Well…. probably, at least according to the definition. Let’s look at one of the official ones.
Racism: The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
Let me share a very real story, yet funny as well. A very good friend of mine, let’s call him William, was visiting a local department store. As he was leaving the store, he noticed four men darting past him, through the parking lot, across the street, and into an apartment complex. He decides to help apprehend the thief. He jumps into his car (true story I promise) thinking he would have the upper hand moving more quickly by car, drives across the street, and low and behold comes face to face with his thief. He cuts him off with his car, and yells to the security team, “Hey I got him over here”. As the security team approached, the guys in the shirt and tie screamed, “Hey, let him go, that’s our Security Manager”. Got to admit, that’s pretty funny, right? But not so funny for William. He was mortified and embarrassed, to say the least. My friend William acted on impulse, which in this case was clearly derived from his views and convictions of what a thief looks like. He prematurely decided that the thief was the black guy and not the actual suspect who got away, the white guy. I will concede however that the story itself is hilarious. But… it just proves that we all have some level of racism or prejudice, even if only sub-consciously. FYI William is an African-American.
Before you flip out, cuss the wallpaper off the wall, and/or give me the finger for saying that you are racist, let’s take a real-life look at the truth about how people from different races and ethnic backgrounds, cultures, etc., are secretly viewed. This is a healthy test for America and something that can keep you conscious of how our minds have been jaded.
Ask yourself the following:
Am I eminently uncomfortable with those from other races or ethnic groups without cause?
Throughout the course of your day, think about this discussion, send this to your family and friends as a reminder that most of us share the very common thread of being racist. Do you grab your purse or wallet when you see someone of another race approaching in your direction? (especially men) If your child introduced their significant other of another race to you, do you clench your pearls? Racism is not dead, it’s alive and well! Can this be fixed?