Tuesday, December 7, 2010

3 Things That Will End Racism (of the Black & White Variety)

Racism shapes our politics, interactions with others, and seating arrangements on the bus. For example, after our country elected the first president of African descent, he was attacked about 17 hours into his presidency for not doing enough. (Look at my eyes... roll em. - (c) Kevin Hart.) Some of it was because people are desperate for jobs, decent health care, and an end to the conflicts overseas. But for some, it was because they just don't like the idea of the most powerful position in the world being held by an African-American.

I have a solution! I know you're thinking, "Who does she think she is?" I agree... I too was surprised at my wisdom. But just listen up. And if you think my solution is controversial, consider the alternative... racism!!! Here goes:


1. Sports. Crystal Marie = not a sports fan. I like the teams of the schools I went to and another based on a great ESPN 30 for 30 documentary. But true, diehard sports fans exist and they come in all colors, backgrounds, nationalities and political affiliations. Redskins fans come from the backwoods of Virginia, the suburbs of Montgomery County, MD, and from the slowly gentrifying but still often scary Southeast quadrant of the District. Put a redneck Redskin fan in the same room as Wale, and they can talk for hours about.... whatever it is football fans talk about. I wouldn't know. Both walk away agreeing that "maybe them nigras/whiteys aren't so bad after all.." A bit idealistic? Maybe. But... it's McWorld!... Hey it could happen!

2. Negro Spirituals. This may seem like an unlikely choice, but it's earned it's place here. Those of us like myself, who grew up in the church, tend to take the "Protestant Black Church Experience" for granted at times. The family-like atmosphere, encouraging and familiar Bible verses, and for this article's relevance, the haunting, rich music that makes you forget your pain for the moment. Now obviously, this experience doesn't describe every Black church; in fact Black churches are arguably as diverse as our complexions. But you know what I mean, the Black church memorialized in films like The Pursuit of Happyness, and every other movie with a Black cast are just the types of services and music that White people LOVE. Next time you go to a Black church, look for a Caucasian. They are completely invested, hands, feet, everything. While I may cringe at some of the "dancing" and whoops and hollers, they are THRILLED. I'm.not.making.this.up. Be a part of the end of racism. Bring a white person to your local Black church. If you're a White , -yes I said, a White- and reading this... take yourself. You'll love it! And we love you! :)

3. Interracial relationships and their offspring. I know this is controversial and some people of all racial backgrounds, are opposed to dating outside of their race for various reasons. And that's fine. Everyone's entitled to their preferences; I certainly have preferences of my own (however none are race-based). But hear me out on this. It's easy to be mad at your daughter for marrying a Black man. But what about when the grandchildren arrive? Is it easy to turn your back on the little bundle of joy who knows nothing about affirmative action, civil rights, or even different colored eggs yet? It's a little difficult to be prejudiced against Blacks when your grandchild is. Sure some people do it, but hopefully those folks will die out within the next 15 years or so.

Plus, the more people that produce children of mixed race, the more the lines blur, and the less easy it becomes to apply generalizations. A rather optimistic colleague once told me that, "Eventually, everyone's going to be a muddled light brown, and this whole idea of race will be over." Well.... that's quite a bit of a stretch, even for the idealist in me, and I know it would definitely never happen in the Midwest, but let me give you an example.You may think the photo to the right is a Benneton ad. But it's not. It's some of the great grandchildren in my family. Let me make this clear. All of the people in the photo share a set of Black great grandparents. If I hate Asians, Latinos, Africans, Whites, then I have to also hate a piece of one of them.
(Disclaimer: I'm not suggesting that everyone ignore people of their own race in an attempt to end racism... but if you happen to fall in love with someone of another race, know that your union is a great step for mankind!)

Anyway... Sports, Spirituals, and Miscegenation... End of Racism. Boom.
Your thoughts?

5 comments:

  1. Yes, sports, definitely an example of breaking down racial barriers. Two thumbs up.

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  2. im a huge nfl fan.. and have had this thought often. how some people feel about rooting for their team with a star QB/RB/WR who is not their skin tone (to put it in PC terms). there are some who feel no way yelling monkey to players -

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-packers-collins-fanconfrontation

    but if you are a fan of the team.. you dont care for even a brief moment..you just want them to win.

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  3. To say "dancing" in quotes, like your version of dance is the specific and ONLY definition of dance, you are being a racist. To stop racism, just you should practice what you preach.

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  4. You're dead on about interracial relationships. I have a cousin who I remember being the most racist person I know. Every racist joke I've ever heard came from her. She WAS the epitomy of southern racism, not just against blacks, but primarily against anyone with darker skin.

    Well, her daughter married a dark-skinned Cambodian guy. She loves her son-in-law to death. And she doesn't give a flip that her grandson has dark skin and black hair--thats her grandson and she loves him as much as she would if he were white.

    As far as church goes, its not just the "protestant black church" experience that brings people together. True churches, regardless of the culture in which they sit, regardless of musical styles, if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, they should be a bridge between ethnic, social, and economic barriers. Too often they are not, but I've seen it happen even in the whitest of "white" churches.

    I think most of what these things have in common is exposure. Most people who have any level of racism have very little exposure to those against whom he or she is racist.

    As soon as someone has that exposure, regardless of the context (church, sports, work, school, family), racism is less and less likely.

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  5. Thanks Brandon! I appreciate a unique perspective. :)

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