Are You A Racist Like Me?

Via Saraswati J.
on Sep 17, 2010
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Are You a Racist?

African Americans only recently gained “freedom” in the United States. Just 50 years ago, those of color were generally unable to vote, sit at the same counter as whites, ride the bus and sit wherever they liked.

Now with a new president who happens to not have white skin, there’s a perception that equality has arrived.

I hear about the “race card” being drawn unnecessarily. That people of color are making mountains out of mole hills. That “these people” aren’t being effected by skin color issues, a racism epidemic, or stereotypes. I’ve heard the argument that they are just feeling the results of economics, circumstance or unfortunate choices.

I beg to disagree. Color issues are alive and well in America. And yes it effects one’s circumstances. Actually it affects all of us. Racism is alive and well. Fear and resentment come in new shapes, forms and voices these days. Some issues look different then they did in past, but we continue to overlook their deep implications. Everyone is equal, right? So everyone gets a fair chance at life, right? That is like saying that if you’re born as a lion in the wild, your life will be the same as a lion who is born in captivity.

Even a yogi like me, who practices love and acceptance of all people, all colors, all shapes, catches herself in unfortunate mental patterns at times. I try to check my self, but I often fail. I happen to be afraid of white people—the KKK. In fact, I hate them. Aren’t I a racist then?

When a spray-painted swastika appeared at the entrance of our mainly white-suburban neighborhood a few days ago, I noticed panic start to arise in me. Suddenly I felt unsafe in my own neighborhood. Should I walk the streets at dark? What if I had to confront this level of anger and violence head on? Is my anger any different than theirs?

After speaking to a neighbor, I realized that I have underestimated the extent of the anger and violence in this suburb. The KKK has strong headquarters just several miles north. Kids openly flash their KKK cards in the schools around here to show their alliance with the organization.

Why is this happening so openly? Who is looking out for the safety, freedoms and rights of those who aren’t “white”? What about my right for peace and happiness while not being bombarded by such negative messages?

So I ask, how can this level of blatant anger, militancy, and hatred towards individuals who are not white, heterosexuals (my guess is Christian as well) be tolerated by a “free” nation? Why are individuals like Troy Davis and Mumia Abu-Jamal not getting fair trials? Why are there more black and Latino males incarcerated in the U.S. than whites? Why are neighborhoods still segregated?

I am not afraid of people of color. I am afraid of white people who are angry, have low consciousness and seething hatred and violence boiling in their blood. I am afraid of anyone who hates “differences.” I am a racist who hates [white] ignorance.


About Saraswati J.

Saraswati J. is a Jyotish Coach and Consultant, bridging ancient Jyotish wisdom with Embodiment and Expressive Art Therapy resources. Her Jyotish work is especially well suited to the extra sensitive artists, mystics and healers—and those who need insights for their dharmic path and personal transformation process. Check out her website and find her on Facebook. You can join her newsletter for special astrological insights or register for her weekly Jyotish Basics classes for an extra dose of healing wisdom. Additionally, she creates unique adornments with the urban goddess in mind. Check out her jewelry at Swati Jr* Jewelry and also on Facebook.


10 Responses to “Are You A Racist Like Me?”

  1. Mike says:

    Hating a group of people, the KKK, doesn't make you racist. It makes you prejudiced. Which is the second definition of racism only added recently based on the development of the word. I think most all of us are prejudiced to some degree. If I'm at an ATM and a group of children of [insert skin color or ethnic origin here] stand behind me in a group acting aggressive I'm going to judge them a certain way. But it isn't based on skin color, it's based on behavior and actions from them. I may be completely wrong – they may be just goofing around, but still I make that judgement.

    Hatred is taught. It's not genetic. The children flashing their Klan cards in the public school grounds were taught that behavior is right. The violence coming out of poor neighborhoods and ghetto's is taught and accepted.

    I was told a story by a wonderful Haitian woman years ago: There's two types of crabs, she said. One type, the white crab, if they get trapped in a cage they will work together, build on each other until most of the crabs caught in the cage are able to get out. The other crabs, the black crabs, when one crab starts to get out, it will be pulled down by the others until they all die. She told me the white and black doesn't refer to the color of their shells, but the color of their souls.

    "I am not afraid of people of color. I am afraid of white people who are angry, have low consciousness and seething hatred and violence boiling in their blood. I am afraid of anyone who hates “differences.”"

    You do understand that it's not just white people who can be angry, right? People are individuals and are as varied as their fingerprints.

  2. A minority says:

    Are you kidding me? Please tell me this article is a joke. Swastikas? The KKK? Heterosexual Christians? This author clearly has little exposure to minorities outside either academia or her yoga class. The author talks about "strong KKK headquarters," but very obviously knows nothing of the present day KKK. Please, for crying out loud, get educated about what you're trying to write about. The article is as ignorant as its purported subject, written by someone who sounds like a modern-day bigot.

  3. swati jr* says:

    come join me in texas!! you might be surprised…..

  4. swati jr* says:

    craig smith:
    I read the article. I'd be interested in learning the demographics of the town the author lives in. If there is a strong KKK presence the town probably doesn't have a large minority base to begin with. Most of her article sounds like a r…ehash of old news with no new facts and LOTS of white guilt. Peace does begin at home and having prejudice towards uneducated racist people is just as unenlightened as racism in the first place. Get over your little fears, grow up and move some where that you can actually make a difference, not in your protected, separated, white suburb. Just my humble opinion…See More

    Steven Josephy Agree with Craig 110%. The author sounds terribly out of touch.

    Swati Jr Sarah
    might be interesting for craig and steven:
    i live in a houston (2nd most diverse city in the nation) suburb which has been up until recently a predominantly white/country club type burb. the way it works around here is the metropolis keeps …encroaching on the outskirts which tend to be extremely conservative. several miles north of here the KKK is flourishing. though inside the "city" it doesn't have a lot of backers.
    interesting that you say "a rehash of old news" and "white guilt". old news, maybe, but unfortunately it is still relevant today. maybe more so. maybe those of us who don't live in "ideal" settings or can't right now know more about "reality" than you seem to. this is real stuff. i was born on the mexican border 30 years ago, have lived in 8 diff. states and have traveled to several developing nations who suffered through colonization. nothing has changed. i actually wish more whites had a little bit more "guilt" over the white atrocities, war crimes, discrimination and white power that has occurred and is occurring rather than pawning it off on "that's not my problem." or "i had nothing to do with that." karmically you have a lot to do with the solution. and karmically being white, you are more bound to the burdens than you may think. open your eyes. wide. speak from your heart. dare to be vulnerable. that's what my blog is about.
    if you are looking for some reading material: bell hooks is excellent.

  5. ARCreated says:

    I am very confused "minority"??? so this woman is afraid of the KKK and that makes her a bigot? I do not understand your attack? Are you telling me it's OK that she sees swastikas in her neighborhood and that it is cool to have a KKK card? and the anti-gay christians don't exist?? I'm seriously confused.

  6. ARCreated says:

    OH it's true not just white people are angry…but crime for crime…prejudice and bigotry stacked up I'm feeling the white man is ahead in the keep people down race. I'm just sayin'!

    I for one usually say I am prejudiced against bigots, racist and haters…I don't put a color label on it…Because discrimination is discrimination no matter who is doing it…But in the context of her blog she is talking about he KKK being active and that is all about white man hating anyone of color and that is scary.

  7. […] of the way things are going in this country: the hysterical tenor of the national discourse, the naked racism, the Islamophobia, the disappearance of the middle class, the impatience with reason, the […]

  8. Sojourner Marable says:

    Thanks for the post. View:

  9. Nadine says:

    Damn….you go girl! Interestingly enough, I have been listening to Distant Relatives ALL w/end. My favorite tracks are 'My Generation' and 'Africa Must Wake Up.' ESPECIALLY in these times, it is a seriously powerful album for those who care to listen. To believe that now because a person of color sleeps in the Presidential master bedroom that we've 'arrived' is naivete at a most dangerous level. Until and unless ALL sentient beings are able to honor and celebrate our differences — rather than striving for equality — 'isms' such as racialism will prevail. Racism is a power over dynamic that is ultimately rooted in fear. And when people are afraid, one stands a better chance of being able to control them. When one tries to exercise power over another by eroding their self-esteem, self-worth and ultimately the Self, THIS is a crime against humanity. Here in Central Africa where I presently live, 50 years following independence from the French colonials, you have a society that is arrested simply because for GENERATIONS they have been made to believe that they are one step — if that — above the animals of the jungle. But as a yogini you know the essence of karma. 'Nuff said. As an emancipated and celebrating woman of color, I do wonder though what the potential impact would be if I were to echo the same words you have — with as much forthrightness — what label would be slapped onto me? Angry, black female perhaps?

    I'm riveted by the fact that the statement I loved most from your piece seemed to evoke the most [defensive] responses:

    I am not afraid of people of color. I am afraid of white people who are angry, have low consciousness and seething hatred and violence boiling in their blood. I am afraid of anyone who hates “differences.” I am a racist who hates [white] ignorance.

    Like you I too am afraid of anyone who hates "differences." There is not a continent on this planet that I've neither visited nor lived. The only way I've managed to succeed in being able to do this is by CELEBRATING the differences of others.

    Another interesting thing being here in Africa is that while I may share a skin color, STILL I am regarded with skepticism by BOTH Africans and non-Africans.

    The rivers of race, racism and racialism run deep, so deep in fact that some, in fact most of us are blinded by it.

    The human species will continue to eradicate itself as long as it continues to live within self-imposed boundaries and prisons of separateness.

    Indeed, Africa must wake up and see the sons of Jacob…..We ARE all one….

    Bless Up!

  10. White Man Anger says:

    LOL NIggers