednecks crack terrorist jokes on my case

    1. katherinejlegry

      Hey there very cool beans. the world is really this racist. America is not alone.

      1. verycoolbeans

        I figured SOME part of the world would be. I went to a public high school in a lower class area during 911 and only copped a few terrorist quips, but that was all in fair banter. I have otherwise rarely been discriminated against, and never in a way that denied me any opportunity.

        Then again, Australia is very multicultural. We’ve got Indians and Asians here in spades so whatever I dunno.

        Anyway, I love funny accents and I have always wanted to tour the world for funny accents. Americas south has always been on a list of destinations (and I got a gaming buddy who lives there) so the racism thing gives me another reason to check it out.

      2. katherinejlegry

        Hmmm… wow… do you know the history of Australia?

        Visiting the south to check out “funny accents” and racism is an odd thing to say… maybe go there to see what it’s like without any expectations and be surprised.

        The U.S. is also multicultural and more so in some states, cities etc. than others…

        Not being discriminated against personally, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening for others (in Australia) right beside you and perhaps your awareness isn’t attuned to those experiences.

        Anyhow, certainly have fun on your travels and safe journey to you and your buddy.

      3. verycoolbeans

        Hey! I’m not stupid, of course I know all about the history of my mother country whom I am patriotic of. If you’re referring to the aborigines, I know all about them too, and they are very indeed disadvantaged.

        And I’ll have you know, damn near all my friends aren’t white and you better believe that they’re living out happy lives with jobs, houses and accents without ever an issue. I mean seriously? I don’t get discriminated against and don’t see it happening in one of the most comfortable first world societies means my awareness isn’t attuned.

      4. katherinejlegry

        Hello very cool beans,
        No implication of you being “stupid” was made. A lack of education doesn’t make a person stupid.

        “Disadvantaged” is an understatement. Australia is an empire (founded by whites) and like all “good white empires” it mostly wiped out the indigenous peoples. The hotels there are sucking the ground water for their swimming pool resorts as well as there are the ranchers and the farmers who brought invasive species to the natural habitat. This is the racism and or cultural appropriation and or genocide that is so easy to not feel… (now that they have no voice or such diminished voice/rights on their own continent) for you in your patriotism. I’m not anti-Australia, so I don’t mean to attack you, but your history is penal colony to empire and just because you live with “indians and asians in spades” as you wrote, (which is a totally awkward sentence/thing for you to say btw) it doesn’t mean they aren’t discriminated against… It just means they are doing business there too.

        You do live in a privileged and entitled world that can laugh so easily after what happened and is happening to the aboriginal people.

        Usually saying you have friends of color to prove you aren’t racist is seen as racist… not that you’re trying to be, but there are degrees of history and privilege you’re not considering…

        So, that’s part of the problem.

  28. spitfromcorner

    Thank you for writing this. From my experience many white people are in denial about this matter. It’s easy to just stand by and try to ignore it when you’re neither the victim nor the aggressor.
    I’m black and I’ve been a victim of racism way yo often but I don’t let it define me.

  29. jmark1234

    Reblogged this on jmark1234 and commented:
    Straight writing about situations everybody encounters. We have to learn how to react. Our *manners* have to learn that courtesy, can be collusion

  30. Rambling Rose

    ‘…You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars, and have a right to be here “…. Desiderata.
    Perhaps this philosophy should be started at Montessori level inculcating the values that every person has a right to be here.
    Yeah I know … easier said than done.
    Great introspective piece of writing …

  31. hiwaychristian

    You’re right to scream. But what should we be screaming? Is it enough to warn of physical danger? Is it enough to expose hatred? Is it enough to scream for peace among the people who love war? How many are screaming those things? Do we see any difference from all the noise of their frantic screaming? Aren’t things getting worse instead of better?

    I hear a silence. I hear the public say a firm “no”. I see a people cowering, who have all the answers. I see a blank billboard were there ought to be neon letters. I see the will of the people bent on their own destruction.

    What is the silence I hear? What is this deafening roar of nothing?

    It is the promised judgment of God for all the evil that men is. It is the gospel of Christ Jesus that can transform any life that will humbled itself in prayer.

      1. katherinejlegry

        Well at least I do like big braids… I’m just not into the christian monotheism and the patriarchal B.S. that subjugates women into servant roles required to show Grace as they tolerate truer discrimination… like how Christianity wiped out the Native American culture, and evangelized Jamaica so that it has the highest murder rate of homosexuals and lesbians… and how Catholics don’t believe in condoms and think they can control women’s choices… So yes, “I like big braids” I’m not a fan of organized religions or people that say “He” and “Him” and the “Father” like they have anything to do with discussing racism other than their being inherently racist/ sexist/ and homophobic in the first place. The Christians that actually exhibit kindness and compassion and tolerance and that open their minds… are rare and I like them as individuals, but they aren’t the ones going around preaching useless rhetoric on blog sites. They are activists and their works speak for themselves… So… there ya go. A basic summary of why Christianity is yucky.

      2. I Like Big Braids

        Hmm, anger doesn’t exactly help anything, either. And you’re a very angry person. Sure, you don’t have to agree with Christianity, I’m not forcing you, but don’t be a hypocrite and assume you know everything. From your comments, it sure does seem that way. You don’t know everything. You can’t generalize an entire group of people like that. Do you know why I know you’re ignorant? Because wiping out people is NOT A PART OF CHRISTIANITY. Sorry to break it to you, but killing others by any means is not condoned, not even self defense. Those mass murders? Yeah, that wasn’t Christianity. That was greed from people who claim they’re Christian. And I’m a woman, but I’m not a servant. I don’t know any Christian woman that is treated that way. So, sorry, you’re wrong. Please, stop acting like you know everything about everyone, because really, you know nothing. All you know is what you hear or assume, you don’t actually try to learn.

      3. katherinejlegry

        Hey big braids, Another comment from you really? So I touched a nerve?

        Big deeeeeeeeeeeal I sound angry!

        Of course I am. I live in the U.S.A. and It’s sexist and racist and keeps pushing religious bullshit on me.

        So what???? You’re HERE trying to “calm” me down and help me find my “proper place” so I can what? Charm you as a “lady” and convince you of…. of… of… what? Knowing me as me? Or knowing me as how you prefer me to “act”?

        If you don’t get this conversation about standing up to the hierarchy and white supremacy, well go be with Jesus. He’ll take care of you… if not now… when you get to heaven. And you can even make yourself feel better by praying for my soul and or condemning me to hell.

        Duh.

        I’ve studied christianity… truly… I tried real hard to like ya’ll… but you’re the most judgmental controlling hypocrites so good luck with your own so called enlightenment too. Now get off my back.

      4. I Like Big Braids

        And, you say that this commenter wasn’t doing anything helpful, well what gives you the right to say that about him or her? What have YOU done? Post a billion comments on several blogs? I’ve seen that. What have you actually done to improve anyone’s life? Exactly. I’m done speaking to ignorance, I can only hope that you break into enlightenment, “Katherine”.

      5. katherinejlegry

        Hi big braids… well here,
        I posted links to Michelle Alexander, bell hooks & Arthur Jafa, Ta Na Hesi Coates ( a must read), etc. and if you bother with that info you can get over your hurt feelings into more important and relevant info.

        In terms of what I do in my day to day… what are you asking for, my resume? I don’t generally brag or report on my actions. I work hard and I do what’s right. I don’t hesitate to do what is right. I have a solid compass. I understand you just don’t like my brusque use of words and are feeling judged. I am hardly “ignorant” and as for enlightenment… well that’s not a static state of being. It’s a moment. Like happiness is not sustainable, we are grateful when it comes. What we can hope for is not to be comfortable… but to become awake.

        You are feeling offended on behalf of someone else and If you feel that the christian comment that I said was yucky and passive is helpful to standing up to racism and bullies, then I missed that part and you benefitted.

        The KKK thinks it’s christian too. The cultural appropriation that Christian’s have been responsible for… is not going to be remedied by “charity” and “grace”.

        There is a debt that is owed.

        I’m being honest with you. You don’t need to put my name in quotes. I am Katherine. There’s no bones about that.

      6. tabbyrenelle

        Hi big braid liker…

        I’m Tabby. I know Kate. Kate worked for a congress woman to help ban drift nets that were killing dolphins. Those tuna can labels that say they are safe, are in part because Kate cares about the entire planet. She helped the habitat of the spotted owl against money interests that clear cut forests too. She has taught children to read that were labeled retarded when really they were just abused and suffering from PTSD. She doesn’t need to be polite to christians…

      7. davidrichardsonhubbell

        Since you don’t know Katherine and want to know what she’s done (I read your other comments), maybe I, like Tabby, can be of help too… Katherine has worked for a non profit foundation that gives grants to working artists… not just artists in the U.S. but global artists. She has helped addicts maintain recovery through art therapy projects. She has helped people get housing and jobs and learn how to write resumes. Katherine is true blue. Don’t ever question her heart.

      8. davidrichardsonhubbell

        One more thing I forgot to say “I like Big Braids”… the child that was abused and told he was retarded… (that Tabby mentioned) was in a Catholic family. He was not retarded, He was abused and Katherine helped him feel love and taught him to read. Not Jesus.

      9. katherinejlegry

        Hi again “I like big braids”

        I reflected on our exchange and I can see how I allowed my personal feelings about organized religion (in particular Christianity) to generalize and discriminate as you pointed out. I do believe in freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion (as some atheists say it) both in this country. I don’t feel superior to Christians or that I “know it all” or “everything”, but I am angry and you’re right that I sound that way (for better or worse) at many different Christians.
        I don’t want you to carry any negativity because of my experiences and how I felt entitled to vent them here… I think it was right for you to point out where I caused harm. Peace to you and thanks for the help.

  32. elliebee98

    Once passivity is eliminated, this nation will see a revolution. This post is true to everyone and every topic, not just racism. Thank you for it.

  33. Hira

    Honestly , am not from US and have not followed the black-white situation there , but I could totally relate to this post . “I have Not actively worked. I have sat quietly “- This is true for many things we see around and choose to “sat quietly”. I have personally left the matters with just a raised brow , left the room , shut down when I wanted to fucking scream 😦 .

  34. norasamazon

    Im white ya I agree the police shouldn’t be doing harmful thing’s to children however it’s not only the black children they neglect it’s white Mexican black pink we should be showing are kids to love instead we say its racism the white people are bad im white im not racist it’s like it’s okay for people to say this about white people or that skin color don’t make a person bad so white or black sometimes people are bad I just wish everyone would stop and get a clue why are we always against each other god dont want that remember love is above all the best way to go

    1. katherinejlegry

      yeah but Norasamazon, the white KKK shooter who shot up the church in S.C. was not going after white people. He went for african americans, so you’d better refine your discussion for best results I’m thinking.

      1. norasamazon

        You know im just trying to say that people are making things about skin color it shouldn’t be about that,,,all we need to do is lead by example however I don’t hear no leadership here that’s what’s going on with the world it shouldn’t matter the color of your skin ignore ignorant people

      2. katherinejlegry

        It shouldn’t be about that? Nora… this country was built entirely on and by slavery. We have to consider skin color and culture in order to make what you want (diversity and acceptance/tolerance) happen. You can’t just ignore genocide and cultural appropriation… and injustice and inequity… and say we are all one. We’ll only get somewhere if we don’t ignore the reality. Some of that involves noticing colors and people want you to… and they want you to hear them… distinctly… and not have to blend in…

      3. norasamazon

        I disagree with that it does not have to be about color why do we have to make everything about color,,,hey slavery was bad I agree however it was along time ago if we all learned to let it go and breath life would be more manageable ,,,,slavery was caused by white man those men are gone

      4. katherinejlegry

        Oh, hey there, Nora… well, I’m not saying to make it all about color. I’m saying that there are a lot of people of color that have been expressing that they have been made to consider it daily by “white patriarchal institutions” of the past as well as by modern forms of slavery which do exist today in many forms one of which includes the industrial prison complex or “massive incarceration system” (google Michelle Alexander’s writing and book “The New Jim Crow: the massive incarceration system in the age of colorblindness” and or watch her ted talks if you are interested…)
        “Those men” aren’t “gone” and people of color haven’t been allowed to heal much less “let it go” as police brutality and the shootings/killings of so many black men and women have continued.
        On a slightly different note, Donald Trump is allowed great room to run for president for example and say he’s going to build an enormous wall to keep out Mexicans. He’s considered laughable by all parties, but his speech is violent none the less and it’s being repeated or dropped as a meme so that people feel their color as not something good. So, we aren’t making everything about color by talking about what is hurting people verbally, or keeping them down. Does this make sense?

      5. norasamazon

        O my bad so sorry I understand what you guys are saying,, but just saying its the government there corrupt it’s there doing im sorry everyone

  35. rodgersgirl1980

    Reblogged this on cccasey5150 and commented:
    As a person of mixed heritage (white Hispanic, Cherokee ) I strongly believe that racism is a human problem not a “white people” or “black people” problem.

  36. dicesweetner

    Black skin or white, we are all the same,in colour we might be different but our blood it’s always RED……alah
    We love the panda, they are so chill, the are telling us something we fail to see, they are black and white in colour and are Asian,they are telling us we can leave in harmony with our differences in colour and nationality and yet be as beautiful as it is, let us learn from nature, it’s the best teacher,

    1. katherinejlegry

      hey there dice sweetner, Pandas are in danger of extinction because Globally we are materialistic and that same 1% that controls the wealth and owned slave plantations is/has outsource and is owning the sweat shops that not only help continue the warming of the planet but the exploitation of the brown, black, asian, indian, peoples etc. So okay blood is red. Nature is sacred. And racism and greed is still a problem to be addressed realistically.

  37. lesdelaghetto

    Hey guys can u please read my blog it’s letmefindout2.wordpress.com please read my stories I promise it’s basically what I would comment here u guys are try to make a difference.

  38. fncollier

    Very powerful! I too have sat quietly many a times when people of color Crack out the word “cracker” or “red neck” justifying their words by following up with “they say it, so it’s okay, right?” But rather to burn a building down if the same treatment is reversed by a white man or woman saying the word nigga. Hypocrisy.

    The police has always been brutal, even to those who share their likeness, but that’s what they’ve been allowed to do. Now with technology the bad apples are being exposed and the media is fueling hate instead pointing out what it is…bad cops aren’t all cops.

    If a mass group of black teens and young adults then the law should react and rightfully so. Are they any better than those who were handled in the 70s during the protest against Vietnam? No, they are not.

    But then I too have sat quietly muttered idiots and kept on my way. Change won’t come by pointing fingers or calling out hate and crime every time something happens.

    Change happens by positive actions working to change the mindset of individuals through a collaboration of works by individuals of all backgrounds.

    I don’t want to sit quietly anymore

    1. katherinejlegry

      fncollier, you live in an imaginary world. why don’t you go sit in a corner and shudder like a leaf? Poor poor cracker.

      1. fncollier

        Lmao um…I suppose I should take that as a compliment and while you have shown your intelligence and lack there of, I am very much a person of color. Though I do share a lineage with some white people, I am not by our government censuses considered white.

        But it’s people like you that bring people of color, your no different than the individuals who think they’re superior to others.

        I suggest you get out of your narrowly minded ditch and increase the expanse of your world, because this issue is not, has not, and is still not an American problem. It’s a global one.

        Smh. Such a disgrace.

      2. katherinejlegry

        That’s what I’m saying. It’s a global problem. I am not saying I’m superior, darlin’. I think your original comment must be pretty unclear because I don’t live in the ditch we seem to both be pointing to.

      3. fncollier

        Obviously you left superior to call me a cracker based on your assumption that i was white. And I’m sorry if you call someone a cracker or any potential racial slur, I’d say that’s pretty close to ditch trenching.

        But my response was to the original post which if I recall was mainly about domestic not global issues.

        While our issues are part of a global problem that is only due to social media and so on.

        My comment was to the author, not to her audience. While the audience may comment, ignorant or not, to my sayings…it is not for anyone but the author to understand.

      4. katherinejlegry

        Oh… I’m sure the author is simply on pins and needles for all your grace, fncollier. Kudos.

      5. katherinejlegry

        fncollier, For point of reference, I live across the street from red neck crackers. It’s really okay for me to say this because they can not be changed. Their children might have hope, but the elders are done for. I also spent time in the south among racists… and so no offense to you at all and my apologies for thinking you were white. “I can’t imagine anybody wanting to be white” is a pin by an artist that did a show at the Whitney museum years ago in New York, where we all picked out a random pin as we entered to show we’d paid… and it was perfect really… It’s not “hate”. We live in a white supremacist system in the New Jim Crow; massive incarceration system in the age of colorblindness (as Michelle Alexander writes about) and so my mind is open to breaking this down… and debunking the status quo… I scream easily… without hesitation, not to be misconstrued with hate.
        So peace…

      6. fncollier

        I don’t think you hateful, not at all. And by no means should you have to apologize for calling me white. It’s a lineage I proudly accept.

        Perhaps there mindset is locked in, but labeling is how this all began. Someone has to stop the labeling somewhere

      7. katherinejlegry

        You’re probably right fncollier about stopping the labeling, and I’ll consider such reserve for the future… but for now I assure you my neighbors are proud rednecks… and it’s hard to forgive them anything.

  39. isabelleconnors1

    I commend you on your bravery. It takes a lot of guts to write this and I truly believe you’ve taken the first step in standing up. You should be proud of yourself no matter what anyone else says, thinks, or whispers about you.

    1. katherinejlegry

      Hey Juanita, at least she’s “beginning” at all. You want her to save the whole planet too? Question is, what are you gonna do?

      1. Juanita's Place

        Hi Katherine. You completely misunderstood me. I was not pointing any fingers or blaming her for doing nothing. In fact, she has done something. All I was saying is that what she said about racism and how many have done nothing can be said about other injustices so many people in the world (including myself by the way) have witnessed and done nothing about. Please read my comment again.

      2. Juanita's Place

        By the way Katherine, the “what have you done” in my comment is a rhetorical question, directed at humanity in general. It is certainly not directed at the author because she has obviously told us in very beautiful prose, I might add, what she has done. No, the question is for all of us. Myself included.

      3. katherinejlegry

        Hi Juanita,
        You’re right that racism in American can’t be separated from how it relates to the rest of the world. After all, it is the “colonization” of the world by the western/european empire that is still creating the conditions of slavery (through sweatshops) so we can generate greater wealth today. The U.S. is a debtor nation. We are no longer lending. We only manage by way of the military industrial complex. And we are creating or helping to create much instability in the world for our energy and mineral interests.
        I think it’s good you want to expand on the conversation. I apologize for making you feel attacked.

  40. Pingback: chatfrom's Blog

  41. lawzworld

    I wrote a short article on the same lines to to certain extent. Wasn’t as detailed as I could of got… But its crazy because the real enems nothi

  42. readersandmore

    Great post! Every short story/description you shared from your son to your Aunt, I could feel the anger that you felt every time a racial slur was used. We act like there is nothing we can do but we are the problem. Every race and religion has been beat down and discriminated. We have changed our ways a whole lot but we still have a long way to go no matter what. Though our restrooms, public places, and schools aren’t marked, other races are always discriminated against. Whether we see it or not, racial discrimination is still going on. Just like your son (no hate) and many others, he dismissed his racist tattoo as a Dukes of Hazard reference. For many centuries, we have made excuses about our shunning towards other races whether verbally, physically, or mentally. Thank you for putting this big issue in a spotlight from your point of view!

  43. Outlier Babe

    In any times, your opening sentence is racist. “White people” are not one amorphous homogenous mass, any more than are black people, Asian or Hispanic people (whether Latino or non), Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist people…

    I don’t know how valuable the rest of your post was. I didn’t get that far.

  44. Crawdad Joke Soon

    I feel bad for people who have so little identity of their own making that they must scrap up theirs with symbols that at best mean “hey, I live here” and at worst mean “I endorse and may commit murder.”

  45. freewillwon

    It’s natural, apelike, to be intimidated by what is different. To remain this way, apelike, means to never exercise the given capacity to walk in, as well on time (water). Some hit racism head on with the truths hypocrites can use as camoflauge and some won’t stir the pot with these obvious truths. Only the Father’s Elite, ( allowed on the second floor of the temple ) have allowed themselves to be drawn to whole truths, the kind the most clever hypocrites cannot hide behind, and with zealousness move forward carrying these truths with no regard to worldly consequences. The truths of the Elite are not taught but are discovered by the individual searching for answers to all things and along the way find questions that are the answer. For example, the Father is who He is so what does he, on only a personal choice, put for for everything to exist but even more so

  46. human007

    Racism is nothing less than the original form of bullying. The question is not what can be done; but, who is willing to stop enabling the bully. The reason racism has lasted this long is the dishonesty and cowardice of the enabler. Racism is not a color issue as most may think. Racism is a heart issue. Practice love, and have the courage to pass that down to the next generation. America has been held captive by the bully far too long; and, its welcome has run its course. I am thinking out loud, about the power of love.

  47. thelifemoon

    Racism is absolutely irrational, and I think that that’s what makes the “fight” so difficult. How do you approach a man who insists that another be punished for his physical attributes? There is a level of insanity there that can’t be addressed by reason. From my own perspective our only human differences are cultural. I’ll honestly say that there are certain cultural norms that I cannot stand, but it has nothing to do with race. Broken down to the essentials even our physical attributes aren’t all that different. Yes we see variation, but every man is of the same species. As you said, you knew as a child that the way the adults spoke of other races was wrong. Children left to there own assessment of race see skin shade variation the same way that they see a box of crayons; they’re just physical descriptors. My niece has called herself brown since she learned to identify colors by name. That is an accurate description of her coloring; and is that not what we teach in grade school when we teach children about the color wheel? Color on the color wheel is indicative of nothing but color. Red doesn’t make an apple an apple, nor does any other color associated with apples. Most of us accept that fact without question. Why is it that a brown crayon is just a brown crayon, but a brown person has to take on whatever connotations we decide to ascribe to it? On top of that we ascribe certain characteristics to entire groups of color when it pertains to people. That is insane! If we could take a note from children as they are before we taint their worldviews I think we’d be on the road to something good.

  48. justshayna666

    I love how you took all the time to say this. The sad reality of the situation is that, as many times as we yell at the top of our lungs and scream for it to stop, some people can’t be changed. After you’ve finished screaming, if nothing has changed, thats the time to be silent and walk away. Because you’ve tried. And that is all that matters.

  49. Proloy Bagchi

    Its shocking to read the hatred Whites harbour for blacks for no fault of theirs. They didn’t come to America of their own will; they were forcibly brought in by whites who exploited them for God knows how many years or centuries. Having creamed them for so long the hatred is untenable after more than 150 years of Abe Lincoln. Perhaps most of the Whites in the South need couselling

  50. Psychowritart

    That’s the thing, you never really know how to act in situations like these. You don’t want to be a control freak, but you also don’t want your child dead. But you know, life is more than that. There are a hundred million more other things that matter rather than a tattoo; someday in the future, you’d be laughing about how worried you were and your son will be regretting tattoos and everything will be just alright. 🙂
    http://psychowritart.blogspot.in/2015/07/in-land-far-away.html

  51. yuthero

    Racism is an inherent biological-evolutionary discrimination based on color. It s not easy to get rid off. IT is widespread in asian countries like china and india

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  53. Middle Aged Rager

    Great post! This feeling is why I chose The Scream as my avatar and the lead image for my blog Middle Aged Rage, where I’ve just posted about “Righteous Anger” and an op-ed piece called The Power of White Outrage.

  54. Ada Wabara

    It’s hard to change something when the powers that be constantly try to show us that there is nothing to change and that we ourselves have created the type of world we live in. We are made to sit and do nothing.

    Amazing blog by the way!

  55. angelinakdees

    This is absolutely beautifully written. Many times I will read something and keep on scrolling but this time I sat here just thinking about all you said.

  56. Middle Aged Rager

    I have been thinking a lot about this post since I read it yesterday. I too want to scream, about racism, domestic terrorism and other stuff (which is why my avatar is “The Scream”). I’m worried about your young relative. The killer in Charleston was a young man whose mind was filled with hatred by white supremacist websites using symbols like the ones on your young cousin’s tattoo. His family and friends didn’t take his indoctrination as seriously as they should have; and by the time they understood, it was too late. There is no interpretation of “Southern Justice” and a noose that does not refer to lynching: the worst form of domestic terrorism this country has seen. I hope someone in your family digs a little deeper into why your cousin wanted that tattoo, and intervenes. Before someone gets hurt. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/opinion/lynching-as-racial-terrorism.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0

  57. balletandboxing

    Reblogged this on Discovering ratchet and commented:
    I have had several conversations with my (white) Anglo and French Canadian friends, who have told me that racism isn’t an issue here. While I am thankfully aware that racism in the Great White North is nowhere as virulent and violent as that in the States, I think it is naive to believe that racism isn’t present or harmful here. At the very least, living in Quebec, the concept of racism should be one everyone is familiar with: half of our political rhetoric is based on intolerance – Anglophones against Francophones (primarily white), with the occasional show of unity as both groups face off against our significant immigrant population.

    I think the ONLY way forward is if every person is accountable for their small actions of racist/intolerant complicity. Even here, in our relatively peaceful, relatively tolerant country.

  58. George

    One of the best, if not the best, piece I’ve read on this subject and how we must begin to make it better. Excellent.

  59. LaME DaME

    I have not actively worked. I have sat quietly.
    Classic example of repetition.
    Lovely article. ( I could add more but I’m out of words.)
    sooo…
    I have not actively worked. I have sat quietly.”

  60. crazynessy

    Very well written! I wanted to scream with you and that tattoo just hurt to watch…

  61. KeenVision

    Reblogged this on ibedamned and commented:
    If you can write such eloquent words, surely you can fashion a reply. Educate yourself so that you can educate others. Be the change you want to see. Don’t live in ignorance. Free your mind.

  62. nutricook

    I have sat quietly as well. I have sat quietly and watched and observed. Not just the racial tension between whites and blacks, also the tension between the social classes, the tension between the churches, the tension between the different religions, and the countries. I see all people seeking the same thing. Acceptance, peace, and happiness. Why is this such a hard thing? I don’t know. It is a sad thing to sit quietly and watch.

  63. amano masamune

    Hiya, I was just passing by and read your post about the racism you encountered (good post by the way). I was surprised and not at the same time. Surprised because even after 50 years I can’t believe people still think that way.

    I was not surprised because it well known fact over the world that the southern region of the US is not black people friendly (sorry I should mention I am not from the USA and English is not my first language).

    Anyway, one thing struck me is, that despite the environment you grew up in, you did not follow the step of your grand parents, parents, uncles or aunties or your cousins. What I would like to add is that I understand where you come from.

    I understand because I grew up in a country where racism was covered by the freedom of speech or dodgy justification: “I have lot of xxxx (put any colour, race, or religions) friends”. We leave in a sad world and I don’t see any evolution or any kind of progress toward acceptance and respect.

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