Racism is sick. I grew up in the South so I am well aware of just how racist some people can be towards blacks...and yes this still goes on in 2010. I am also in a predominantly white profession. When I sit in my law classes, or walk into the offices of my internship, I am usually the only black face. Matter of fact, I'm usually the only person of color period. Every time my fellow interns get together and magically forget to invite me, or an employer lectures me about the importance of being on time and not turning in crappy work even when I have done nothing wrong, or a fellow intern looks in my face and has the nerve to tell me they like me because I am "not like normal black people", it hurts. I have spent years working hard to prove myself in a society that has considered me a failure from the beginning. Poor black southern girl from a single parent household...what will she ever accomplish? But by the grace of God I have accomplished.
There is nothing more demeaning or humiliating than when you experience racism. The first time someone ever calls you the n-word, it does something to you. But one thing I know, hate breeds hate. And I refuse to be a victim of racism. I will continue to pursue whatever path in life I choose to follow. And most importantly, I will not allow racists to win by making me hate!
Black people seem to have this opinion that blacks can't be racist...we've experienced too much oppression ourselves to ever be in that category. Well that is a huge lie! I have been honest here that I have a tiny obsession with blogs. Well today, I went on mediatakeout.com and one of their stories was that Essence magazine (which I love!) just hired a white woman as one of their main editors and that they would officially be cancelling their subscriptions. Now was there any evidence that Essence passed up on a more qualified black applicant to hire this woman? No. So why the anger? Oh I know, because of the color of her skin...
Essence isn't immune either. The other day I was reading an article on their website written by a black woman as she was contemplating whether or not she should consider dating men of other races. I am not a fan of that conversation (but that is a topic for another day). However, I was completely relating to everything she said until I got to the end of the article and she stated that she told her girlfriends one of the reasons why she didn't date white men is because "they just smell different". Excuse me? White people smell different?! If I ever overheard a group of white men sitting around talking about they couldn't date a black woman because we smell different I wouldn't hesitate to call them racist. And I am not going to hesitate with this woman. She took the time to write an article for a magazine. Proofread countless times. And yet still determined that was on ok statement to make. Something is wrong!
I am sick of racism. I am tired of the nasty comments and the snide looks. Racism hurts and I will never, I mean NEVER, make another human being feel the way I feel when it happens to me. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a world where people would be judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. That didn't just apply to black people. When you judge a white person simply by their skin color, you are no different than the white racists you continue to fight against. Yes white people are the majority. Yes they are the ones in power. And yes racism towards them probably does not affect them even a fraction as much as it affects those of us in the black community. But wrong is wrong. When I walk into a room I want people to see me and form an opinion based on my actions. And I do the same towards everyone I meet regardless of their ethnicity because I am not a hypocrite.