June 1, 2020

Check Your Racism.


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If you are triggered by the title of this blog entry, then I wrote this for you.

America is in a state of chaos. People who have been oppressed their entire lives are reaching their breaking point, if they have not already.

People of privilege are starting to get a small taste of what it is like to have our rights taken away for no fault of our own.

Racism, oppression, and abuse of authority are blocking humanity from the love that we are designed to give and receive.

But how do we slow down the reign of racism when so many people are ignorant of their own?

How do we get people to open their eyes to the damage they are doing to their fellow humans, when they are not willing to see their part in it?

If it seems too big of a problem to solve, you and I are in the same boat.

But, we can do something.

I took offense to the phrase “white privilege” when I first started hearing it because, well, it is an offensive phrase.

Any phrase that states a race in a negative tone is offensive. This here privileged white girl still gets triggered when she hears the phrase, but I cannot deny the existence of the sentiment behind it.

I sat with the concept, triggered, for some time. However, once I took away my emotional attachment to the phrase and looked past myself, there was no denying it. White privilege, as offensive as the phrase itself may be, is real.

I am not proud of this, but I was taught at a young age to hate other races, by people who, to this day, still use racist statements as a way to bond with their same-color friends. It is disturbing, to say the least, how many communities still exist in which that mentality rules.

It took moving to a highly populated area with a rainbow of people living peacefully together to slowly break me from that mentality and open my eyes to the fact that skin color doesn’t mean a goddamn thing in terms of the respect fellow humans deserve.

Now, I am currently living back in that predominantly white, conservative region of the country. I hear racist comments from white people quite often, and the worst part about it is that the people making the comments usually think they are not being racist because they were never exposed to many people of color, or because it was the way their generation grew up—hating other skin colors and being patted on the back for it.

I wanted to say that it is quite shocking how many people are racist without realizing it, but then again, it really is not surprising when you think about it.

It is easy to deny the concept of “white privilege” when that “privilege” is all you have ever known.

When I was in denial of it, it was because I was not willing to see a perspective outside of my own. It is easy to get lost in the small bubble that we all live in and forget that there are others living different lives outside of it.

If you are still making statements that classify people based on the color of their skin, regardless of whether your intentions felt pure, it is time to stop.

There is no room for that in the 21st century. And no, using those statements as punchlines to jokes is not okay, either. Oppressed people should no longer be expected to let hateful jokes just roll off their back.

Whether you admit you are racist or not, there are a few phrases I hear from people on a frequent basis, that are racist in nature. No one cares if your intention is to exclude the one person of color who inspired them.

These statements are racist, period. They were racist when buses were segregated, and they are racist now. Wipe them from your dialogue immediately:

>> “All (insert skin color here) people (insert offensive behavior here).”
>> “Not all, but most (insert skin color here) people (insert offensive behavior here).”
>> “There is a difference between (insert skin color here) people and (insert racial slur here).”
>> “So and so doesn’t act like a (insert racial slur here).”

It is not okay to use racial slurs under any circumstance, even if you are using it to describe how a person is not.

Ask yourself how you would feel if someone said to you, essentially, “Well, you look like a piece of shit waste of human life, but you’re not like everyone else you look like. so you’re cool.”

And while we are on the subject, can we please stop hurling the phrase, “Check your privilege” at each other to try to get a point across? All that does is create a bigger divide, and in many cases, drives the receiver deeper into racism and hate.

I truly believe that most people want to do good. Most people want to live in peace. Most people believe deep down in their core that racism is wrong. Most people do not want to hurt each other. Most people do not want to live in hate.

I just think that we all need to work a lot harder at looking beyond our own selfish desires and start acting for the greater good of humanity as a whole.

How can you be a beacon of change?

It really can be as simple as starting with checking your vernacular.

Check the intention behind the words you speak:

>> Are you speaking from a place of peace and compassion, or are you speaking from a place that wants to incite chaos and discord?
>> Can you be the bigger person and stop spreading hate with racist “jokes”?

Only you know your intentions, even if the thoughts blocking them make them difficult to find. Really sit with your thoughts. Ask yourself about who you are as you have these thoughts. Be still and quiet.

Ask yourself how your life would be different if you were born with a different skin color.

And, above all else, remember that we are all part of the human consciousness. If one of us suffers, we all do.

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