It’s Hard to See Racism When You’re White

by Lisa Hussein

This is the tagline of a new non-profit called Un-Fair.  This nascent non-profit is endeavoring to lessen racism through education.  The Urban Revolution applauds its efforts.  It is the tagline, however, that is the impetus for this post.

The Cancerous Mole

Just like a spy who has infiltrated and gained trust among the enemy’s ranks, racism has embedded itself so deeply in to the psyche’s of Americans that it is going to take a major and conscious exorcism to erase its effects. A study conducted by professors at NYU and the University of Melbourne concluded what African Americans already know; your name can prevent you from getting a promotion. This study was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Some of you might be thinking that in the age of Barack Obama, this cannot be the case. But to African Americans and probably to other people of color racism has not diminished one iota in the age of Obama. If anything it’s gotten worse.

In essence, what this study reveals is that if you do not name your child some European version of the Biblical names, then your chances for an office on the top floor have diminished substantially. One commenter on the article suggested that parents should heed this warning. In order for people of color to obtain the promotions that they have earned they must forego their heritage and adopt the heritage of Europeans. And if we continue to do that (how many Asians do you know called Mary or Sue) will that help eliminate racism? Of course not. In apartheid South Africa the indigenous people were not allowed to give their babies indigenous names. Is this the suggestion of the privileged class?

I Am Rubber You are Glue

I don’t mean to be flippant but the vitriol spewing from the right these days is as sound as the juvenile statement above. White males who want to be president of the United States of America, (an America that is basically 30% persons of color), have decided that race baiting would be an effective course towards their nomination and eventual presidency. Romney’s persistent use of the phrase, “entitlement society” harkens back to the Reagan era mantra of the “welfare queen”. His pandering to the moderates, “my dad marched with Martin Luther King” (a lie) is despicable. Newt’s statements have been labeled dog whistles, but they are not. The statements are overt racism: “food-stamp president”… “Black people have lost the desire to perform a day’s work… Black people rely on food stamps provided to them by white taxpayers. “…Newt is so racist and thus so unfit to be president that I could spend the whole blog discussing his many racist statements but I won’t. Then there’s the self-described Christian, Santorum. Santorum may call himself a Christian, he may have accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, but he does not THINK nor ACT like a Christian. Firstly, Jesus wasn’t a racist and Santorum is; proven by his statement, “I don’t want to make Black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money…”. I’m not going to even get into Ron Paul’s history of racism because he will never get the nomination. But the fact that his old racist a$$ thinks he should be president speaks to the notion of white privilege.

Now, if any progressive or person of color brings up the fact that the lot of GOP candidates is racist. We get the, “they’re playing the race card argument”. The implication is that it is better not to bring up race, after all we wouldn’t want people of color to adopt a victim’s mentality. That whole argument is inherently racist. Only the privileged class could assume to know more about my reality than I know! Only the privileged class could believe that I am so stupid that I don’t realize that I live in a racist society so, “better not say anything lest she starts to believe that she’s a victim”.

ACCEPTED BY THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT

The Republican Tea Baggers can try and distance themselves all they want, but we know the truth. At CPAC the GOP allowed organizations like VDare, who was sponsored by ProEnglish, to have a legitimized voice. CPAC thought it would be a good idea to have a panel regarding the dangers of multiculturalism. That’s definitely a big-tent topic. Peter Brimelow (a name says a lot about a person) argues that his organization is not a White Nationalist group (euphemism for white supremacist), however the points that he makes further confirm that he does believe that America should be a Christian-white-male-dominated society. He argues that the reason white people are afraid of black people is because black people commit most of the crimes. [paraphrased] ProEnglish, as the names suggests, is an organization dedicated to making English the National Official Language thereby eradicating bilingual teaching in public schools, government documents printed in multiple languages, etc. It’s hard to see racism when you’re white.

I WILL NOT SHUT UP

The reason why racism hasn’t improved as much as it should have in these past 40 years is because we the people and the media buy the “race card” and the “victim’s mentality” argument.  When people of color label someone or some statement as racist – we’re called racist in return. (rubber/glue)  As if any person of color in the U.S. has enough power to rule over the privileged class.  President Barack Obama doesn’t even have that much power!  The solution from the right – name my child Bill and keep my mouth shut when someone promotes racists thoughts and behavior.  NO,  I will NOT.  I will not shut up and I will name my child a name that comes from the continent of his/her ancestors.  Period.  And the privileged class can do what they want with it.

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